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Diego on ‘Children Fleeing’ Press Conference in Mexico

Last week Diego attended in Mexico City a press conference in support of the international protection needs of refugee children and to raise funds for UNHCR programs, at Memory and Tolerance Museum.

The crisis that’s taking place in his own country has pushed him to partner with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for its Niñez que huye (Children on the Run) campaign. With this newly launched initiative, UNHCR seeks to raise $18 million to provide a safe haven for Central American refugees, most of whom are children. “An ever-greater number of children are fleeing extortion, forced recruitment, exploitation and sexual violence across the region,” said Renata Dubini, UNHCR’s Director for the Americas in a statement. “More funds are urgently needed to provide them and their families with a place of safety.”

But, as Luna argues, Mexicans must also play a role in this campaign: they must tackle their own xenophobia and put pressure on their government. He said during the press conference he was really ashamed on his government’s hypocrisy, because many of these families, many of these children are treated like criminals in Mexico.

“It’s easy to talk about the Syrian refugee crisis, but it costs us to recognize what’s happening here,” Luna said. “Today Mexico … is no longer just a place of transit, it’s become the place that many people want to reach.”

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