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Kat Graham Shines Light on Central America Refugees

Kat Graham spent time with Christopher and his family in Tapachula, Mexico, where they wait for their asylum petition to be processed.

Photo credit: Brian Reich

Actress Kat Graham, a UN Refugee Agency High Profile Supporter, has travelled along the Guatemala-Mexico border where she met face to face with women and children forced to flee extreme violence in Central America amid a worsening regional refugee situation.

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"I met women and their children, families that are running for their very lives from awful situations no one should have to live with," Graham said of her trip in June.

"These people are refugees and need the protection that comes with such a status. So many of them have uncertain futures, the least we can do is everything we can while they're on such a dangerous journey."

Visiting shelters in northern Guatemala and southern Mexico along the Suchiate River, Graham talked with women and children fleeing violence by ruthless armed criminal groups in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – an area known as the "Northern Triangle."

At least 140,000 people from these Central American countries were forced to flee their homelands last year alone to escape the violence. Some reached the United States in search of help while others have requested asylum in Mexico and other countries in the region.

"Many of these people are refugees plain and simple," said Shelly Pitterman, head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Washington DC. "Kat has seen this for herself and we hope her work will help others understand this so that the refugees can get the protection and assistance they deserve."

UNHCR continues to urge all governments in the region to protect these refugees. The children, women and men fleeing the Northern Triangle deserve to be acknowledged and safe from violence. We stand ready to support governments in the required humanitarian response.

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