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Violence and Protection in the North of Central America, REDLAC Protection Snapshot #9: The Impact of Violence on the Right to Health for Displaced Persons in the North of Central America and Mexico (June 2020)

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In communities controlled by criminal groups in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, there are significant barriers to accessing the right to health. This can trigger internal and cross-border displacement, but fleeing to a neighbouring country, such as Mexico, does not guarantee access to adequate healthcare.

In communities controlled by criminal groups in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, there are significant barriers to accessing the right to health. Ongoing generalised violence, with invisible barriers in communities, healthcare workers who can no longer access neighbourhoods, and a lack of trust in authorities, mean that people are often unable to access basic services. This can trigger internal and cross-border displacement, but fleeing to a neighbouring country, such as Mexico, does not guarantee access to adequate healthcare.

People living in the North of Central America (NCA) face significant barriers to accessing fundamental rights such as the right to health, in turn triggering both internal and cross-border displacement. In order to call attention to the protection situation in this region, the Norwegian Refugee Council is leading a series of snapshot reports on "Violence and protection in North of Central America and Mexico".

This ninth report entitled: “The Impact of Violence on the Right to Health for Displaced Persons” looks at the right to health in the NCA and Mexico, at how generalised violence can cause health problems that force people to become displaced, and how displaced people continue to face barriers to accessing healthcare on the migration route and in host countries.

The snapshot also reviews how the state responses to Covid-19 across the region have increased the vulnerability of displaced persons. Border closures, reduced response capacities (of both governments and civil society organisations), as well as the indefinite suspension of asylum and refugee status determination procedures, have further deteriorated the physical and mental health of displaced people.