Canada continues to improve the socio-economic integration of migrants and refugees in Latin America

August 16, 2022—Ottawa—In Canada, diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Our diversity, coupled with our commitment to inclusion and welcoming others, leads to a stronger understanding and respect for human rights, as well as other economic, civic and cultural benefits.

Inclusion is a value we share with our partners in Latin America. At the same time, that region is experiencing challenges from increased human mobility—where both refugees and migrants are often faced with unfair recruitment practices, a lack of social protection, and a shortage of adequate work or inclusion into local labour markets. It is also an unfortunate reality that many will face xenophobia, gender-based violence and anti-migrant sentiments.

This is why the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in his capacity as a champion of the Global Compact for Migration and a steadfast supporter of the Global Compact on Refugees, congratulates the International Labour Organization for successfully completing its first Canada-supported capacity-building project. This project seeks to improve the socio-economic integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Latin America.

Building on this important work to address irregular migration and forced displacement in the region, Minister Fraser is also pleased to announce the launch of 2 additional capacity building projects to further improve the quality of life and job opportunities for migrants and forcibly displaced persons.

The first project focuses on strengthening regional collaboration to improve fair recruitment practices as well as the integration of migrants and refugees, including returnees, into local labour markets in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras. This initiative will review and propose updates to labour codes, support skills certification, and enhance access to professional training. It will also deliver technical help to public and private sector organizations on fair recruitment practices. In addition to increasing the labour integration and enhancing the independence of refugees and migrants, the project aims to prevent them from becoming victims of human trafficking and forced labour.

The second project supports the regional strategy in Latin America for the socio-economic integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants. This project focuses on improving skills, employment and access to decent work in Colombia and Panama by creating a network of public employment service providers, and implementing a regional scheme to recognize and certify professional and occupational skills. It will also provide technical support for public employment service providers and career training institutions to create or strengthen programs for refugee and migrant workers.

Both of these projects aim to successfully integrate migrants and refugees into local labour markets by supporting skills certifications and simplifying access to training needed for various occupations and sectors. As a result, migrants and refugees at all skill levels will have the potential to make positive contributions to the economy, while gaining transferable skills and life experiences.  

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