UN Migration Chief Calls for Expanded Labour Pathways at Americas Meeting in Mexico


Mexico City – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling for the expansion of regular labour migration routes in the Americas to enhance development and reduce risks for migrants. This call to action came at the close of a high-level hemispheric meeting hosted by the Government of Mexico, where IOM Director General Amy Pope addressed over 175 delegates from 30 countries. 

“Migrants contribute significantly to the economic and social development of both their host and home countries, fostering more diverse and inclusive communities,” Pope emphasized. “By making regular pathways accessible and inclusive, we can harness this potential while saving lives and reducing irregular migration.” 

The meeting highlighted recent migration trends. While several countries in the region are experiencing labour shortages that could potentially be addressed through regional migration policies, during the past 15 months hundreds of thousands of migrants have made their way across the region irregularly in search of better life opportunities.  

The number of migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean has seen a significant increase, nearly doubling from 8.3 million to 16.3 million between 2010 and 2022, underscoring the need for improved migration management.  

The conference explored various proposals to enhance regular migration pathways, including programs to regularize the status of undocumented workers, the issuance of humanitarian visas, promotion of private sponsorship initiatives, and measures to ensure access to public services and work permits. 

The summit emphasized the crucial role of the private sector in developing and expanding regular labour migration pathways. Business leaders shared insights on labour market needs and discussed innovative approaches to skills matching, job placement, and integration support for migrant workers. Collaborative initiatives between governments and private enterprises were explored to create more opportunities for safe, orderly, and regular migration while addressing labour shortages and fostering economic growth across the region. 

Government officials, private sector representatives, and multilateral organizations gathered to discuss the complex migration dynamics in the Americas and identify joint solutions. The meeting builds upon recent regional agreements such as the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection (2022) and achievements of other multilateral forums like the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), the South American Conference on Migration (SCM) and the Quito Process.  


For more information, please contact: 


In Geneva:  
Zoe Brennan, zbrennan@iom.int

In San Jose:Jorge Gallo, jgallo@iom.int, Tel +506 7203 6536

In Mexico City: 
Alberto Cabezas, acabezas@iom.int, Tel +52 55 45 25 8361 

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