Without a doubt, cinema is a powerful tool to inform and raise awareness. This was demonstrated once again in the framework of the Global Migration Film Festival, when hundreds of people gathered to reflect on documentaries and films about migration. The Global Migration Film Festival, launched by IOM in more than 50 countries, supports the United Nations global campaign "Together", aimed at counteracting some of the misinformation and misperceptions about migrants.
During the month of December, the Mesoamerican Program promoted a regional amateur photography contest "Miradas en Movimiento: Focusing on dignity, ensuring protection". The virtual community InformArte en Movimiento served as a basis for disseminating the call as well as for the interested public to comment and vote for their favorite photos.
Palenque, Chiapas - Last month the municipality of Palenque (Chiapas, southern Mexico) inaugurated its Bureau of Assistance for Migrants and Refugees, which will bring information and support to at-risk migrants and refugees. This is the tenth office opened in the region with the Mesoamerica Program support.
After a participatory process, at the end of 2016 the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), a forum made up of eleven countries in the region, approved the document "Regional Guidelines for the Comprehensive Protection of Boys, Girls and Adolescents in the Context of Migration".
The international network CNN has published an extensive report on the work carried out by the IOM Mesoamerica Program on the border between Costa Rica and Panama.
The four minutes report focuses on migration and trafficking, a matter with which populations in this border area are becoming increasingly informed. CNN report shows the educational work that IOM is doing to prevent the risks faced by migrant populations.
Panama - Migrants in the region regularly face specific situations of vulnerability. High levels of uncertainty and insecurity, multiple risks, and a lack of information along their migratory route represent challenges that affect their psychological well-being.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) provided support to the national emergency response as Hurricane Otto hit Costa Rica last November. IOM assisted in the evacuation and provided assistance to approximately 1519 migrants stranded at both the northern and southern borders, in four of the counties on maximum alert.
Costa Rica. Last October the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched a new phase of its Mesoamerica Regional Program, in which human and technical resources will be devoted to building the capacities of governments and civil society for managing safe, orderly, and regular migration, with an emphasis on respecting the human rights of migrants most at risk for irregular migration.
The photo contest Miradas en Movimiento (Glimpses in Motion) that began last November is still receiving images that reflect the importance of protection for migrants.
Costa Rica - Since its creation in 2010, the Mesoamerica Program has provided direct assistance and voluntary return support to 417 people. This assistance is vital, as migrants face high-risk conditions during the migratory process. They are vulnerable at-risk to becoming victims of assault, extortion, trafficking, and other exploitative trends.