Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most prosperous countries in the Caribbean, primarily due to significant oil and natural gas resources, high levels of direct foreign investment and an expanding tourist industry. The “pull” factor is therefore strong; available data suggest that one-third of intra-Caribbean migrants reside in Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad and Tobago faces considerable security challenges and is an active transit point for regional and extra-regional irregular migration to North America and Europe. People smugglers are active, taking advantage of porous borders. Governments in the region, including Trinidad and Tobago, remain particularly concerned about the vulnerability of their borders to transnational organized crime networks and the attendant risk of those perceived vulnerabilities being exploited by terrorists. These same governments have noted a critical need to upgrade or restructure current migration management and border security systems by acquiring the necessary technological tools and strengthening migration officials’ professional capacity to better identify potential security risks. Achieving a balance between expeditious processing of bona fide travelers and effective deterrence of security threats is a key aim for all governments concerned.
Emigration of skilled workers has been a problem for Trinidad and Tobago. Although the government supports emigration of unskilled workers, it had not developed a policy to entice educated and trained personnel to remain on the island. In recent years there has been a massive exodus of nurses from the government health services to international destinations, particularly in the US which is of particular concern of the government. To fill the gaps, the Government has recruited health workers, including doctors, from Cuba, Nigeria and the Philippines. Construction workers employed in turnkey projects have been recruited from China and India.
- IOM Port of Spain Office
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Migration Agency, has maintained an effective office in Trinidad and Tobago since 2006. Following an assessment of the country’s migration management system, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago agreed to the establishment of the IOM Port of Spain office to support the implementation of a special project, entitled “Strengthening Technical Capacity (STC) in Trinidad and Tobago to enhance Migration Management and Regional Security.”
- Direct Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking
- Resettlement of Refugees
- Reintegration through Assisted Voluntary Return Programs
- Return and resettlement of Stranded migrants
- Technical Cooperation with the Ministry of National Security
- Contact information
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Ministry of National Security
Temple Court 2, 50-62 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: +868 627 69 69, +1 868-623-7056
Fax: +868 625 50 09