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

News release

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.  


“As champion of the Global Compact for Migration, Canada is proud to partner with the International Labour Organization in its efforts to promote the socio-economic integration of refugees and migrants in labour markets across Latin America. Today’s celebration is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to building a resilient, diverse and equitable future for all, including for the world’s most vulnerable.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“Promoting fair recruitment and addressing the labour aspects of migration and forced displacement is essential to achieve the successful socio-economic integration of migrants and refugees. This is how Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the International Labour Organization understand it, and these projects pave the way for a path that both institutions have travelled together for some time.”

 –Elena Montobbio, Director, International Labour Organization Office for Central America, Haiti, Panama and the Dominican Republic

Quick facts

  • In September 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The Declaration launched separate processes to create 2 non-legally binding global compacts: the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees.

  • The Global Compact for Migration aims to improve co-operation on international migration in order to “make migration work for all.” It draws attention to the challenges that irregular migration poses, while also emphasizing the positive contributions of migrants and the benefits of regular pathways and well-managed migration systems.

  • The Global Compact on Refugees aims to move towards more comprehensive and whole-of-society responses to refugee situations, as well as providing more predictable and sustainable support for refugees and the communities that host them. This includes providing refugees with access to durable third-country solutions and supporting refugee-hosting countries for a more equitable sharing of responsibility.

  • Canada’s engagement on both compacts has been co-led by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Global Affairs Canada.

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Contacts for media only

Aidan Strickland
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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