June 23 and 24, 2014
Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MIGRANTS:
PROTECTION, NOT DEPORTATION
We, a group of academic and civil institutions from Central and North America working in the field of childhood and adolescence within the context of migration, meeting at the Tijuana campus of the College of the Northern Frontier, consider that the growing number of migrant boys and girls who find themselves forced to undertake dangerous journeys across the region and have reached the United States and Mexico in recent months constitutes a structural and multi-dimensional phenomenon that, as such, requires, among other things, the following responses:
In the short term, it is essential that the boys and girls not be returned or deported automatically, nor placed in immigration detention centers. On the contrary, they should be housed in shelters that guarantee conditions in accordance with their rights, especially the right to family unity.
In addition, comprehensive protective measures must be implemented appropriate to each case, based first and foremost on the best interest of the child. These measures should be the result of an individualized process that ensures due procedural guarantees, including the right to a lawyer, adequate legal information in their language, and access to consular assistance.
The present situation represents an important opportunity for the States involved, under the principle of shared responsibility, to comprehensively address the phenomenon of child and adolescent migration.
It is for this reason that we call on the governments to adopt human development policies at the national and regional level to ensure the conditions for a decent and adequate life, free from all forms of violence and discrimination for each and every person, and that they receive these migrant boys and girls, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, providing them humanitarian protection and the due process required under national and international law.
Signers: College of the Northern Frontier, YMCA House for Migrant Minors, North Frontier of Mexico Initiative, Fray Matías de Cordova Center for Human Rights, A.C./Missionary San Carlos Scalabrinianos Association /El Salvador, Pastoral of Human Mobility/Guatemala, Pop No'j Association/Guatemala, Alliance House/Honduras, The Center for Gender and Refugees Studies, National Immigrant Justice Center/United States and the Center for Human Rights of the National University of Lanus/Argentina.
Pastoral de Movilidad Humana
(502) 2432 5654
Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
U.C. Hastings College of the Law
(415) 565 4791
(415) 581 8824
Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova A.C.
Tapachula, Chiapas, México
(52) 96264 250 98
f.n. 1 This meeting was supported by the Alianza para las Migraciones en Centroamerica y Mexico/ Central America and Mexico Migration Alliance - CAMMINA, within the framework of the project "Strengthening the Institutional Regional Backing in questions of Child Migration" led by the Association of Missionaries of San Carlos Scalabiranos.CAMMINA is an alliance created by three international philanthropic organizations (Avina Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Institute), whose mission consists of achieving sustainable changes in public policies that promote the rights of migrant persons and contribute to the economic sustainability of the communities of origin in Mexico and Central America in order that migration can be considered an option and not a necessity.