IOM trained Mexicali municipal police to better protect migrant children
IOM, in coordination with the Executive Secretariat of the National System for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (SIPINNA) of the state of Baja California, held a training session for police personnel of the Mexicali Public Security Secretariat (SSP) on March 6th.
This event strengthened the capacities of police personnel, particularly their role in migrant children protection processes with a focus on rights, and also explained the main changes regarding legislative reforms on children's issues. Police staff act as first responders in situations in which the safety of migrant children and adolescents is involved, in addition to providing support in emergency situations, as in the case of caravans.
"Sometimes, as municipal police officers, in the eagerness to perform public safety functions, we forget the primordial thing that is the best interest of children and adolescents. We encounter situations and incidents in which our first task should be verifying the needs of the children and adolescents; making sure they receive medical and psychological attention, that they eat and drink food and water, separate them from adults who are not part of their family and make sure that they are given shelter and protection," summarized Alma Angelina Blanco Jiménez, deputy academic director of the Mexicali Public Safety Directorate, who participated in the workshops.
"Conducting this type of training and sensitization on an ongoing basis ensures that police corporations carry out their function in a more humane and efficient manner, with knowledge of the cause, respect and empathy," she added.
The training was attended by a total of 29 participants (13 men and 16 women). Due to the strong interest in the subject, it will be replicated with the municipal police forces of Tijuana, Ensenada and Rosarito, also in Baja California, during the month of April.
This effort is part of IOM's Western Hemisphere Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.