IOM publishes the first data from 2019 on the profile of extra-regional migrants in Panama

Date Publish: 

Los Planes, Panama. In the first six months of 2019, Panama has received 34% more migrants from South America than it received in all of 2018. Every day, an average of 120 people arrive at the Temporary Humanitarian Aid Station (ETAH) located on the border between Costa Rica and Panama. In this context, IOM carried out a second round of surveys to track the flows of extra-regional migrants, using the DTM (Displacement Tracking Matrix) methodology.

“This work is extremely important because it enables a detailed understanding of migration trends and the different profiles, contexts, and vulnerabilities of extra-regional migrants. The data will be a tool for evidence-based decision-making. From the perspective of IOM, providing data on migrants to the actors involved in managing this situation is key for promoting orderly and safe migration management and appropriate assistance for these people,” explained Karla Picado, Information Management/MIS Official of IOM’s Regional Migration Program.

Of the 316 extra-regional migrants surveyed between June 17 and 22, 28% are women and 72% are men.  An equal percentage of migrants, 32%, come from each Cameroon and Haiti, followed by Cuba with 15% and India with 9%. The remaining people come from countries such as Mali, Mauritania, Guinea, Eritrea, Bangladesh, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola.

One of the principal findings is that the surveyed migrant population has a high level of education: 33% completed secondary school, 22% have non-university higher education, 30% have a university degree, and 8% have a graduate degree. Regarding their employment situation, 76% of participants were working before they left, as paid workers (44%) or operating their own businesses (32%).

The people surveyed have left their countries of origin for various reasons. The migrants from Caribbean countries stated that their primary reasons for leaving their countries of origin were a lack of economic opportunities and unemployment (36%), political instability and persecution (20%), and limited access to basic services such as education, healthcare, and transportation (9%). On the other hand, political instability and persecution (41%), wars or armed conflicts (25%), and insecurity and indiscriminate violence (22%) were identified as the primary push factors for migrants from African and Asian countries.

The United States is the destination country for 68% of the migrants surveyed, Canada for 7%, and Mexico for 14%; 11% have not yet decided on a destination country. Socioeconomic conditions were identified by 48% of people as the primary factor that influenced this choice, followed by political stability and ease of access to asylum procedures (39%). Family reunification, meanwhile, is the primary goal for 13% of those surveyed.

This activity was made possible by financing from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the Department of State of the United States, within the framework of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-The Caribbean.

For more information, contact Karla Picado at


IOM Launches Two Migration Data Platforms in Spanish

Date Publish: 
20 / 08 / 2019

Guatemala City – Today (20/08) in Guatemala City, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) presents two migration data platforms in Spanish. The first is the Regional Migration Information Platform (PRIMI, by its Spanish acronym), which will offer official migration data from the countries of Central America and the Caribbean. The second release is the Spanish version of the Global Migration Data Portal, managed from Germany by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).

PRIMI, a platform financed by the IOM Development Fund, will make data on migration generated by the governments of the region and disaggregated by sex, age and nationality available to decision makers and the general public. PRIMI will offer data through visual representations (infographics, interactive maps, dynamic graphs, tables) and interactive databases, which will allow the crossing of variables to facilitate their analysis.

For the management of the migratory information that will be available in PRIMI, a regional network of officials from national migration directorates was formed. This network will allow the sharing of records of international entrances and exits, residences, returns and other administrative data, which will strengthen coordination and information flows between governments.

“PRIMI aims to consolidate the information produced by IOM tools and other data provided by governments to facilitate the comprehension of migratory flows in the region, as well as the design of migration programmes and policies,” said Gabriela Rodríguez, project coordinator. “We also hope to carry out continuous work to strengthen the capacities of national migration offices in the region,” she said.

IOM also launches the Global Migration Data Portal in Guatemala today, which will be available in Spanish for the first time since its launch in 2017. The Portal aims to serve as a single point of access to complete and timely migration statistics and reliable information on global migration data.

The site is designed to help policy makers, national statistics officers, journalists and the general public interested in the field of migration navigate the increasingly complex landscape of international migration data, currently dispersed in different organizations and agencies.

“Migration is a cross-cutting phenomenon that concerns each and every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and most of the 169 goals of the 2030 Agenda,” said Susanne Melde, Senior Analyst with GMDAC. “Since the SDGs are a country-led process, the responsibility to measure progress towards the SDG targets lies with the national governments. The Portal is a tool to strengthen the capacities in migratory data and information to fulfil this responsibility.”

The launch event of these two platforms takes place today at 6:30 pm at the Hotel Clarion Suites Guatemala.

You can access the Global Migration Data Portal in Spanish at , and PRIMI at

For more information please contact Gabriela Rodríguez at the IOM Regional Office for Central and North America and the Caribbean, Email:, or Susanne Melde at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, Email: