Addressing COVID-19-related vulnerabilities for migrant returnees in Central America’s Northern Triangle
Central America’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) is well known for its high rates of violence and poverty, correlated with high rates of migration under vulnerable conditions. Recent shifts in migration policy, particularly in the USA, have contributed to a mass return of Central Americans. The COVID-19 crisis has further aggravated the invisibility and vulnerability of these returnees (particularly youth and women) and has exposed their dire economic and security conditions amidst the pandemic. These include growing rates of gender-based violence, difficulties accessing economic opportunities, and poor access to basic services and information, both in quarantine centres and upon their reintegration into host communities.
This project seeks to promote efficient policy responses by identifying and addressing the labour reintegration and gender-based violence challenges and experiences faced by migrant returnees in the Northern Triangle with an emphasis on female and youth returnees. It will also examine the different vulnerabilities that COVID-19 imposes in these contexts. A diagnosis of returnees’ economic and security vulnerabilities will be conducted in six communities across the Northern Triangle, involving surveys and interviews with migrants, local organizations, and public officials. It will evaluate the most effective short and medium-term responses required to meet the economic and human security needs of these returnees. Engagement efforts to promote uptake will include discussion forums and information campaigns.