Following the Americas Summit Declaration on migration, ILO reaffirms its commitment to strengthening labour migration governance in the region

ILO principles are reflected in the Summit declaration and new US guidance on temporary migrant workers

Press release | 29 June 2022
(San José/Lima, June 10, 2022).- The commitments undertaken by States in the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, agreed at the IX Summit of the Americas, are aligned with those assumed through the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment and definition of recruitment fees and related costs.

In full alignment with a fair recruitment, labour migration and decent work approach, Heads of State and Government that signed the Declaration indicate that they “intend to strengthen fair labour migration opportunities in the region, integrating robust safeguards to ensure ethical recruitment and employment free of exploitation, violence, and discrimination, consistent with respect for human rights and with a gender perspective”. The ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights are an invaluable instrument to support countries to achieve this commitment.
An important aspect of the LA Declaration is that it recognizes the importance of labour markets and their linkages with migration, seeking to “promote, in accordance with national legislation, the recognition of qualifications and the portability of social benefits”. This will strengthen the good governance of labour migration and the migration and development approach that makes full use of migrants’ abilities in order to meet local demands for workers, particularly in vacancies that are difficult to fill.

The Los Angeles Declaration also points to the interest in working together throughout the hemisphere in pursuit of "improving regional cooperation mechanisms for collaboration", which strengthens the vision of shared responsibility for the management of migration and human mobility.

The ILO contribution to implement the Declaration

Regarding the follow-up to the commitments expressed in the Los Angeles Declaration, Claudia Coenjaerts, ILO acting Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, underscored that the ILO’s technical teams at the regional and country levels stand ready to accompany governments, as well as employers' and workers' organizations, and other key actors in the labour market, to move forward in converting these commitments into concrete actions that allow migrants and host communities to advance in the construction of cohesive societies, which enable benefiting from skills and knowledge that add to an inclusive recovery, with decent work and generation of more and better formal jobs.

Currently, the ILO is actively working on labour migration and mobility, including through the Fair Recruitment Initiative, in fifteen countries of the region, where it provides technical assistance to strengthen public employment services and vocational training institutions; advise on the improvement of systems for the generation and use of statistical data for public policy decision-making; improve the knowledge of employers' and workers' organizations in matters of labour migration, socioeconomic integration and fair recruitment, and strengthen their role and shared responsibility in the response; support the design of temporary work programs, bilateral agreements and social protection mechanisms and their alignment with international standards and guidelines to better protect migrants workers and respond to labour market needs; develop practical tools for the protection of rights in the recruitment and employment processes migrants who are more at risk of being in vulnerable situations for their gender (women and LGBTIQ), age and racial/ethnic characteristics, among others.

ILO's action aligns with and reinforces the commitments assumed by the twenty countries that have signed the Los Angeles Declaration, and aims, though a proactive interagency approach involving IOM, UNHCR, UNDP and other agencies, to provide a more effective response to the multiple challenges of human mobility in the region.

Online training

The ILO offers various online tools and courses to governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations to strengthen their capacities to serve migrants and refugees; these can be found in ILO´s Fair Recruitment Knowledge Hub which is part of ILO´s Fair Recruitment Initiative. Among others, the International Training Center of the ILO offers an E-Academy on Labour Migration (e-AML), a diversified training package that explores fair and effective governance of migration, the links between migration and sustainable development, as well as the instruments and mechanisms to protect the rights of migrants and their families. In addition, it offers virtual courses such as My JDMI E-Toolbox on Migration and Local Development, E-learning on extending social protection to migrant workers, refugees and their families (in English and French), Establishing fair recruitment processes, (with its accompanying training toolkit on Fair Recruitment in English, Spanish, French and Arabic).

New US guide

Also, in close alignment with ILO principles and guidelines for fair recruitment, the United States Department of Labor and the U.S. Agency for International Development launched the Guide to Fair Recruitment Practices for Temporary Migrant Workers. Its goal is to promote best practices in countries seeking to increase participation in the H-2A program for temporary agricultural workers and the H-2B program for seasonal non-agricultural workers, and for recruiters and employers who rely on these programs.