Human mobility is a fundamental feature of today’s world and of this region. Integrated markets, transnational networks, and the rapid evolution of communication technologies have contributed to the increase of the movement of migrant workers across international borders. Globalization led to a demand for professionals from other countries, with different manual and intellectual skills and with low, medium, and high qualifications, to work in different sectors of the economy.

According to the latest figures, it is estimated that 164 million people worldwide are migrant workers. The Americas and the Caribbean are not excluded from this migration phenomenon, has been more dynamic and complex in recent decades. There are different intraregional migration corridors in the region, especially to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.

IOM strives to protect migrant workers and to optimize the benefits of labor migration for both the countries of origin and destination as well as for the migrants themselves. In this sense, the Western Hemisphere Program promotes coordination with the relevant stakeholders at the national and regional level and seeks to improve the management of labor migration issues in order to promote regular and safe migration with the aim of protecting the labor rights of migrant workers.

 

Mechanisms that facilitate labour migration

Research project on mechanisms that facilitate labour migration

This study aims to address the lack of information on the mechanisms - that is, bilateral or multilateral agreements, memoranda of understanding, temporary work schemes, among others - that exist in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean to facilitate labor migration, as well as their status of implementation and its uses. Discover here the research proposal.

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Temporary employment permit application requirements (Belize)

Learn the requirements to apply for the hiring of foreign workers in Belize or to be a self-employed migrant.

Guyana Labour Study

This study aims to support Guyana’s progress in achieving orderly, safe and regular labour migration and mobility of people, through the collection of comprehensive and reliable data to support the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

COVID-19: Guidance for labour recruiters to enhance migrant worker protection during the current health crisis

This document offers preliminary guidance for labour recruiters to enhance their response to COVID-19 and, in particular, to offer advice to establish effective protections for migrant workers linked to their operations. 

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Course: Introduction to the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS)

 

This course provides participants with an overview of the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS).  This includes information on what ethical recruitment looks like in practice and what labour recruiters need to demonstrate in their management systems to be IRIS certified. While this course has been designed primarily for labour recruiters, it is relevant for anyone seeking more information on IRIS. 

Infosheet - Labor Migration

IOM seeks to promote regular and safe migration in order to protect the labor rights of migrant workers, as well as to promote cooperation agreements and the development of policies and programs between countries. Learn more IOM’s approach to labor migration.