Experts share best practices to improve the integration of migrants into labor markets
  • Authorities from Germany, the United States and Sweden are taking part in the workshop Public Employment Agencies and International Labor Migration in Latin America, organized by the IDB. 

  • At a time when migrant flows have shot up in the region, public employment agencies play a key role in facilitating the integration of international migrants into labor markets. 

BOGOTA – International experts in migration are taking part in an event organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aiming to strengthen the capabilities of public employment agencies in Latin America to cope with the growing number of migrants coming other countries in the region.  

The movements of migrants within Latin America have dramatically increased in the past three years and are projected to continue, making regional migration one of the big development challenges for the region.  

In December of 2018, more than 2.4 million Venezuelans had moved to another country in Latin America and the Caribbean. The total number could hit 5.4 million by December 2019, according to data from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration. Also, worth noting are migrant movements out of Haiti, from Nicaragua to Costa Rica, and flows from the Northern Triangle (made up of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) towards North America, to the United States and, increasingly, to Mexico.  

Migrant flows, especially when they happen suddenly, can have disproportionate impacts on certain regions and municipalities in receiving countries. However, migrants can also contribute to development and generate positive impacts on the economy.  

“Countries in our region need to create policies that ensure that migrants can integrate successfully in a society, diversify and complement their competencies and skills in the labor markets of receiving nations, as well as pay taxes and contribute to social security,” said Marcelo Cabrol, Manager of the Social Sector at the IDB. “Public employment agencies from countries like Germany and Sweden have experience in integrating millions of migrants and refugees, and we believe they can help Latin American agencies facilitate better integrate labor migrants into markets.” 

“These agencies will have a key role in managing these growing migrant flows and promote the creation of opportunities for migrants as well as benefits for receiving countries,” Cabrol added.  

The experience of developed countries has shown the importance of labor placement agencies prior to, during and after the movement of people, by creating specific instruments to help both migrants and employers. 

The event Public Employment Agencies and International Labor Migration in Latin America will take place in Bogotá, on Feb. 5.  

About the Inter-American Development Bank 

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. 

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David Rosas
Principal Specialist, Labor Markets Division