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Media 010515 SRE Consulates

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mexico works to strengthen Consular Services Abroad for Expatriates

Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In 2014, the Mexican Foreign Ministry increased the number of tools at the disposal of our society in order to prevent abuses and promote respect for the rights of Mexicans abroad.

In an effort to prevent the abuse of migrants at the United States border, the High Level Group on Repatriation (Repatriation Strategy and Policy Executive Coordination Team-RESPECT) was established, through which the governments of both countries have decided on the steps to follow and guidelines for a more secure border.

It has managed to limit the number of border crossings to 12, and to restrict repatriations so that they only take place in the daytime. It also addresses topics such as unaccompanied migrant children and the handling of the belongings of migrants who are repatriated.

In order to raise the awareness of the Mexican community about their rights in the workplace, and about how to avoid becoming victims of abuse by employers, the consular network in the United States held Labor Rights Week 2014, which benefited more than 40,000 people at nearly 800 events at the 50 consulates. For the first time, identical events were held in six Mexican states, and the consulates signed 20 cooperation agreements with participating agencies and organizations.

The Foreign Ministry strengthened the safety of the migrant population and of Mexicans traveling abroad through campaigns to prevent fraud and protect the rights and welfare of our citizens. It also carried out campaigns to combat domestic and gender-based violence and publicized preventive measures for Mexicans traveling to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil; and it is monitoring the Ebola outbreak.

In order to strengthen consular diplomacy, consular consultations were held and cooperation agreements were signed with the United States, Canada and the Pacific Alliance.

In response to U.S. President Barack Obama’s announcement of executive action on immigration, a special strategy was designed for the Mexicans in the U.S., which includes strengthening partnerships with key stakeholders and U.S. government officials in order to coordinate information and guidance to prevent potential beneficiaries of the measures from being defrauded.

For this, the consulates’ social networks will be used, including the MiConsulmex app and the Center for Information and Assistance for Mexicans (CIAM). In addition, the consular network in the United States began to take steps to address the increased demand for services as a result of the new measures, such as increasing the hours of service for the public.

One of the main priorities has been providing attention to vulnerable groups, with a focus on shared humanitarian and regional responsibility. Among other efforts, a Protocol for the Consular Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adolescents is in the process of being developed with the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) Mexico.

In addition, given the increased number of unaccompanied children on our northern border, the consular network sought closer contact with the Central American consulates in order to strengthen the consular capacity of the countries of the region (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras).

With these actions, the Foreign Ministry strengthens its efforts to ensure that the attention provided by the consular network to our fellow countrymen is timely and comprehensive, according to the needs of the Mexican community abroad.

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Press release, Dec. 30, 2014, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Mexico, DF; translation by SRE

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