Washington, DC – As Vice President Kamala Harris travels to Honduras to lead a U.S. delegation for the inauguration of President-elect Xiomara Castro, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) urges the governments to embark on a partnership grounded in a shared commitment to children’s safety both in their home country and when they cross international borders, including concrete steps to provide opportunities to thrive and to offer protection for those who cannot stay and face harm.
“Vice President Harris’ visit marks a critical opportunity for the United States to commit to partnering with Honduras to strengthen the rights and protection of children,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “Working together, the United States and Honduras can transform the landscape for children by reducing violence, expanding safeguards, and elevating children’s rights.”
KIND also encourages Vice President Harris to use the trip to emphasize the United States’ commitment to working with the Honduran government and civil society to address gender-based violence. KIND’s recent report Dual Crises documents how gender-based violence, one of the main drivers of migration from Central America, has increased during the pandemic and has greatly impacted the safety of children. The U.S. government should ensure that its aid programs continue to support services for survivors and their families, including the expansion of programs to reach children affected by gender-based violence.
Addressing the root causes of migration is a necessary, long-term goal. But today, without proper support to ensure their safety at home, the number of children and other vulnerable groups migrating alone is an urgent reminder that the Biden Administration should follow through on its promise to expand legal pathways for protection before children make this dangerous journey. The U.S. government should turn from policies of deterrence and enforcement that endanger the lives of those migrating and instead work to put in place policies and systems that ensure all children are safe throughout their journey.
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