1. Description of refugee situation
Where does the population of concern live?
Mostly in urban settings.
Populations of concern and figures
Asylum seekers: 17
Internally displaced persons: 71,500
Deportee persons with protection needs: 3,700
(Source: Data provided by Government and partners to UNHCR)
Find live data, information and fact sheets on the refugee situation in El Salvador on the UNHCR Operational Portal as well as Global Focus.
2. El Salvador's response to the refugee situation
El Salvador is undertaking efforts to enhance protection mechanisms, the legal framework and policies to protect internally displaced persons and others individuals who are forced to flee.
Some of the continued work to develop this capacity includes technical support to the Government, in particular to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security through its Directorate of Victims, to support their efforts to meet the protection needs of the internally displaced population.
In 2018, a report on the ‘profiling study on internal displacement’ ’ revealed that in just over 1% of the families residing in the country, at least one of its members was forced to change her or his place of residence inside the country between 2006 and 2016 as a result of, or to avoid, violence. It also revealed that approximately 71,500 individuals are affected by internal displacement in El Salvador.
In line with its concern over this situation and in search of permanent solutions, the Government of El Salvador joined the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS in Spanish) in 2019. Since then, efforts have been made to bolster its strategy to address the causes of forced displacement in line with the GCR.
To this end, a technical team has been set up, bringing together government institutions such as the Ministries of Justice and Public Security, of Foreign Affairs, of Interior and Territorial Development, of Local Development, Education, Labour, and Health. This responds to the Government’s vision to work in an articulated manner to make a meaningful impact on the population through different projects, and implement the National Plan under the MIRPS.
Which partnerships have been strengthened or have been made possible thanks to the implementation of the Global Compact of Refugees?
Strategic alliances have been established between government entities involved in child protection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ombudsman Office, the Salvadorian Institute for Women Development (ISDEMU) to enhance the protection of persons affected by forced displacement. Using the coordination platform made available by MIRPS, the Government of El Salvador will support new strategic partnerships with a wide diversity of actors from civil society, international cooperation, private sector, the United Nations system, local governments to strengthen national capacities and legal frameworks for protection. These mechanisms shelters, comprehensive care centers, and protocols of action, but also involve the promotion of bills such as the Special Law for the Attention and Protection to Internally Displaced Persons, the Law for the granting of “International Protection and Statelessness”, and the dissemination of the new Law for Migration.
- Ministry of Justice and Public Security;
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- Ministry of Interior and Territorial Development;
- Ministry of Local Development;
- Ministry of Education;
- Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Health
- National Council for the Protection of the Child and Adolescent
- National Institute for the Comprehensive Protection and Care of Children and Adolescent
- Salvadorian Institute to Women Development
- Local Governments
UN Agencies: UNDP, IOM, UNICEF, WFP, OHCHR, UNFPA, OCHA, UNAIDS, WHO/PAHO, UN Women, UNODC.
- Aldeas Infantiles SOS
- COMCAVIS TRANS
- Plan International
- Save the Children
- International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC
- Norwegian Refugee Council - NRC
- Caritas El Salvador
- International Rescue Committee – IRC
- World Vision
- Medicos del Mundo
- Medicos sin Fronteras
- Spanish Red Cross
3. Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact
Partnerships established to advance on education, livelihoods, health and social inclusion are already transforming the lives of displaced people and their host communities.
Working towards achieving the objectives of the Global Compact, El Salvador has implemented the following measures:
- Reinforced national protection institutions to identify, refer and protect deported persons with protection needs at the reception center, borders and consular networks.
- Strengthened the institutional response of the National Directorate of Attention to Victims, Displacement and Forced Migration, and coordination with key actors to increase the protection capacity of forcibly displaced persons.
- Created and expanded safe spaces and shelters, specifically aimed at protecting women, children and families.
- Implemented community-based livelihoods and cash-based interventions across the country to strengthen the resilience of local populations who are impacted by forced displacement and people who are at risk due to violence. These interventions are supported by UNHCR and the World Food Programme and include, prevention, protection and solutions mechanisms.
- Support to local governments to help them respond to humanitarian needs of internally displaced persons and work with key actors to bring affected communities closer to durable solutions. To this end, the Corporation of Municipalities of El Salvador (COMURES) will be part of a strategic framework that comprises three phases: mapping of relevant actors and existing pathways to assist victims of violence, assessing needs, and creating standardized local pathways.