SICA: Creating prospects in their home countries for children and young people at risk of displacement

Project description

Title: (Re-)integration of children and youth at risk of displacement in Central America
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador
Lead executing agency: General Secretariat of the Central American Integration System (SG-SICA)
Overall term: 2017 to 2024

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Context

Every year at least 40,000 unaccompanied children and adolescents leave Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to travel to Mexico or the USA, even though they have little chance of being able to enter the countries legally. They are fleeing violence, precarious circumstances, the lack of training opportunities and high youth unemployment. Frequently, they underestimate the risks involved, such as violence and involvement in criminal activities along the transit routes. After they are forced to return to their own countries, sometimes there are even fewer opportunities for education and employment available to them. 

Psychosocial services for helping process violent experiences are not available to an adequate extent in their own countries. The affected communities do not have the services to reintegrate children and adolescents at risk of violence and displacement into society, education and work, meaning they cannot develop prospects for remaining in their home country.

Objective

Children and young people at risk of displacement in selected communities in Central America's Northern Triangle make use of the improved measures for integration into society, education and work, increasing prospects for them to remain in their home country.

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Approach

The project is working with state and non-state representatives in eleven municipalities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, covering four areas:

Psychosocial support services for children and young people and their families are expanded. Children and young people have their rights explained to them and are made aware of the risks that exist on the migration route and the alternatives that are available locally. Education training services are adapted or developed to suit the needs of pupils and trainees.

By providing advisory services for the municipalities and local business associations, the project strengthens cooperation between the private sector, schools and administration to promote employment for young people in disadvantaged urban districts.

Coordination between national and local service providers that provide reintegration services for returnees is promoted.

The consulting firm GOPA implemented services locally between 2018 and 2021.

Last update: December 2021

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