IOM and its partners support efforts for improving labor migration management in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean

Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Other, Panama
10 October, 2019

During the month of September, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and its partners in different countries of the region met with various actors with the goal of discussing labor migration management for the benefit of all sectors.

In conjunction with the Central American Federation of Agricultural and Agro-industrial Chambers (FECAGRO), IOM has begun developing a proposal to create a regional coordination mechanism for labor migration management in the agricultural sector in Central America and the Dominican Republic.

This mechanism will hopefully contribute to defining guidelines for the sector’s policies on managing the employment of migrant workers. The purpose is to facilitate appropriate management by employers in the regular migration flow of workers in the agro-industrial sector, in accordance with the legal framework of each country and the international human rights framework.

In Jamaica, focal points from IOM, the International Labor Organization (ILO), and Governments of various Caribbean nations met in the Consultation on Migration Governance in the Caribbean. From September 16 to 18, they explored opportunities and innovative initiatives for handling the challenges of labor migration. 

Additionally, in Guatemala, IOM and ILO coordinated the regional workshop “Labor Migration Governance: Fair Recruitment and Prevention of Fraudulent Practices.” It was held within the framework of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) and was attended by government institutions, bodies responsible for national statistics and censuses, IOM and ILO experts, employer organizations, worker organizations, and civil society.

The workshop encouraged participants to exchange information about the barriers and main challenges for effective governance of labor migration. It included a special session on recruitment commissions and related costs, and on the data collection methodology for measuring the costs of recruitment, in order to contribute to evidence-based decision-making. 

Also in Guatemala, in order to put this information in practice, a training workshop was held the 17th and 18th on labor regularization processes with central and local (border) government actors, including personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Ministry of Labor and Social Planning, the Guatemalan Migration Institute, and the Civil National Police, among other organizations.

The participants learned about the processes for the H2A visa program of the United States and discussed real cases of hiring and recruiting migrants within the framework of a regular migration system. The workshop also addressed the topic of ethical recruitment practices and existing mechanisms for fraud prevention and promoted the collection of data on the processes of recruitment and hiring.

All of these activities were conducted as part of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-The Caribbean, with the support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State of the United States.