Llegue a Salvo (Made it Safe) is a tool that offers migrants a secure and anonymous way to let loved ones know they are safe, and to report hazards or abuses as they make the incredibly dangerous journey across Mexico to the US. At anytime, they can also observe all reported hazards & see them on a map. That way migrants can keep informed and stay safe as they travel.
How it will work
1. Migrants will be able to create a unique username, ideally before they set off, which they can share with trusted networks (family / friends / people you want to know your 'status' in transit)
2. The platform will be accessible either side of the border anywhere with a browser, including mobile (individual's mobile phones, internet cafes, migrant shelters).
3. Without any intermediaries it allows those who are traveling to communicate to loved ones information along their route. This can give family back home a sense of timeframes, expectations about where next, that could then help indicate when/where/if someone goes missing.
4. Migrants can opt to 'check in' along their route generating a timestamp and optional location data. Can also send other messages back/forward.
5. There will also be an option to click on a danger button which can log:
6. This will provide options for data entry: where, when, type of hazard (categories of information based on what we're looking for, or what others are looking for) and space for any additional information. V. simple and low resource intensive system.
7. Data on dangers can then be pulled into a database and made open & available in some sort of data visualization (most likely a map). Migrants can therefore both contribute information and also access reliable and useful information back about hazards on the route ahead.
Possible avenues for development at a later date
1. Currently we're not actively communicating out due to security issues i.e. taking people's mobile phones or other personal information.
2. We will most likely make it available on a map and should build to let people search by information category: (by location, time, routes ahead).
3. Amnesty could use data but primarily intended for CSOs, those who work to support migrants in transit, who could communicate and maybe mitigate risk.
4. Field deployment and capacity building. Identify shelters in Mexico that deal with the most people in transit, provide prepaid phones, video testimony etc
5. Options to create different types of accounts for inviduals and CSOs. Could allow people to enter other types of information that migrants could ultimately access: weather, water bottles, safe points (shelters), health centres etc
Every year, tens of thousands of women, men and children are ill-treated, abducted or raped as they travel through Mexico without legal permission as irregular migrants. The vast majority are headed for the US border in the hope of new life far from the crippling poverty they are fleeing. Their journey is one of the most dangerous in the world. Arbitrary detention and extortion by public officials are common. Many simply disappear without trace, kidnapped and killed, or robbed, assaulted and thrown off speeding trains. For those who survive the extreme insecurity and dangers of the journey through Mexico, reaching the US border brings its own hazards. Increased US immigration enforcement in certain border areas has pushed undocumented immigrants to use particularly dangerous routes through the US desert; hundreds of people die each year as a result.
Data collection is vital in order to have a full and comprehensive analysis of the factors that contribute to deaths and abuses across Mexico and along the US border. The lack of such data is a serious barrier to determining the steps that need to be taken to mitigate the prevalence of migrant deaths along the border. On top of this, migrants and their personal networks (family/friends) are often unable to communicate on the journey or receive information about hazards on the road ahead. Mobile phones may be stolen in transit making it difficult for migrants to send back messages to loved ones letting them know they are OK.
This addresses several aspects of these major challenges by:
- gathering data directly from migrants & civil society organizations that can help inform advocacy & thereby create change
- sharing information on hazards & risks with migrants & civil society organizations to help them stay informed and safe
- facilitating secure communications between migrants and their loved ones back home