The Time is Now: Mexico Must Grant Haitians Refugee Protections under the Cartagena

This report published by Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova A.C. and the Global Justice Clinic shows why Mexico–and, by extension, all countries that have signed the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees–must grant Haitians refugee status. 

Haitians living outside of Haiti often lack access to basic human rights, face anti-Black discrimination, and in many countries, live under the threat of being sent back to Haiti. Pathways to legal status in other countries are essential for Haitians seeking safety, but governments rarely grant legal status to Haitians and, when they do, protections are often temporary.

Mexico is one of the many countries that Haitian people have migrated to in the past decade. Tens of thousands of Haitians enter Mexico every year. Mexico has incorporated the Cartagena Declaration–which provides a broader definition of “refugee” than the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1966 Protocol–into its domestic law, legally binding it to grant refugee status to people who, based on an objective analysis of the circumstances in their country of origin, meet the elements of the declaration. This report establishes how three of the Declaration’s elements–generalized violence, massive violations of human rights, and other circumstances that seriously disturb public order–are pervasive in Haiti.

  • The Global Justice Clinic and Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova A.C. launched the report in Mexico City in late April 2024, and met with representatives of Mexican government agencies, including the Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados (Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance) and the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (Secretariat of Foreign Affairs) to urge them to apply the Cartagena Declaration to Haitian nationals.