Four countries discuss the role of their consular staff in protecting migrant workers
On September 23, a multilateral table sponsored by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) brought together 48 people from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. They participated in a dialogue and exchange of experiences on the protection of the rights of migrant workers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of El Salvador (MTPS), the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners of El Salvador (DGME), the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of Guatemala (MTPS GUA), the Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM), the Secretariat of Labor and Social Security of Honduras (STSS), recruitment agencies from El Salvador and Honduras and the Executive Secretariat of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM).
"It is essential to consider new ways in which to contribute to the establishment of policies, laws or decrees that result in the protection of labor rights. It is also necessary to make visible the contributions that the migrant community makes in their countries of origin and destination," said Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, in his opening remarks.
During the conference, topics discussed included the current context of labor migration in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras; case management with labor migration links and identified needs; recommendations of the RCM for consular staff and its role in protecting the rights of migrant workers.
"This is a great opportunity to reflect on the protection of migrant workers' rights in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic," added Patricia Canales, from the Honduran Ministry of Labor. "We are working in a state of emergency and this has put our legislation, regulations and forms of work to the test”.
After the meeting, a summary of all the above was shared, in order to establish common priorities, measure achievements and generate articulation. IOM and the International Labour Organization (ILO) will accompany the processes of articulation and exchange of experiences.
These efforts are part of the Western Hemisphere Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.