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Labor Migration

What we do

Migration is an emerging area of research and operations for the IDB. The IDB has produced a series of regional and country studies on interregional migration and manages a major regional public goods project on migrant workers (RG-T1514). The Bank has led the first Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) project developing new human resource programs (training and intermediation) for internal migrants in Mexico, who travel to work in the Riviera Maya tourism industry, mainly from Chiapas and Yucatán (ME-T1041).


To deepen understanding of the new forces of labor migration, and support countries and the region's migrant workers with better policies and programs.

Why migration?

The IDB sees the flow of workers across borders as a major phenomenon reshaping the labor markets of the region. Interregional migration flows are increasing – both traditional flows such as Mexico and Guatemala, newer flows between countries of Central America and the Southern Cone, and flows to more recent countries of destination such as Spain and Japan. Those who migrate within Latin America and the Caribbean are typically poorer and less educated than those who migrate outside the region. Currently there are few programs and policies to assist the integration of migrant workers in the region and advance their human capital development. Migrant workers in the region face very different legal conditions and access to services depending on the country and subregion. With the greater globalization of labor markets within the region, the IDB is committed to improving conditions and protections for all workers, including those who migrate. The IDB also produces data on remittances related to migratory flows.


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