Description of refugee situation
Where does the population of concern live?
Mostly in urban settings.
Population of concern category
Refugees and asylum seekers (from NCA)
Refugees and asylum seekers (from Nicaragua)
IPDs (in Honduras)
IDPs (in El Salvador)
Deportees (from Mex and USA)
Urban and rural
Urban and rural
Urban and rural
Urban and rural)
* As of November 2019
An overview of how the Government has structured its ability to respond to the refugee situation, with the support of partners.
The Marco Integral Regional para la Protección y Soluciones, MIRPS in its Spanish acronym, is a State-led initiative, supported by the Organization of American States (OAS), UNHCR together with the wider UN system, and the Central American Integration System (SICA). It brings together Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and is supported by a range of cooperating States and actors. The MIRPS is the result of an extensive consultation process that translated national priorities and commitments into comprehensive and detailed national plans.
The MIRPS is a regional cooperation framework between countries of origin, transit, and destination. It promotes responsibility-sharing mechanisms, strengthens protection, and enhances solutions for refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, and returnees with international protection needs.
This regional process is also a clear expression of collaboration between governments, civil society, private sector, academia, regional and international organizations and development banks. The MIRPS serves as a practical tool to mobilize the support of the international community. In addition, MIRPS States agreed to coordinate the development of programmes that foster regional cooperation and generate support for the implementation of regional plans. As a state-led process in the second year of implementation, the MIRPS is supported by a rotating presidency. Mexico assumed the first term for 2019. The presidency for 2020 will be selected by vote.
The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Labour, and Government of all 6 participating States are involved.
The MIRPS benefits from the engagement of national human rights institutions, regional and international organizations, civil society organizations (UNSDG LAC, NRC, ICRC, World Vision, HIAS, RET, national NGOs), academia, the private sector, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS),UNHCR, the General Secretariat of the Central American Integration System (SG-SICA), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) and the United Nations System.
Which partnerships have been strengthened or have been made possible thanks to the implementation of the Global Compact of Refugees?
Partnerships has been strengthened through the technical secretariat that supports MIRPS countries to implement their commitments, while coordinating the response from a wide range of stakeholders.
The MIRPS strengthens partnerships and collaboration by putting forward action plans of 15 regional and international organizations, including both SICA and the OAS. These action plans complement the national chapters of MIRPS countries by proposing cross-border, coordinated programmes and initiatives. Further, the MIRPS includes ten cooperating States that have committed to actively support the MIRPS, identifying specific areas they will support through financial assistance and technical cooperation. In line with the spirit of the 2014 Brazil Plan of Action, four States from South America participate in this shared responsibility mechanism, as an example of South-South cooperation.
Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact
Here’s a summary of how partnerships working in education, livelihoods, health and social inclusion have already transformed the lives of refugees and their hosts.
During the implementation of MIRPS, partners have been key in providing different types of support, from advocacy at the highest political level to the deployment of emergency humanitarian assistance, all in line with the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees.
Objective 1, easing pressures on host countries: The Central American Integration System (SICA) has been a key actor in the consolidation of leadership of States in the region. As part of this work, SICA promotes regional meetings of national refugee commissions – this is designed to strengthen the exchange of experiences and opportunities that the MIRPS puts forward in response to forced displacement. It also implements, in collaboration with UNHCR, a pilot project in the border municipality of Ocotepeque, Honduras, through which groups of displaced people and migrants cross. This project is the result of local leadership to coordinate several institutions in the reception and referral on cases of violence, particularly against women, one of the major causes of flight in the north of Central America.
Moreover, considering the need to establish comprehensive approaches, across the humanitarian and development spectrum, to address human mobility in the region, UNHCR, IOM and UNICEF, and in the case of El Salvador with the World Food Programme (WFP), are working on the development of immediate response plans. This is based on the need to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced people, enabling refugees and migrants to have access to water, nutrition, medical assistance, psychosocial support, temporary shelter and specialized protection services according to the immediate needs identified in each country. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been key in providing assistance and facilitating access to emergency basic services for people affected by violence in Central America. The ICRC has contributed to improving the infrastructure of shelters administered by NGOs to benefit displaced people and migrants and has provided assistance to people gravely wounded or amputated as a result of their displacement towards the northern Mexican border. Since 2018, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have been working on the Comprehensive Development Plan (referred to as the PDI), which seeks to respond to the root or structural causes of migration from the sub-region, based around 4 strategic pillars.
Objective 2, enhancing refugee self-reliance: In response to the complexities of forced displacement in the region, active support and contributions from civil society, non-governmental organizations and inter-government entities are Critical. Together they also work towards finding durable solutions. In light of the situation in the region, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, with the technical support from the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (CEPAL), set the basis to create a comprehensive development plan (known as PDI in Spanish) which aims to ensure people are not forced to flee through addressing the root causes of forced displacement and migration.
Objective 3, expanding access to third country solutions: The Protection Transfer Arrangement (PTA) programme represents an innovative life-saving mechanism that provides individuals who are exposed to extreme risks in their country of origin with a safe and legal access to another country, often via a country of transit. Through the PTA, since 2016, 3,757 people were identified as being at imminent risk in their countries of origin, 1,746 of them were submitted to the programme, and at the end of September 2019, 689 people have found a safe place to rebuild their lives in the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Brazil and Uruguay. Despite being a solution for a limited number of people, it is a clear example of expanding third country options and innovative approaches to protect people who have no other choice but to flee.
Objective 4, supporting conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity: The Protection Sub Group of the Regional IASC Working Group – Risk, Emergency and Disaster (REDLAC), is a regional coordination and analysis platform for humanitarian action. Ithas facilitated the analysis of the wide-spread structural violence in the region that drives displacement.. This analysis has materialized in thematic reports. These publications are the result of a joint position of humanitarian organizations that are present in the region; they present a common understanding of the needs and gaps of the current response. The analysis obtained provides greater visibility to the protection situation in the North of Central America (NCA) at the regional and global levels and strengthen the advocacy efforts before governments and donors. It has also become a tool that supports decision makings processes within country protection groups in the NCA.
In addition, the United Nations System launched the joint initiative for the reduction of chronic violence. It has mapped UN interventions currently being implemented in the countries to reduce chronic violence. The initiative also identifies gaps and opportunities and it completed a baseline study on the situation of violence in three countries (2018), as well as a full index of chronic violence to monitor violence in these countries and the identification of priority interventions.
For more specific information about projects in the MIRPS, please visit our Good Practices page.