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Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Refugee Status Determination Procedures in Mexico San José, Costa Rica 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Refugee Status Determination Procedures in Mexico San José, Costa Rica 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Refugee Status Determination Procedures in Mexico San José, Costa Rica 2008

2 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Background From 1982 to 2002, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) determined the status of refugees in Mexico under his mandate since Mexico was not yet part of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. From 1982 to 2002, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) determined the status of refugees in Mexico under his mandate since Mexico was not yet part of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. In June 2000, Mexico adhered to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, thus taking on the commitments stipulated by these instruments for protection of and assistance to refugees. In June 2000, Mexico adhered to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, thus taking on the commitments stipulated by these instruments for protection of and assistance to refugees. Since 2002, the Mexican Government determines the status of refugee for individual cases. Since 2002, the Mexican Government determines the status of refugee for individual cases.

3 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados COMAR The Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados (COMAR – Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance) is a Government agency that is responsible for protection of and assistance to refugees in Mexico. The Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados (COMAR – Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance) is a Government agency that is responsible for protection of and assistance to refugees in Mexico. COMAR is a permanent inter-secretarial entity that was established by Presidential Accord in July COMAR is a permanent inter-secretarial entity that was established by Presidential Accord in July 1980.

4 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Objectives of COMAR To analyze requests for acknowledgment of refugee status in order to issue an opinion; To analyze requests for acknowledgment of refugee status in order to issue an opinion; To participate in procedures for determining refugee status; To participate in procedures for determining refugee status; To provide protection and institutional assistance to acknowledged refugees; To provide protection and institutional assistance to acknowledged refugees; To promote the search for lasting solutions (integration, voluntary return, and resettlement); To promote the search for lasting solutions (integration, voluntary return, and resettlement); To establish the foundations for cooperation with national and international organizations. To establish the foundations for cooperation with national and international organizations.

5 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados What are the procedures to request acknowledgment of refugee status in Mexico?

6 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Eligibility Process Eligibility Process Application COMAR Interview Analysis Revision Opinion CE Recommendation INM Positive or Negative Resolution INM - Headquarters - Regional Representatives COMAR - Federal District - State Delegations

7 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Procedures Arrested applicants need to state – verbally or in written form – their intention to apply for acknowledgment of refugee status. Arrested applicants need to state – verbally or in written form – their intention to apply for acknowledgment of refugee status. Applicants that have not been arrested can visit the INM offices or the COMAR offices. COMAR will then notify the INM of the submitted application. Applicants that have not been arrested can visit the INM offices or the COMAR offices. COMAR will then notify the INM of the submitted application.

8 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Procedures Once the application has been received, the principles of non-refoulement, confidentiality, and non-discrimination are applied. Once the application has been received, the principles of non-refoulement, confidentiality, and non-discrimination are applied. Applicants that have not been arrested have the right to receive a Proof of Application for Refugee Status, issued by the INM. Applicants that have not been arrested have the right to receive a Proof of Application for Refugee Status, issued by the INM. For applicants that have been arrested, relevant actions are carried out to record that the application has been submitted. For applicants that have been arrested, relevant actions are carried out to record that the application has been submitted.

9 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Procedures COMAR examines the application and carries out an analysis consisting of: COMAR examines the application and carries out an analysis consisting of: A Personal Interview A Personal Interview With a gender approach and the presence of an interpreter where required Investigation Investigation Searching information from the country of origin Requesting information from the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs Requesting information from International Organizations (UNHCR) Consultation with CISEN Documents submitted by applicant Analysis of well-founded fear of persecution and/or risk to life, safety, or freedom Analysis of well-founded fear of persecution and/or risk to life, safety, or freedom legislation Interpretation legislation Interpretation Credibility Assessment Credibility Assessment Recommendation Recommendation

10 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Procedures COMAR submits an opinion to the Eligibility Committee consisting of the following : COMAR submits an opinion to the Eligibility Committee consisting of the following : Sub-Secretariat of Population, Migration, and Religious Matters (Subsecretaria de Población, Migración y Asuntos Religiosos), as Chairman Sub-Secretariat of Population, Migration, and Religious Matters (Subsecretaria de Población, Migración y Asuntos Religiosos), as Chairman A representative of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores) A representative of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores) A representative of the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social) A representative of the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social) A representative of the National Migration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración - INM) A representative of the National Migration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración - INM) A representative of COMAR A representative of COMAR

11 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Procedures The Committee, in turn, recommends that the INM issue a well-founded Resolution of Acknowledgment or Non- Acknowledgment of Refugee Status. The Committee, in turn, recommends that the INM issue a well-founded Resolution of Acknowledgment or Non- Acknowledgment of Refugee Status. Usually it takes 5 weeks to reach this stage of the process. Usually it takes 5 weeks to reach this stage of the process. Applicants who are not acknowledged as refugees by the Eligibility Committee have the right to request a revision of this decision to INM within 15 working days of being notified. Applicants who are not acknowledged as refugees by the Eligibility Committee have the right to request a revision of this decision to INM within 15 working days of being notified.

