IDC, together with member organization IMUMI (Institute for Women in Migration), organized a government-sponsored Expert Roundtable and Interdisciplinary Dialogue on Key Issues in the Protection of Child Migrants and Refugees in Mexico. The event was held in Mexico City on November 14 and 15, 2016, and co-sponsored by the Federal Child Rights Protection Office (PFPNNA) and the National Migration Institute (INM). The event included a series of panel discussions, where local and international experts addressed essential components for comprehensive protection for migrant children, including case management, custody and guardianship, and best interest determinations. Dialogue focused on how to ensure effective implementation of these key areas within alternatives to detention.

Government representatives from the Refugee Commission, Federal Child Protection Office and Migration Institute discuss progress in ATD and protection of child migrants in Mexico.

The event brought together 70 participants, including a wide range of government representatives from the Family Welfare Agency (DIF), Refugee Commission (COMAR), National System for Child Protection (SIPINNA), National Migration Institute (INM), Foreign Ministry and Mexican legislature. Participants also included international and civil society actors from more than 20 organizations currently involved in developing and implementing alternatives to detention across the country.

Participants were able to discuss local progress in child protection, including guaranteeing children’s right to personal liberty, as well as how positive practice examples from Zambia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and the United States could inform and strengthen efforts in Mexico. The second day of the event included a case management workshop organized exclusively for civil society organizations and international partners supporting migrant children’s cases as part of ongoing initiatives to expand ATD.

International and local experts discuss : guardianship, custody and independent legal representation of migrant and refugee children.

The event was particularly important and timely in light of efforts throughout 2016 to work toward ending immigration detention of children, in accordance with new legislation  introduced in December 2015. The roundtable not only increased capacity of local stakeholders, but also promoted sharing of experiences and good practices between government officials and civil society, including from outside Mexico. Such dialogue is critical as more actors become in involved in ATD as a key element in building the new child protection system in Mexico.


See the Roundtable Agenda here