Migration Advocates Warn of Surge in Sexual Violence at Major Route Hot Spots

As migration from South America to the US-Mexico border once again surges, advocates warn that sexual violence is likewise expected to rise, particularly among women and girls, Alícia Fàbregas reports for Al Jazeera. In 2023, the humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) treated 397 cases of sexual violence in the Darién Gap, a sliver of land connecting Colombia to Panama and major migration route. In one week alone, the group saw 59 cases. Those numbers, reported last month, mark a significant leap over the previous year’s total of 180. Most of the survivors were adult women. But 6 percent were minors, some as young as 11. Magdalena Bautista, the head of the Centre for Justice for Women, a state-run organization in Baja California, said demand for services increased in 2023. Whereas 47 migrant women came to the centre after experiences with sexual violence in 2022, that number rose to almost 60 this year.


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