Claims from Central America
Over the last few years, increasing numbers of individuals fleeing gang violence in Central America, and specifically El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, have fled to the United States in search of protection. UNHCR has worked to understand this refugee crisis, publishing reports in 2014 and 2015 examining why children and women are fleeing the region. These reports, Children on the Run, Uprooted and Women on the Run, all found that individuals fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras (a region collectively referred to as the Northern Triangle of Central America (“NTCA”)), and Mexico faced startling degrees of violence presenting a clear need for international protection.
On 15 June, UNHCR and the immigration firm Maggio Kattar Nahajzer & Alexander P.C. co-hosted a training on "Representing Asylum-Seekers from Central America: Leveraging International Law to Strengthen Gang-Based Asylum Claims." A recording is available here.
- UNHCR Report, Children on the Run: Unaccompanied Children Leaving Central America and Mexico and the Need for International Protection (examining why unaccompanied children are fleeing the Northern Triangle of Central America and Mexico)
- UNHCR Report, Women on the Run: First-Hand Accounts of Refugees Fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico (2015) (examining why women are fleeing the Northern Triangle of Central America and Mexico in search of protection)
- UNHCR Report, Uprooted (Arrancados de raíz) (2014) (discussing the situation facing unaccompanied and separated children moving across borders from Central America into Mexico)
- UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International Protection Needs of Asylum-Seekers from El Salvador (2016) (providing guidance on claims from Salvadorian asylum-seekers who may qualify for protection based on certain "risk profiles" or who find themselves in certain circumstances)
- UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International Protection Needs of Asylum-Seekers from Honduras (2016) (providing guidance on claims from Honduran asylum-seekers who may qualify for protection based on certain "risk profiles" or who find themselves in certain circumstances)
- UNHCR Guidance Note on Refugee Claims Relating to Victims of Organized Gangs (2010) (providing legal guidance on the assessment of asylum claims caused by, or associated with, organized gangs)
NTCA and Mexico Country Conditions Reports
Country conditions reports should be submitted with the asylum application. Such reports provide the adjudicator with background information about the human rights situation in the applicant’s country of origin or last habitual residence.
- Refworld: Gang Related Violence
- American Immigration Counsel: Mexican and Central American Asylum and Credible Fear Claims: Background and Context (2014)
- ABA: Legal Resources and Training Materials for Working with Central American Children (2014)
- The Washington Office on Latin America: Central American Gang-Related Asylum, A Resource Guide (2008)
- Center for Gender & Refugee Studies: Central America and Mexico- Child Migration
- HealthRight International Human Rights Clinic (providing forensic psychological, medical, and gynecological evaluations for survivors of torture and other human rights abuses for use in immigration proceedings)