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 for labour migration in Mesoamerica

Recognizing the importance of labour migration flows for countries of origin and destination, the governments of the region have developed actions aimed at facilitating and regulating migratory movements for labour purposes. This study analyzes the existing mechanisms classified into four types: bilateral agreements, memoranda of understanding, temporary labor schemes, and free trade agreements with labour migration clauses.

 

 

Forum with Diaspora Organizations

This forum was conducted by the Regional Conference on Migration. In conmemoration of June 16, International Day of Family Remittances, panel participants discussed challenges to make remittances more affordable and how diaspora members can be included in the growth of their communities.

Agricultural workers water a lettuce crop

Research study: recruitment practices for migrant workers in Central America and Mexico

Click to read the details of the study, being conducted between February and July 2021.

 

 

Executive summary: Engaging Central American and Mexican Diasporas. Opportunities and Challenges

Discover the main findings of a pioneer IOM study that, building from an exhaustive research of more than 1000 diaspora organizations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central America, has gathered information on more than 100 of them and started an interactiva map on the iDiaspora platform.
 

Migrant workers in Colombia. Photo by Rocío Sanz for IOM.

Infosheet: global policy network to promote ethical recruitment

IOM's new Global Policy Network to promote ethical recruitment is focused on addressing shortcomings in regulation and enforcement that can exacerbate vulnerabilities and lead to gaps in the protection of migrant workers. Download the infosheet that describes the pillars on which the network's activities will be conducted.

Agricultural worker carries a bucket of produce on their back

The Montreal Recommendations on Recruitment: A Road Map towards Better Regulation

This resource presents policymakers and regulators with practical guidance and ideas to improve regulation and oversight of international recruitment and protection of migrant workers. Thus, it is an important milestone in global efforts to promote ethical recruitment.

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.

Young man looks at the camera

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.