Human mobility is a fundamental feature of today's world and of the region. Integrated markets, transnational networks and rapidly evolving communication technologies have contributed to increased movements of migrant workers across international borders. Globalization and industrialization have led to a demand for professionals from other countries, with different manual and intellectual skills, of low, medium and high qualification, to work in different sectors of the economy.


It is estimated that there are about 169 million migrant workers in the world. Approximately 98.9 million are men (58.5%), and 70.1 million are women (41.5%). In Latin America and the Caribbean, migration has also become much more dynamic and complex in recent decades, and is closely linked to the search for new employment opportunities and better living conditions. In the region, there are several intraregional corridors, particularly to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic, among other countries.


IOM works to protect the labor and human rights of migrant workers and to optimize the benefits of labor migration for both countries of origin and destination. The Regional Program on Migration provides technical support and capacity building activities aimed at coordinating and promoting the participation of key stakeholders to adequately respond to the complexity of the migration phenomenon.



Imagen ilustrativa de personas en fila. Mujer y niña aumentadas por una lupa.

Recruitment practices of migrant workers in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico

The analysis of migrant recruitment practices in the countries of the region contributes to the commitments made by the States in the 2030 Agenda to promote decent work, address the feminization of migration and improve the governance of labour migration.

Summary report. Planning for prosperity. Labour migration and Guyana's emerging economy

While Guyana has made economic and social progress over the past three decades, it is imperative that policymakers adapt and adjust the policy framework, institutions and legislation for the country to realize its full growth potential. An example which foreshadows the changes to be seen in Guyana can be observed by the increase in the number of migrant workers.

Planning for prosperity: labour migration and Guyana's emerging economy

Due to an emerging oil and gas sector, the Guyana's economic growth is expected to contribute to important migration flows, including the return of Guyanese nationals and their families in the diaspora, nationals from other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) States, nationals from States looking for investment opportunities, and internal flows of Guyanese nationals in the interior. This study reflects IOM’s continuing commitment to support the Government of Guyana in the development of a comprehensive national migration policy and systems for the ethical recruitment of workers.

Mechanisms for labour migration in Mesoamerica

Recognizing the importance of labour migration flows for countries of origin and destination, the governments of the region have developed actions aimed at facilitating and regulating migratory movements for labour purposes. This study analyzes the existing mechanisms classified into four types: bilateral agreements, memoranda of understanding, temporary labor schemes, and free trade agreements with labour migration clauses.



Forum with Diaspora Organizations

This forum was conducted by the Regional Conference on Migration. In conmemoration of June 16, International Day of Family Remittances, panel participants discussed challenges to make remittances more affordable and how diaspora members can be included in the growth of their communities.

Agricultural workers water a lettuce crop

Research study: recruitment practices for migrant workers in Central America and Mexico

Click to read the details of the study, being conducted between February and July 2021.



Executive summary: Engaging Central American and Mexican Diasporas. Opportunities and Challenges

Discover the main findings of a pioneer IOM study that, building from an exhaustive research of more than 1000 diaspora organizations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central America, has gathered information on more than 100 of them and started an interactiva map on the iDiaspora platform.

Migrant workers in Colombia. Photo by Rocío Sanz for IOM.

Infosheet: global policy network to promote ethical recruitment

IOM's new Global Policy Network to promote ethical recruitment is focused on addressing shortcomings in regulation and enforcement that can exacerbate vulnerabilities and lead to gaps in the protection of migrant workers. Download the infosheet that describes the pillars on which the network's activities will be conducted.

Agricultural worker carries a bucket of produce on their back

The Montreal Recommendations on Recruitment: A Road Map towards Better Regulation

This resource presents policymakers and regulators with practical guidance and ideas to improve regulation and oversight of international recruitment and protection of migrant workers. Thus, it is an important milestone in global efforts to promote ethical recruitment.

Mechanisms that facilitate labour migration

Research project on mechanisms that facilitate labour migration

This study aims to address the lack of information on the mechanisms - that is, bilateral or multilateral agreements, memoranda of understanding, temporary work schemes, among others - that exist in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean to facilitate labor migration, as well as their status of implementation and its uses. Discover here the research proposal.