This year Mexico received more than 3,000 applications for refugee status from children and adolescents, of which it has accepted 75 percent. As of January 2017 there will be no child between under 11 years old in migration offices, including Haitian children, assured National System of the Protection of Children and Adolescents (Sipinna) Executive Secretary Ricardo Bucio.
Civil associations estimate that by the end of the year, 40,000 Haitians will have transited through Mexico en route to the United States, of which a significant number are minors.
Bucio explained that, according to the agreement made by President Enrique Peña Nieto to the United Nations, minors “will be in alternative residential spaces” and “will be more likely to be accepted as a refugee in Mexico.”
The requests for refugee status have increased by 100 percent from 2015 to 2016. Last year nearly 38,000 migrant children and adolescents were found, and half of them were unaccompanied.
As for Haitian children and adolescents in Baja California, Bucio said there was a joint effort with the National Migration Institute and the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance to address the issue.
Bucio said that although next year the federal budget for the care of children and adolescents will be 759 billion pesos ($40,9 billion), 2.9 percent more than in 2016, that does not necessarily mean more investment directed specifically towards Haitian child migrants.