Migrants in Latin America tend to have higher qualifications than local workers, but they face labor informality and more difficult working conditions that hinder their integration, according to a report presented Friday by three international organizations.
The joint study of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) analyzed the situation of foreigners in 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The report indicated that immigrants from the region are more likely to find an informal job, 52% compared to 45% of the local population. However, the possibility of finding a job, regardless of the conditions, is higher in at least half of the countries analysed.
“In most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, immigrants are more likely to have temporary contracts and work longer hours – 50 hours or more per week – than natives,” the report said.
“When the results of migrants are less favorable than those of the native population, it may reflect a failure to take advantage of the opportunities that migration can provide,” he added.
The document highlighted that in the last 10 years, countries such as Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and the Dominican Republic have implemented special permits and visas for regularize the status of immigrantswhich has facilitated their integration.
Relative poverty, meanwhile, was detected to a lesser extent among immigrants who arrived in Chile, Panama and Peru.
The data also showed that in most of the countries where the study was carried out, migrant women tend to be more educated than men.
But employment indicators indicate that “the proportion of working-age migrant men who have a job exceeds that of migrant women by more than 27 percentage points.”
The report also pointed out that Mexico is the country with the second lowest proportion of migrants compared to its total population, with about 66% of them born in the United States, largely the children of Mexican citizens who returned to the Latin American country.
Data from a UN agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with statistics up to 2020, point to Panama as the country in the region with the lowest proportion of immigrants in the region. Argentina, Colombia and Chile, on the other hand, lead the ranking.