In America, 22 Million Displaced Persons

Families displaced in the Altos of Chiapas. Photo: Frayba

In the Americas “there are unprecedented situations of forced displacement – more than 22 million people – and migratory situations that are increasingly complex,” said Renee Cuijpers, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and mentioned that according to monitoring by civil organizations, in Mexico it is estimated that more than 380 thousand people have left their places of origin or home due to violence.

The above was announced during the conference in which the call for the Sentences Award was presented, through which it seeks to make visible the judicial resolutions that have been issued under the highest norms and standards in human rights, as well as the good practices that have served to guarantee access to justice and the effective enjoyment of human rights of migrants or persons subject to international protection in the Americas.

The UNHCR representative pointed out that of the 22 million people who have had to be forcibly displaced, seven million are Venezuelan citizens, another seven million correspond to people from nations such as Colombia, El Salvador and Honduras.

In this context, she indicated that the unprecedented situations have impacted Mexico, since it is considered among the five nations with the highest number of asylum requests, and in 2023 alone 273 thousand new requests for international asylum were received.

She mentioned that a greater number of asylum applications have been received since 2018, and they are populations from Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and other nationalities, although it has been detected that citizens of more than 100 countries – although the majority of them are from nations on the American continent – have requested international protection.

To a specific question about forced displacement in Mexican territory, Renee Cuijpers said that there is no official record, but that in the country, about 360 thousand people are being displaced internally, due to violence and other quite complex reasons, and this is known by monitoring carried out by human rights organizations. This only covers monitoring of massive displacements of ten families or more, and many other individuals are not visible.

The Sentences 2024 Award constitutes the ninth edition of this contest in which throughout its existence it has received more than 400 judicial resolutions that favor the rights of migrants or displaced persons. This year the theme to observe is Access to identity and the principle of non-refoulement.

Original article by Gustavo Castillo García, La Jornada May 6th, 2024
Photographs in original article from Cuartoscuro.
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.

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