Ndị gbara ọsọ ndụ na Honduras

Ndị gbara ọsọ ndụ na Honduras

Almost 250,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) live in Honduras. That’s five percent of the total population of Honduras. Almost forty thousand other people of concern are from Honduras, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, and Nicaragua.

Refugees and asylum seekers in Honduras are few hundred, mainly from Nicaragua. Other present nationalities are El Salvador, Cuba, Venezuela, and Colombia.

Refugees in the world from Honduras are more than 50,000. Asylum seekers from Honduras are more than 180,000.

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That is according to the UN Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) in mid-2022.

In addition to a shortage of work in the local labor market, the main drivers of migration in recent decades have been natural disasters, such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998, but also extended droughts, fresh storms, hurricanes, and floods. Almost simultaneously, the spread of crime headed by mara gangs has been felt throughout the country. These are the main reasons for internal and international forced migration. The organization of migrant caravans heading to the United States has also been a collective response of migrants to the lack of national and international protection that these people face both in their home communities and on transit routes.

According to the Secretariat of Human Rights, 247,090 Hondurans were displaced between 2004 and 2018. Most IDPs relocate within the same municipality, some to a different town, and some to a different department. People move because of: threats, murders, mobility limitations, injuries, extortion, and sexual assault.

According to these investigations, the sites of origin for displacements correlated with the areas with the greatest incidence of homicides, which were primarily urban territories controlled by maras: Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Choloma.

People compelled to migrate’s job, educational, housing, and health conditions did not improve with internal displacement but worsened, perhaps leading to moving overseas.

Between 2015 and 2020, there were 338,444 returnees or deportees from various nations across the world, with the United States and Mexico accounting for the lion’s share. During the 2018-2020 school year, 37,874 children were returned, with 60.4% being male and 39.6% being female. Mexico accounted for 87.5% of the total number of minor returns.

Who is a refugee in Honduras?

In Honduras, according to the Migration and Alien Law, refugees are those people who

1) “due to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, belonging to a certain social or political group, as well as their opinions are outside the country of their nationality and are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their country due to such fear;

2) Due to lack of nationality and for the reasons stated in the previous numeral, they are outside the country in which they had habitual residence. and cannot or do not want to return to it;

3) They have fled their country because their life, safety or freedom have been threatened for any of the following reasons;

a) Generalized, serious and continuous violence;

b) Foreign aggression understood as the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of the country of origin;

c) Internal armed conflicts arising between the armed forces of the country from which they are fleeing and armed forces or groups;

d) Massive, permanent and systematic violence against human rights; and,

e) That they suffer persecution through sexual violence or other forms of gender persecution based on violations of human rights enshrined in international instruments.

All those people who directly depend on the refugee and who constitute a family group will also be considered as refugees; likewise, the people who accompany the refugee or have joined him later, as long as they are under his dependency.

Refugee status will be lost for the following reasons:

1) Leaving the country without the corresponding permission from the competent authority;

2) Carry out acts that endanger the sovereignty and security of the State;

3) By committing acts that threaten good relations between Honduras and other States; and,

4) For the commission of crimes within the national territory. In the first case, deportation will proceed, and in the last three cases, expulsion. In the event of agreeing to the deportation or expulsion of an asylum seeker, under no circumstances will he be handed over to the country whose government claims him.

Honduras ọ dị mma maka ndị gbara ọsọ ndụ na ndị na-achọ mgbapu?

According to the US State Department, migrants, particularly refugees, are targeted by criminal gangs, which the Honduran government is unable or unwilling to regulate due to chronic corruption and linkages between government officials and criminal organisations.

In late April 2020, the US Department of Justice indicted the former head of the Honduran National Police, charging him of exploiting his law enforcement position as part of a conspiracy involving high-ranking Honduran politicians, including the current president. According to Human Rights Watch, “impunity for crime and human rights abuses is the norm” in Honduras.

Asylum seekers in Honduras risk danger not only because of their vulnerability as refugees, but also because of their race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Honduran women, children, and LGBT people are particularly vulnerable to violence, with many forced to flee the nation in search of protection. In Honduras, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant populations face threats and violence.

Sources: UNHCR Help on Honduras, Integral Human Development on Honduras

The cover image is somewhere in Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras. Photo by Erọn on Unsplash