UNHCR continues to observe an increasing number of asylum claims being submitted by citizens of the Northern Triangle of Northern America in Mexico, including a significant number of people with special protection needs, such as LGBTI persons, unaccompanied and separated children, women at risk and survivors of violence.
Within this context, UNHCR protection activities consist mainly of:
(i) providing legal and basic material assistance and information to refugees and asylum-seekers, through local partners and ensuring access to a fair and efficient refugee status determination (RSD) procedure, including for those in detention,
(ii) promoting livelihoods and local integration and
(iii) the delivery of training activities to different governmental staff and civil society organisations on basic principles of International Refugee Law, in particular to the Mexican Refugee Commission (COMAR), Migration officials (INM) and the Child Protection Authorites (Procuradurķas).
UNHCR monitors COMAR-led RSD procedures, ensuring the provision of legal aid both in the context of communitybased shelters and within detention facilities. UNHCR also aims at facilitating access to and the timely finalization of RSD procedures. UNHCR regularly visits migration detention facilities, informing those detained on their right to seek asylum in Mexico, and seeking to prevent and respond to instances of refoulement as well as promoting alternatives to detention.
The office also works closely with the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) on diverse issues affecting the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees. With the Mexican Child Protection Authorities (Procuradurķas) at the federal, state, and municipal levels, UNHCR works to ensure proper protection responses and the systematic implementation of BID procedures on cases involving unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children. UNHCR also delivers training activities to both government and civil society agencies on a wide range of issues, including on RSD, basic principles of refugee law, child protection and the prevention and response to instances of SGBV.
In line with the priorities of Mexico's operational context, UNHCR has begun strengthening the capacities of legal aid providers that serve persons of concern along Mexico's migration routes, including lawyers and newly-incorporated paralegals located in community-based shelters throughout the country.