UN children's agency says it is worried about the possibility of family separation, adding that many families lost documents during their travels.

Tapachula city has become a meeting point for tens of thousands of migrants leaving in caravans to the north of the country.
Tapachula city has become a meeting point for tens of thousands of migrants leaving in caravans to the north of the country. (Reuters Archive)

Thousands of migrant children and adolescents living in a makeshift camp in southern Mexico are at risk of malnutrition, disease and potentially being separated from their families, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said.

Pressia Arifin-Cabo, the deputy representative for UNICEF Mexico, said in a recorded video on Wednesday that the situation is critical.

"There are many people and right now that's very concerning because of Covid," she said. "There's also a lot of garbage, there are no places where they can access water, where they can wash or attend to their nutritional needs."

Arifin-Cabo also said UNICEF is particularly worried about the possibility of family separation, adding that many families lost documents during their travels north.

Migrants overwhelm Tapachula city

Camping outside a soccer stadium in the southern city of Tapachula, thousands of migrants including many children are awaiting responses to their requests for asylum or humanitarian visas.

Tapachula has become a meeting point for tens of thousands of migrants leaving in caravans to the north of the country.

Mexican authorities have been attempting to dismantle the camp near the border with Guatemala and started to transfer migrants from Tapachula to other regions, promising to regularise their situation.

Mexico's immigration authority and the government agency responsible for providing assistance to children and adolescents did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Some 40 percent of the 84,600 refugee applicants in Mexico are minors, according to official data.

Many hope to eventually request asylum in the United States, which last week relaunched the controversial Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that obliges asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for US immigration hearings.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies