Report on “Children at the border: The screening, Protection and Repatriation of Unaccompanied Mexican Minors”

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Appleseed Mexico, in collaboration with DLA Piper LLP US., Mayer, Brown, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, and Jáuregui, Navarrete y Nader, S.C., carried out a legislative and field study on the deportation and repatriation of unaccompanied migrant minors from the U.S. to Mexico.

Through this study, we were looking for ways to guarantee that the repartriation process was as painless as possible for the child while respecting his or her best interests. The research revealed the most frequent failings of both the U.S. and Mexican migration systems, leading us to make several recommendations including, crucially, modifications to the detention process, the assessment of the child´s best interests and repatriation when deemd to be beneficial for the minor.

We started the process to update the original report published in 2011 “Children at the Border: The Screening, Protection and Repatriation of Unaccompanied Mexican Minors”. This process is to be continued during 2014, mainly with the original pro bono partners whose sustained enthusiasm and ongoing support continues to give impetus to this important project.

In addition, as 2013 highlights: Preparation and presentation of a training session to officials of the National Human Rights Commission on the repatriation of Mexican children Participation in a 2 week visit to Argentina, organized by UNICEF, to present the Children at the border report to UNICEF´s Argentinian office, local human rights groups, and students and faculty from the Universidad Lanus and the Universidad de Buenos Aires; we also participated in ínter-governmental round-tables reviewing other child migrant care models Participation in round-tables, forums and conferences to support NGOs working in the field and recommendations on legislative initiatives under development in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies and the Senate Invitation to sit on the IMUMI Advisory Board (Instituto de las Mujeres en la Migración, Institute of Women in Migration) Organization of a Mexico/US/Central American Working Committee on Unaccompanied Child Migrants at the Mexican Congress in October 2013; a follow up second session was held in Washington D.C. in January 2014 Participation and chair of the following subcommittee of this Working Group: Best Interests/UNCEF Abridged Assessment Form – Maru Cortazar Other subcommittees are: • Child Protection Flow Chart: Elissa Steglich • National Action Plans on Child Migration: Jacqueline Bhabha • New Repatriation Models: Wendy Ramirez • Security and Development Pilots: Sid Mohn and Wendy Young

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