Mexico enacts new asylum lawBy IANS
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Mexico City, Jan 27 (IANS/EFE) President Felipe Calderon signed into law Wednesday a measure aimed at bringing Mexico’s handling of refugee and political asylum claims into line with international agreements.
The law was drafted “taking into account the model legislation of the (office of the) United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees”, Calderon said during the signing ceremony in Mexico City.
Mexico also sought input from domestic and international organisations.
From now on, Mexico will consider applications for refugee status from any person who cites a fear of being “persecuted for his race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinions”, the president said.
Gender persecution will also be considered legitimate grounds for an asylum claim, he said
Mexico likewise pledges not to send any asylum seeker or refugee to a country where her life, liberty or safety would be at risk, Calderon said.
Another provisions of the law protects legitimate refugees and asylum seekers from being prosecuted for illegally entering the country, and officially recognised refugees will have a right to work as well as access to health care and education.
Calderon pointed out that Mexico gave asylum to people fleeing the Spanish Civil War, World War II, Latin American military regimes, civil conflicts in Central America and, most recently, survivors of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.