UNDP creates labor link program for migrants in Mexico

Mexico is a country of origin, transit, destination and return of migrants. In the midst of that mobility, where can they work? Their options are limited, especially if they do not have documents that allow them to work or belong to a violated and discriminated group. The United Nations Program (UNDP) in Mexico designed the Integrate Strategy, in which “the private sector provides employment opportunities” to this population.

The strategy “has highlighted the importance of developing indicators on the needs and capacities” of migrants to achieve a labor linkl, points out the UNDP in the document Policy Note 9. The objective of this scheme is “to promote the social and economic integration” of this population from a development perspective “.

In countries with developing economies, such as Mexico, the work of migrants contributes 7%, on average, to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the study Immigration in Mexico: More openness, fewer barriers. This research was prepared by specialists from the organization México, How Are We Going? (MCV).

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that globally there are more than 169 million migrant workers. That workforce represents 5% of the total worldwide. “Women constitute 41.5% and men 58.5%”, according to the report ILO global estimates on migrant workers.

In Mexico, “according to data from the Ministry of the Interior (Segob), a year 2.5 million people through formal land crossings on the southern border, while more than 300,000 do so in an irregular manner, ”says the PNDU.

According to the Mexican Commission for Aid to Refugees (Conamar), as of last September, the number of refugee applications went from 1,296 in 2013 to 90,314 in 2021. That is, in eight years these procedures have multiplied by 70.

“On the other hand, Mexico ranks second in the world as the country of origin of international migrants.” More than 13 million people have left this country to seek a job opportunity mainly in the United States. “At least half of this population is in an irregular situation, so the risks of being deported are constant.”

With all this context, it is evident that the closing of borders, the persecution and criminalization of these populations and the constant social rejection, neither stop their mobility nor allow them to develop while contributing to the economic growth from the country.

According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank, Mexico is, along with China, India, the Philippines and Pakistan, among the main countries global remittance recipients”Says the UNDP report. In 2020, in the flat pandemic of covid-19, “more than 40,000 million dollars entered the country in remittances, which meant an increase compared to 2019, where an amount greater than 39,000 million was reached.”

Registry of migrants and companies

The Integrate Strategy operates through the virtual platform estrategiaintegrate.org, in which migrants can register. “With their information, a job profile is drawn up and a vulnerability score is assigned to them.” Then UNDP, local authorities and the private sector help them find a job “and access public services to meet their basic needs.”

The link between migration and development it requires comprehensive policies to recognize and take advantage of the capacities of migrant workers, says the UNDP. For this, it is necessary for governments to be interested in creating and executing them, but also “the private sector must be taken into account” as a key actor when recognizing its capacity “to generate employment opportunities.”

The program began with a phase in 2020, when the covid-19 pandemic worsened the conditions of these populations. At that time, the goal was to register 100 people living in the municipality of Mexicali, Baja California. In the end 102 enrolled, the majority from Honduras, 45 percent. The rest were of Guatemalan, Salvadoran, Cuban, Haitian and other countries.

Nacional Monte de Piedad, municipal authorities and business chambers contributed financial funds to get the project started. “Based on that experience, in 2021 the municipal government of the city of Puebla decided to finance the implementation of a second phase ”.

The first step in the strategy “is to identify populations with care needs in host communities”, for this UNDP relies on local governments and shelters. Then they are made aware of the program and the page where they can register.

The information that the platform will request of them has to do with their migratory processes, the characteristics of their cultural environments, what languages ​​they speak, whether they travel with their family or not and what their specific needs in Mexico. A person who requests refuge in this country does not require the same to another who has been returned or who has planned that his stay is temporary.

“It also takes into account The abilities that have been forged during their life trajectories, looking beyond the work or professional experiences that are traditionally included in a curriculum vitae ”. Many of the people come from rural communities, the knowledge they possess has been inherited or taught by their communities and, “because they do not have a certificate, they are not considered by companies.”

The UNDP staff has also been in charge of looking for the companies established in the areas to intervene, to convince them about “the opportunities offered by the project and the possibilities of offering opportunities for employment relationship“to these people. But if any of them are interested, they can go to strategyintegrate.org and register directly.

The data they must enter focuses on their branch of specialization, location, work schedules and the services they provide to the staff. They must verify their legal existence through their Federal Taxpayers Registry (RFC) and with the letter of incorporation. Once registered, companies can promote their vacancies on the platform.

The program can be adapted to various migratory contexts and crisis situations, says the UNDP. However, it is necessary for governments to expand Internet access for migrants and provide greater support to “ethnic minorities, considering that many do not speak Spanish.”

It also recommends strengthening actions with gender perspectiveTherefore, “for the most part, women travel accompanied by their daughters and sons, so it is likely that they do not have the time necessary to access a source of employment by virtue of the care work they perform.”

On this last point, it indicates to the companies that the access of migrant mothers to job opportunities. Likewise, that they generate internal policies for people with disabilities.


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