Women from Mexico and Central America are continuing to try to flee their home nations in ever-increasing numbers, a new United Nations report has revealed. The report warns the United States that it needs to act with urgency as the refugees head for its southern borders to escape gang violence. “The dramatic refugee crises we are witnessing in the world today are not confined to the Middle East or Africa,” Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees, declared as he issues his new report on the crisis – Women on the Run – on Wednesday. “We are seeing another refugee situation unfolding in the Americas. This report is an early warning to raise awareness of the challenges refugee women face and a call to action to respond regionally to a looming refugee crisis.”
A year on from the first ‘surge’, which resulted in more than 66,000 unaccompanied immigrant minors and a similar number of minors with their mothers crossing the border into the United States from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the United Nations says that attempts to deal with the problem simply by increasing the focus on border control have failed. More unaccompanied immigrant minors entered the US in August this year than in the same month in 2014.
The number of families that have arrived in the 2015 fiscal year is the second highest ever recorded. The UN says that the US and other western nations need to acknowledge the refugee crisis and make sure asylum seekers are recognized and given legal and safe avenues.