Every day, about 300 Hondurans leave their country and try to reach Mexico or the USA. Among the migrants are many single mothers and minors. Due to the lack of prospects, the desolate economic situation and the steady increase in gang crime and violence, more and more Hondurans are deciding to leave their home country. According to the UN, there is a femicide every 23 hours in Honduras, which is why violence against women is one of the main reasons why many women take the risks of migration. Despite the dangers they face on the various migration routes through Guatemala and Mexico, and with no guarantee of actually making it to the US and being able to stay there, many people choose to migrate north irregularly.
As the US tightens its immigration policies, migrants are forced to apply for asylum from Mexico and await the decision there. Increased controls in southern Mexico are intended to prevent migrants from reaching the US-Mexican border. Stricter entry regulations and complicated asylum procedures mean that migrants are increasingly stranded in Mexico. Thousands of them are forced to apply for asylum in the south of Mexico and wait for the decision on the spot. At the same time, mass deportations from Mexico and the USA to Honduras and Guatemala are taking place.
Together with the Honduran non-governmental organization CASM, we have been campaigning for the rights of returned migrants in Honduras since 2022.
CASM stands for Comisión de Acción Social Menonita, in English "Mennonite Commission for Social Action". Since 2019, CASM has been running a programme to strengthen the capacities for political influence of returning migrants and advocates for the comprehensive protection of their rights. CASM was founded back in 1983 and also works with other organizations at micro, meso and macro levels, such as our long-standing partner OCDIH. CASM also supports networks and alliances so that they are strengthened in their democratic structures and become political actors. As a member of national and international networks, CASM also influences important political issues and thus contributes to bringing about positive changes and improving the quality of life of the Honduran population.
As part of the joint project, CASM also tries to tackle the origin of migration. To do this, CASM uses an integral counselling and support model that includes psychosocial support, schooling and vocational training, income-generating measures and integration into the labour market.
Jarin, a young migrant from Yoro district, had a dream: he wanted to give his family a better life: "I wanted to go to the USA and earn money to build a house for my wife and children. Twice I tried, both times it didn't work out. My brother, sister and I were in Mexico, in a migrant hostel. We suffered thirst, hunger and cold. But the abuse from the police and other migrants was the worst."
Jarin returned home empty-handed and his first thought was, "I have to try again." Then he got the opportunity to do an education from CASM as well as psychosocial support and decided to stay. Today he has a home and a job. "I know now that I don't have to leave Honduras to achieve something," Jarin says.
Promotion of social structures
In addition to supporting young people, CASM also carries out political work. Together with local governments, networks and youth initiatives, sustainable social institutions and initiatives are strengthened. For example, CASM intends to create municipal migration counselling centres in every municipal district, in which civil society actors and municipal governments work together. In addition, CASM supports the youth network "Generación con voz", in English "Generation with a Voice". The network was established by young people who participated in CASM's program after returning to Honduras.
|Project||"Strengthening the capacities of returning migrants to exert political influence in order to advocate for the full protection of their rights".|
|Place/Region||Honduras, Bezirke Yoro, Cortés and Santa Barbara|
|Partner||Comisión de Acción Social Menonita (CASM)|
|Target group||Young people, deported or voluntarily returned migrants|
|Duration||2022 - 2024|