Central and North American Countries Discuss Labor Migration Governance

9 October, 2018

Mexico City – Member countries of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) discussed on September 4th and 5th the challenges posed by growing labor migration dynamics in the Americas, at the Regional Workshop on the Governance of Labor Migration: Towards Integrated and Planned Policies.

Hosted by the Government of Mexico and supported by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the International Lbour Organization (ILO), the meeting was attended by representatives of ministries of foreign affairs, immigration, labor, employer and union sectors and civil society.

Over 25 million nationals in the Americas live outside their country of origin. The region faces a triple challenge: the integration of new and diverse profiles of immigrant workers in its labor market, added to the traditional intra-regional movements; the lack or scarcity of qualified human resources; and the reintegration of their own returned nationals.

The event tackled these challenges, pushing for renewed, comprehensive and strategically planned migratory and labour policies at the national, bilateral and regional levels, based on an adequate analysis of national and regional labour markets. Such policies would have to be accompanied by adequate administrative systems to facilitate, regulate and manage the movements of migrant workers in an agile manner.

“Mexico recognizes the vital importance of migrants and what they represent for the economy and for the development of a country, both those of our nationals who migrate, as well as those who come to our country in search of job opportunities,” said Ambassador Miguel Díaz Reynoso, General Director for Latin America at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico. “Because of this, Mexico has worked and cooperated to promote both bilateral and multilateral agreements that ensure absolute respect for the human rights of all people who migrate, as well as to encourage regular labor migration”.

“The involvement of all RCM countries in the planning of labor migration policies is paramount,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. “This means creating labor migration options that favor not only the attainment of a job but also the integration of migrants to the communities in the countries of destination and reintegration when they return to their country of origin”.

Francesco Carella, ILO Labor Migration Specialist said, “International conventions on migrant workers, such as ILO 97 and 143, help states to govern labor migration more effectively. But there are also other instruments that are not binding, and that can strengthen the formulation of labor migration policies, such as the Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration, the General Principles for Fair Recruitment and the Guiding principles on the access of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons to the labour market.”

The 60 participants highlighted the need for inter-institutional cooperation, which also involves the employer sector, trade unions, international organizations and civil society.

“This regional exchange is a space that has allowed us to know how the countries of the region collect information on labor migration flows, with a view to promoting good governance of labor migration and facilitate the development of comprehensive and inclusive policies,” said Pablo Rusconi Trigueros, Director of Immigration Department, Republic of El Salvador.

The meeting was co-organized by IOM, through the Mesoamerica Program, funded by the US of State Department and by ILO.

For more information, please contact Alexandra Bonnie, IOM San Jose, Tel: +506 2212 5304, Email: abonnie@iom.int