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  • Transients in a migratory station in Mexico

    Transients in a migratory station in Mexico | Photo: Twitter/@lagunes28

Published 1 April 2020
Opinion

Migrant living conditions were already precarious before the health emergency caused by the virus.

Social organizations and human rights defenders in Mexico denounced the lack of hygiene and optimal sanitary conditions in migrant shelters in the country during Coronavirus' outbreak.

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Alejandra Macías Delgadillo, director of the organization Asylum Access Mexico, asked state institutions for a report on the preventive measures in these facilities to avoid the spread of COVID-19 among migrants. She said their living conditions were already precarious before the health emergency caused by the virus.

Macias insists on the lack of a plan for attending to the migrant population, in which diagnostic tests, conditions of isolation and supplies are provided in the event of a state of emergency in the centers where these people are held.

Other organizations such as the UN Agency for Refugees in Mexico requested attention and accompaniment for people who migrate. Also, Sin Fronteras promotes a culture of prevention among migrants and requests help for this population.

 A monitoring report by Assylum Access Mexico reveals that families with babies only receive a maximum of three diapers a day. Women only receive two sanitary pads during their menstruation. The organization found that in the southern stations, temperatures are very high and there is not enough ventilation or air conditioning. There are no efficient sanitation facilities and there is one for every 40 people. There are also no rooms separated by functionality and migrants eat, sleep and stay in the same space all the time. 

"Facing the COVID-19 emergency, we make an urgent call to the States of the Americas to guarantee the health and life of migrants and refugees without discrimination. No measure should imply violations of their human rights."

In these migratory stations where migrants stay, children and adults from different countries live together in a status close to overcrowding. They sleep, eat, live and play in the same area without basic hygiene conditions such as access to medical care, necessities or clean furniture and clothing, and without protocols to prevent the spread of the new virus.

On the other hand, it is reported that statistics show a decrease in the migrant refugee population after the health alarm at México due to COVID-19. Many of these people have returned to their countries under emergency protocols. 

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