UNHCR, UNICEF and IOM applaud Belize for ongoing Amnesty Program
Three United Nations-related bodies – UNICEF, UNHCR and the IOM – have applauded Belize for its ongoing Amnesty Program and particularly, its decision to extend the program for another three months. At the end of last year, the Government announced the launch of the program in August 2022, which is geared at granting permanent residency to migrants and a complementary protection pathway to refugees and asylum-seekers, who qualify and have lived in the country for years. The UN agencies say they’ve supported almost 6,700 applicants, more than 50% of the total number thus far, to help them prepare documents for their applications. They’ve been able to do this through mobile clinics, particularly in rural areas. Specifically, the IOM and UNICEF have covered costs for translations of foreign documents, photos, medical services and police records for those amnesty applications. The UNHCR has also covered the cost of permanent residency for the most vulnerable, who were granted the pathway by the Belize Government. The agencies also say they will continue their social services interventions, which include education, child protection and water and sanitation (WASH) programs to help migrants, asylum-seekers, refugees and host communities.