Campaign launched to strengthen labour rights of migrant border workers

Guatemala, Mexico
10 December, 2021


The Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Guatemala, the National Institute of Migration (INM) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Mexico, together with the International Organization for Migration, are launching the campaign "For the labour rights of Guatemalan migrant border workers", to inform and raise awareness among the Guatemalan population about the importance of working regularly in Mexico and to promote the use of the Border Worker Visitor Card (TVTF).


The card allows migrants to work in four Mexican states: Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo and Tabasco. Some of the benefits that border migrant workers can obtain are: authorization to perform paid activities, enter and leave the four states and enjoy the labour rights granted by Mexico's Federal Labour Law, including: an eight-hour workday, overtime pay, medical service, vocational training, union membership and protection against sexual, physical and psychological harassment.


Between 2016 and 2021, the INM reported the issuance of 51,629 cards, proving the opportunity of this mechanism to offer safe and regular opportunities to working migrants in the cross-border region between Mexico and Guatemala.


The campaign "For the Labour Rights of Guatemalan Border Migrant Workers" will have a hotline from the Migration Attention Center of Mexico's National Migration Institute available at 800 00 46 264.


"It is essential that Guatemalans know how they can migrate in a safe, orderly and regular manner if they choose it as an option to perform in formal and dignified employment. With this campaign we seek to get closer to Guatemalans who are closer to the border," said Geovanna Salazar, Vice Minister of Social Welfare and Employment of Guatemala.


Likewise, Guatemalans interested in applying for the Border Worker Visitor's Card may request information on labour rights in the neighboring country by calling 1511, a line set up by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Guatemala. The card costs $416.00 Mexican pesos, is valid for one year and can be processed at the INM's facilities.

"The campaign messages will focus on the importance of working regularly in southern Mexico through the processing of the Border Worker Visitor Card (TVTF), from Mexico's INM. To this end, investments will be made in visuals that will be placed in cross-border municipalities, with a reinforcement of radio messages and in social networks. All this so that people can have access to timely, verified and official information," said Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for Guatemala and Honduras.

"The importance of access to accurate, timely and accessible information is an important tool to prevent fraud in international recruitment processes and to empower migrants, as well as to enforce their rights and prevent them from falling into situations of vulnerability and abuse, and even trafficking or smuggling networks," said Dana Graber, IOM Mexico Chief of Mission.


This initiative is an example of both States' compliance with the Global Compact on Migration, in particular Goal 3 of providing accurate and timely information at all stages of migration. Under this agreement, States are encouraged to promote multilingual information campaigns, thus the campaign "For the labour rights of Guatemalan migrant border workers" contemplates the dissemination of informative videos in four languages: Mam, Kaqchikel, K'iche' and Spanish.


It is important to mention that in order to process the Border Visitor's Card it is necessary for the contracting company to be registered with the Mexican National Migration Institute. Likewise, private employers must also register in order to guarantee workers' access to their rights (for example, in the case of domestic work).

This initiative is supported by IOM under the Western Hemisphere Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.