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 and C&A Foundation strengthen prevention of trafficking in persons in Mexico

Date Publish: 
02 / 12 / 2019

Mexico City - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the C&A Foundation, affiliated with the international clothing brand of the same name, will train members of industrial chambers, public officials and members of civil society from the state of Puebla.

This public-private alliance seeks to strengthen the mechanisms of intersectoral coordination and the capacities of the government, civil society and the private sector of the state of Puebla to prevent, detect and assist victims of human trafficking, forced labour and child labour. The project will seek to achieve this objective through theoretical-practical workshops and working groups.

According to the State Ministry of Welfare, Puebla is lagging behind other states in terms of social development, with 59.5% of its population in poverty. This, coupled with the poor regulation and supervision by labour authorities and the normalization of precarious labour conditions, allows for the proliferation of trafficking in persons for the purpose of labour exploitation, forced labour and child labour.

“Given the problem of trafficking in persons in Mexico, IOM faces this challenge by promoting the link between the public and private sectors to generate coordination mechanisms aimed at establishing actions for the benefit of providing social integration and assistance to victims of trafficking,” said Christopher Gascon, Head of Mission of IOM Mexico.

For his part, Stephen Birtwistle, Manager of the Labour Rights Program at Fundación C&A, said that “Mexico is going through a historic moment of renewing its rights. However, there are still many challenges. It is imperative to equip all key actors with the necessary skills to identify, eradicate and prevent forced labour in the apparel industry in Mexico. It is essential to add the voices of the public, private and civil society sectors, and we believe that this will mean the success of this initiative to combat labour exploitation in the industry”.

The C&A Foundation is present in eight countries collaborating on projects with more than 300 non-governmental organizations on five programs.

For more information contact Vanessa Foronda, IOM Mexico, email:, Tel: +55 5536 3922 Ext. 107, or the Communication & Media team of IOM Mexico, Email:, Tel: +55 5536 3922 Ext. 119.