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Refugees in Mexico and the Dynamics of Asylum in the Americas
talk - Saturday, March 16, 3pm
Camino Silvestre, Correo

March 17, 2024

The presentation will be in English and Spanish

Mexico is among the top five countries with the highest number of new asylum applications worldwide. In 2023, more than 140,000 people sought asylum through the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance, a record number. UNHCR provided structural, financial and technical support to the Mexican authorities and continued strengthening the asylum system.

Mexico also receives hundreds of thousands of people who may be in transit to the United States. According to UNHCR's surveys, more than half of the people that arrive in Mexico in an irregular situation identify violence, insecurity, and threats as the main reasons for fleeing their country of origin, factors that would indicate that a significant number may need international protection.

People on the move have changed in recent years: we no longer see young men of productive age, but families leaving their countries in search of safety and a better future. Four out of every ten people seeking asylum in Mexico are women, and almost a quarter are children, leading to greater vulnerabilities and needs.

Giovanni Lepri, UNHCR's Representative in Mexico, will give a presentation in San Miguel de Allende, on Saturday afternoon at Camino Silvestre, entitled “Mexico: challenges and opportunities of a country of asylum". UNHCR has the mandate to protect refugees globally. In Mexico, UNHCR supports government efforts to identify people who need international protection and direct them to the refugee status determination procedure. In addition, UNHCR seeks to protect the refugees' access to health, education, decent work, and integration in the societies that receive them in states like Guanajuato.

Giovanni will discuss UNHCR's work with civil society shelters across the country, its legal aid work and its large-scale relocation and employment program whereby refugees are moved from border areas and matched to jobs in central and northern cities.

Giovanni Lepri was born and raised in Milan, where he got a degree from the Milan State University on Political Science, specialized in International Relations and Law. He got a master's in public policy from the University of London, where he also studied economics. He attended the Forced Migration School at Oxford University.

Mr. Lepri started his career with the United Nations in New York, at the Economic and Social Affairs Department, and later joined the World Food Program in Honduras. He joined the UN Refugee Agency in 1999 and since then, he has held many positions within the organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Sudan, Mozambique, Colombia, Italy and Greece. He arrived in Mexico in 2019, as Deputy Representative. In July 2021 he took office as Representative, UNHCR Mexico. Mr. Lepri is fluent in Italian, French, Spanish and English. Giovanni is married and has three children.



Refugees in Mexico and the dynamics of Asylum in the Americas
Saturday, March 16 3-4pm
Camino Silvestre, Correo 43


Saturday, March 16, 5pm, after the talk:
a film about the refugees



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