Decent work for migrants: Swedish cooperation agency Sida and ILO announce new partnership

New project will focus on improving access to jobs for Venezuelan migrants and refugees in their host countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

News | 18 December 2021
Lima / Bogotá - On the occasion of International Migrants Day, 18th December 2021, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the International Labour Organization are proud to launch a new partnership aiming to provide Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Latin America and the Caribbean with access to decent jobs in their host countries.

The new project to commence in 2022, is aligned with Sweden’s Regional Strategy for Development Cooperation in Latin America 2021-2025, and specifically with the objective “to improve conditions for productive employment and decent work, in particular for migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons”.

The partnership with Sida is a relevant contribution to ILO’s work on labour migration and human mobility on the American continent, including the key issue of fostering the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

In the context of the second largest international displacement at the global level, ILO has been leading the response on the socioeconomic integration front by, among others, co-leading with IOM the Integration Sector of the Regional Coordination Platform “Response for Venezuelans” (R4V), and co-drafting with UNDP the Regional Strategy for Socioeconomic Integration.

Upon signing the partnership agreement, Vinicius Pinheiro, ILO’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “In Colombia and Peru, over half of Venezuelan refugees and migrants who work on food delivery digital platforms undertook further education; nevertheless, they resort to food delivery because cannot find employment in their sector; and over half of them are paid 200 US Dollars a week or less, while working 10-hour days, six days a week.”

“Our partnership with Sida is particularly timely, as it will facilitate the recognition of qualifications and competencies of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, as well as their access to formal and decent jobs through Fair Recruitment processes. We are grateful to Sweden for prioritizing these crucial issues in its development cooperation.”

The Swedish Ambassador in Colombia, H. E. Helena Storm, commented: “Sweden is happy to launch this partnership with ILO supporting Latin American countries faced with challenges in the areas of migration. These challenges need coordinated and common regional solutions. Supporting migrants and refugees to take the step from the informal economy to the formal economy will reduce their vulnerability, especially of migrant women, and allow for the migrants to contribute to the full extent possible to the local economy in their host countries.

The Sida-funded project seeks four outcomes:

- Improved capacity of Vocational Training Institutes (VTI) to serve national and migrant and refugee populations;

- Strengthened linkages between Public Employment Services (PES) and the job market to provide decent employment opportunities for Venezuelan migrants and refugees;

- Enhanced labour opportunities for Venezuelan women migrants and refugees;

- Strengthened Labour Market Information and Labour Migration Data Systems.

Actions implemented during the project will maintain a cross-cutting gender focus, as Venezuelan women migrants and refugees are among the most affected by the displacement and most prone to labour exploitation.

For further information please contact:
For Sida: Sara Martinez Bergström, Embassy of Sweden in Bogotá,
For ILO: Francesco Carella, ILO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean,