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Tegucigalpa, Honduras - October 22

Cathleen Caron, Executive Director, has travelled twice to Honduras as she expands Global Workers to additional countries in Central America. The first visit was to the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa.  In the capital she met with over nine non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government representatives to start the process of identifying organizations to join the growing Global Workers Defender Network, and learn about the migration challenges in Honduras.  Honduras is a complicated country. While drug trafficking has caused a high level of violence for many years, the 2009 coup d’état has caused this country to teeter on the edge of a completely failed state. The level of political violence, manifested in assassinations of human rights activist and journalists, has reached levels worse than Guatemala, the historically violent country to the north currently presided over by a general accused of genocide. In this context, it is no surprise that Honduran nationals migrate (flee, really) more than any other Central American.  

The Catholic Church has done incredible work in this country around migration. Through two religious orders that focus on migration, the Scalabrinis and Jesuits, they have programs for returned/deported migrants, “mutilated” migrants (Hondurans who fall or are pushed off trains while riding through Mexico), family committees, disappeared migrants, and more. Although it is a wonderful structure to step into, they will not be our only partners.
 
Information on temporary foreign workers programs was sparse. The organizations in Honduras were aware of one of the Canadian recruiters, the International Organization on Migration (IOM), but not of the other two operating in their country, CIADEH and Amigo Laboral. As for the U.S. program, no one (not even the government) knew that it has been operating for over twenty years and with larger numbers of migrants. The organizations Cathleen met with were keen to learn about the rights of their migrants in the U.S. and Canada, and collaborate with us to provide services to reduce the exploitation of their nationals abroad. 

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