During the first half of 2019, asylum claims in Mexico increased by 204 per-cent over the same period of 2018. As of June 2019, 31,355 persons had sought asylum. Of these, 30 per-cent were girls, boys and adolescents and 30 per-cent were women. UNHCR now projects over 80,000 claimants for 2019. The increase of asylum claims confirms the trends from previous years. An increasing number of persons in need of international protection see Mexico as a country of asylum rather than merely of transit.
Efforts to strengthen the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) have started to show results. COMAR has been able to register 204 per-cent more asylum claims than during the first half of 2018 and is simplifying procedures, including through the application of the Cartagena Declaration. However, obstacles persist as its budget has been further reduced, obliging COMAR to further rely on UNHCR support and creating a serious concern of long-term sustainability.