Regional research team advances in the analysis of Labor Market Information Systems in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras

Date Publish: 


On May 23 and 24, 2019, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the regional team of researchers in charge of the study "Analysis of Labor Markets Information Systems in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras: towards a greater integration of labor migration" held their first meeting in San José, Costa Rica. This study is implemented by the Central American Institute for Social Studies and Development (INCEDES), at the request of IOM and ILO, under the framework of the labor migration component of IOM Western Hemisphere Regional Migration Capacity-Building Program funded by the US Department of State.

According to Gustavo Gatica, coordinator of the research team, the importance of the study on labor markets information systems (LMIS) is to know the operation and dynamics of these systems in the countries of study and how these systems are used in a context of migration and labor mobility. LMIS are understood as the set of structures, procedures and institutional mechanisms that provide data that allow to monitor the behavior of the current labor market; the needs of employers in a given period, in different areas of economic activity; it also provides information on the existence of labor force in a country or region according to the profiles required for such economic activities.

Alexandra Bonnie, regional coordinator of the Western Hemisphere Program, emphasized that this research aims to strengthen information management capacities on labor migration in governments and other stakeholders in the countries included in the study, including the preparation of recommendations for policy makers to guarantee that employment policies and migration policies are evidence-based about the needs of labor markets and the migrant population.

One of the relevant aspects of this study is that it is carried out within the framework of the Collaboration Agreement between IOM and ILO, signed in December 2018. In this regard, Leonardo Ferreira Neves, Deputy Director of the ILO Office for Central America, Haiti, Panama and the Dominican Republic, recognized the need for both United Nations agencies to accompany this research with the extensive experience and information available to their national and regional offices.

This first regional meeting of the research team will allow to discuss the objectives that are intended to be achieved with the study and the development of an uniform theoretical and methodological approach.

IOM launches illustrated book "The Tale of the Lion and the Coyote" to educate on risks of irregular migration

Date Publish: 
21 / 06 / 2019

San José, Costa Rica. "Talawa" is the name of a Costa Rican reggae band made up of six musicians, who in 2016 were deceived by a "coyote" who promised them money, fame, and success in the United States. Excited by the opportunity, the group decided to make the journey irregularly, as thousands of people around the world do every day, but later they were detained by the US immigration authorities. When they finally managed to return to Costa Rica, the band's goal was to tell their story in order to make others aware of the risks and crimes associated with irregular migration.

"The story of the Talawa band teaches us that all people, regardless of their nationality, sex, age, economic status, and profession, can be victims of smuggling and trafficking networks, even without realizing it," said the National Coordinator of the Regional Migration Program, Isis Orozco.

IOM in Costa Rica works in different areas related to the prevention and combating of these crimes. In 2017, IOM launched the documentary "The Fable of the Lion and the Coyote". In 2018, IOM appointed the band as goodwill ambassador for regular migration and recently adapted its story into an illustrated story for children. Recently, the book was launched, as part of the anniversary of the Migrant Information Hub of the Municipality of Desamparados, with the participation of 250 children and their families.

Educating about migration and raising awareness about the risks associated with irregular migration is becoming increasingly vital. "Pedagogical and creative tools, such as this illustrated book, are valuable to ensure inclusion of this topic in different spaces of formal and informal education," said Alexandra Bonnie, Regional Coordinator of the Program.

The book is a joint effort between the IOM Regional Migration Program (Mesoamerica Program) funded by the U.S. Department of State, the National Coalition Against the Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons, and the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens of Costa Rica.

The illustrated book is available for download in English and Spanish in IOM's regional repository of communication materials, the “Educational Toolkit”.