On 17 March, the Saltillo Migrant House participated in a thematic hearing requested by several human rights organizations entitled “Mexico: Applicants for Asylum and Refugee Status” convened by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington DC.

During this hearing, representatives of Mexican civil society and the Federal Government discussed the current human rights situation of people who requested asylum and refugee status in the country.

Statistics from 2016 show an increase in requests for refugee status in Mexico. Since 2011, requests for asylum have increased by more than one thousand percent.

According to documentation by Amnesty International, it is possible that half of these requests could be considered refugees under the Convention on the Status of Refugees.

Of the applications received in Mexico in 2016, more than 90% were from people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – many of these people left their country due to the situation in the country and for fear of persecution.

At the hearing, representatives of civil society discussed the lack of protection for migrants and refugees in Mexico and asked the IACHR and the Mexican government to address the problem in accordance with international agreements that Mexico is a part of.

They also stated that requests for asylum in Mexico are increasing. During the hearing, the Mexican Government and Civil Society organizations agreed to create a working group that would be supported by the IACHR in order to discuss the situation of people who request asylum and refugee status in Mexico.

It is important to highlight that, as of this year, the Saltillo Migrant shelter will become the third refugee shelter in Mexico, together with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Mexico and the City of Saltillo.

During a trip to Coahuila from 18-24 April, members of PBI´s Northern Team visited the Saltillo Migrant Shelter (CMS) to meet with members of the organization and evaluate the international accompaniment that PBI provides.