12 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Rights of Applicants To enjoy individual guarantees as established by the Constitution of Mexico; To enjoy individual guarantees as established by the Constitution of Mexico; Not to be deported or expelled while their application is being examined; Not to be deported or expelled while their application is being examined; To have access to the procedure free of charge; To have access to the procedure free of charge; Respect of the confidentiality of any information provided by applicants; Respect of the confidentiality of any information provided by applicants; Authorities of the country of origin will not be notified regarding the applicants requests; Authorities of the country of origin will not be notified regarding the applicants requests; To have access to an interpreter in a language that the applicant understands; To have access to an interpreter in a language that the applicant understands; To receive a proof stating that this person is applying for the status of refugee; To receive a proof stating that this person is applying for the status of refugee; Not to be discriminated against for any reason; Not to be discriminated against for any reason; To receive international protection. To receive international protection.

13 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Rights of Refugees Not to be punished for having entered the country without the required documents; Not to be punished for having entered the country without the required documents; To receive a Non-Immigrant Refugee immigration document - FM3 – certifying the Refugees legal stay; To receive a Non-Immigrant Refugee immigration document - FM3 – certifying the Refugees legal stay; To engage in any lucrative or non-lucrative activities, provided they are legal and honorable (no need to specify types of activities); To engage in any lucrative or non-lucrative activities, provided they are legal and honorable (no need to specify types of activities); To move freely within Mexican territory and to reside in any location within the Mexican Republic; To move freely within Mexican territory and to reside in any location within the Mexican Republic; To enter and exit the country multiple times with due authorization by the INM (based on recommendations by COMAR); To enter and exit the country multiple times with due authorization by the INM (based on recommendations by COMAR); If the Refugee does not have a valid passport, to have an identity and travel document issued by the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs. If the Refugee does not have a valid passport, to have an identity and travel document issued by the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs.

14 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Rights of Refugees To be exempt from payment of fees for Immigration services, except for procedures such as exit and entry permits, marriage permits, or any fines incurred due to lack of compliance with any of the Refugees obligations relating to Immigration; To be exempt from payment of fees for Immigration services, except for procedures such as exit and entry permits, marriage permits, or any fines incurred due to lack of compliance with any of the Refugees obligations relating to Immigration; To request family reunification with spouse or partner, children, and parents; To request family reunification with spouse or partner, children, and parents; To have access to public health services and basic education. To have access to public health services and basic education.

15 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Obligations To provide truthful and complete information to authorities regarding the reasons why the Refugee left the country of origin or country of residence. To provide truthful and complete information to authorities regarding the reasons why the Refugee left the country of origin or country of residence. To comply with obligations regarding immigration matters, such as: To request an extension of the identity and travel document, to notify any changes in home address, marital status, birth of children, to request permission to leave the country, etc. To comply with obligations regarding immigration matters, such as: To request an extension of the identity and travel document, to notify any changes in home address, marital status, birth of children, to request permission to leave the country, etc. To notify about exiting Mexico in order to travel to a country other than the country that the Refugee had to leave due to persecution or threats. To notify about exiting Mexico in order to travel to a country other than the country that the Refugee had to leave due to persecution or threats.

16 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados (COMAR) Hamburgo #135 – 4to. piso Colonia Juárez Delegación Cuauhtémoc 06600, México, D. F. Bárbara Pérez Martínez Treviño Directora de Protección (Director of Protection) Tel. (52) (55)

17 Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados COMAR Delegation in Tapachula COMAR Delegation in Tapachula Prolongación Central Oriente s/n, Plaza Kamico Locales 6,7 y 8 Colonia Guadalupana Tapachula, Chiapas Tel. (52)(962) Ext. 103 al 105 y 108 COMAR Delegation in Chetumal COMAR Delegation in Chetumal Avenida Centenario # 582 Colonia Isabel Tenorio Chetumal, Quintana Roo Tel. (52)(983)


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