Posted at May 15th 2023 12:00 AM | Updated as of May 15th 2023 12:00 AM
The ILO study "Fair recruitment in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico: Assessing progress and addressing gaps", launched today, analyses the situation in these countries and provides examples of temporary work programmes between countries, government guides for enterprises and migrant workers, inspiring practices of private agencies, programmes of agricultural unions and experiences of trade union action.
Mexico City, 15 May 2023 (ILO News) - In recent decades, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico have formed part of one of the most important migration corridors in the world. Human mobility between or through the four countries responds to the search for better employment opportunities, forced displacement for various reasons, and return from transit or destination countries. It is therefore essential that government institutions, employers' organisations and workers' organisations strengthen their fair recruitment mechanisms for migrants.
"There is a need to strengthen the regional response to the challenges of labour migration and the keys lie in fair recruitment and social dialogue, and it is essential to involve employers' and workers' organisations in building these responses," said Noortje Denkers, ILO specialist on labour migration and human mobility.
Pedro Américo Furtado de Oliveira, Director of the ILO Office for Mexico and Cuba, said: "At the ILO we have noted in recent years the efforts that the countries of the region, both those of origin of migration and those of transit and destination, are making in terms of fair recruitment; and we are convinced that, following the path of cooperation that they have outlined, we will make considerable progress towards the commitments made by States and, more recently, in the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, during the last Summit of the Americas."
The Secretary of Labour and Social Welfare of Mexico, Luisa María Alcalde Luján, the Ministers of Labour and Social Welfare of El Salvador, Oscar Rolando Castro, and Guatemala, Rafael Eugenio Rodríguez Pellecer, as well as the heads of the Labour Migration units of those countries and of Honduras, and representatives of employers and trade unions in the region participated in the discussions at the launching event.
In addition, Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs of the U.S. Department of Labor, Thea Lee, and the Chargée d'Affaires of the Embassy of Canada in Mexico, Shauna Hemingway, provided comments during the event. Mrs. Hemingway took the opportunity to announce the three-year extension of a joint project of the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and the ILO on the socio-economic integration of migrants and refugees.
The document also sets out 21 specific recommendations for further progress in the implementation of the principles of fair recruitment. These include the regulation of private employment agencies, the recognition of migrant workers' skills, the strengthening of labour inspection, migrant workers' access to justice and institutional coordination within and between countries.
Similarly, as regards employers' and workers' organisations, the study suggests the need to actively involve them in the construction of policies, bilateral agreements and other instruments, within the framework of social dialogue.
In the last 15 years, the number of international migrants has grown faster in Latin America and the Caribbean than in any other region of the world: From 7 million to nearly 15 million, representing 5.3 per cent of international migrants. Currently, ministries and secretariats of labour, employers and workers have in progress successful national and regional mechanisms with potential for replication. For example, Mexico, which co-chairs with Italy the Global Fair Recruitment Initiative, is leading the implementation of good practices in the region.
According to the latest data from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in 2020, 11.2 million Mexicans were living abroad (the second country in the world, after India, with the largest diaspora), and 1.6 million Salvadorans, 1.4 million Guatemalans and close to one million Hondurans had also migrated.
Most of these migrants are workers.
Document available in English here.