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On October 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of State stated that Governments of Mexico and the United States of America released a joint statement relating to the outcome of the eighth Annual U.S.-Mexico Bilateral High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights.
Officials from Mexico and the United States took part in this dialogue dealing with the mutual interest of human rights, involving Mexico and the United States, as well as among governments from other countries. Both countries emphasized their recommitment to do their best to promote and protect human rights.
Among the topics of discussion, the Media Note addressed many issues including international migration; human rights of LGBTI persons; discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; and the care for child migrants.
Mexico and the United States desire to follow through with their commitment from the 71st session of the General Assembly in September—the quest to adopt a “global compact for a safe, ordered, and regular migration in 2018.” Summit Co-host, President Peña Nieto made clear the need for “multilateral actions and solid commitments addressing the global challenge of responding to refugee needs.”
How are communities both in Mexico and in the United States preparing?
I don’t understand President Obama’s strategy for migration of the refugees, but as someone who has lived in Guatemala, Central America, and the United States; preparation is critical for the influx of people entering our communities at the local level. That preparation includes addressing the perils of human trafficking and the threat to public health.
Interestingly enough, on August 31, 2016, The New York Times reported that the United States had admitted its 10,000th Syrian refugee. The Syrian refugees are sprinkled across the United States from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles, California. The New York Times also said that the refugees receive help finding work and housing. After one year, the refugees need to make it on their own.
I’ve lived overseas, and unless one becomes communicative and educated in the language and culture of the people, it’s difficult to blend in with society and be accepted. Not always, but sometimes there are unwritten barriers to overcome for a successful transition into a new way of life. These walls make one vulnerable to human trafficking when income is not generated fast enough to provide for one’s self and family.
Secondly, one of many examples of public health issues concerns the health of girls and women. In “Creating an Interdisciplinary Medical Home for Survivors of Human Trafficking,” for Obstetrics and Gynecology, authors, Drs. Melinda McNiel, Theodore Held, and Noel Busch-Armendariz discuss the importance of the health care providers possessing the expertise in identifying victims of human trafficking. I’ll take it a step further. Health care workers need training in recognizing the difference between a girl or a woman who’s suffered from sex trafficking versus domestic abuse and how are their special needs going to be addressed. The authors talk about the model of an interdisciplinary medical home created in central Texas to function as a model for health care delivery for those who have been traumatized by human trafficking and hope to encourage other healthcare providers and stakeholders to be willing to establish similar medical centers in other parts of the United States.
As the landscape of our communities changes, we should take it upon ourselves to do our independent research concerning what types of crime are committed in our particular geographic neighborhoods and where we’re spending time on the Internet. We need to keep an eagle eye on our children whether they’re in kindergarten or away at school in a different state. Human trafficking and the incident and distribution of public health dangers affect not only refugees but also all of us in our corner of the globe.