Families are continuing to flee poverty, violence, and other challenges in Central America. It’s time to address the root causes of migration and keep women and children safe!
We routinely see news stories of mass arrivals and more caravans leaving Central American countries and headed North. Many of these news stories cite the prevalence of violence throughout this region as a key factor. While that is true, more specifically, violence against women and children is what drives the desperation that families feel to give their children a better life.
A glimpse into Central America's current reality:
- 67 adolescents are victims of homicide every day. That rate is five times higher than the global average.
- In Latin America, 63% of children under 15 years old experience violent discipline at home (psychological or physical) and 43% of children under 15 years old are subject to corporal punishment at home.
- In Guatemala, 53.8% of homes with children under 18 years old suffer from multidimensional child poverty.
World Vision continues efforts to address the root causes of migration from Central America through our partnership with USAID, the U.S. Department of Labor, other U.S. government agencies, and private partners. Many of our projects, both publicly and privately funded, focus on creating economic opportunities and safety for vulnerable children and their families. In this way, we work to alleviate the desperation these families feel.
Through World Vision’s advocacy, we continue to engage the U.S. Congress and the Biden Administration regarding foreign assistance and foreign policy in Central America. One of the goals of this advocacy is to continue to build a long-term, bipartisan commitment to continue addressing these root causes of migration. To this end, World Vision has now endorsed a new piece of legislation, the Central America Women and Children Protection Act.
This bill would establish partnerships and action plans with Central American governments to build protection capacities for women and children. It would increase support services for survivors of violence while increasing the capacity and response of the justice system in holding perpetrators accountable for violent crimes against women and children. Additionally, it would tap local organizations to provide the needed care for vulnerable children and their families! This specific focus on addressing the protection needs of women and children can serve as a catalyst in improving conditions on the ground, creating more economic opportunity, educational attainment, and the uplifting of communities as a whole.
Please reach out to your elected officials and encourage them to focus on addressing the root causes of migration and protecting women and children facing violence!