Enhancing Development in Colombia through Temporary and Circular Labour Migration to Spain

"Consensus has emerged among different parties involved in labour migration that properly managed temporary labour migration projects like this one are an effective way of balancing the interest of sending countries, receiving countries, and migrants themselves."
-- José Angel Oropeza, Chief of Mission, IOM Colombia

This project promotes the regular migration of Colombian workers to Spain and enhances the impact of migration on development, particularly in local communities.

It is based on the Temporary and Circular Labour Migration (TCLM) plan that the Spanish trade union, Unión de Pagesos (UP) and its foundation, the Fundación Agricultores Solidarios (FAS) started nine years ago to solve a shortage of workers for harvesting fruits in Catalonia. Managed by UP-FAS, the plan consists of hiring labour migrants from Colombia, Morocco and Romania for six to nine months to meet the temporary demand. Following this work, labour migrants return to their own countries, with the possibility of being hired again for a new harvest during the following season.

IOM will expand the TCLM plan to include a much larger number of migrants and increase the number and diversity of employers in Spain. The project will also address the lack of public policies, information, affordable credit and other services in Colombia that hinder returned labour migrants from making use of their acquired skills, knowledge and income to promote development in their communities.

Key Objectives

The project’s key objective is to provide Spain and Colombia with a consolidated, improved and replicable plan to effectively manage temporary labour migration and support the generation of income in both countries.

It will be achieved by:

  • Documenting the existing TCLM plan and expanding it to include a system that will provide Colombian migrant workers with pre-departure training and allow them access to social, educational and productive services upon their return home.
  • Disseminating information on regular migration and the risks of irregular migration.
  • Consolidating and replicating the TCLM plan by developing public policies and strategic alliances.
  • Making full use of remittances to drive socio-economic development and improved living conditions for labour migrants, their families and communities of origin.


  • 1,519 people most in need who were included in the TCLM plan in 2007
  • Displaced communities
  • Women heads of household
  • People from high-risk zones of natural disasters

Concrete Benefits

  • Financial services for 1,021 labour migrants
  • Basic technical training for 1,519 labour migrants
  • Training in leadership and local development for 322 development agents (157 male, 165 female)
  • Nine strategic partners included in the TCLM model in 2007

Principal IOM Activities

  • Document, analyze and systematize the TCLM plan in Colombia and Spain.
  • Hold awareness-raising campaigns about the TCLM plan including preventive campaigns on irregular migration and its consequences.
  • Promote, discuss and disseminate information on the benefits of the TCLM plan among different regional, national and international stakeholders.
  • Provide technical assistance to law-making bodies in designing and carrying out public policies on migration.
  • Provide technical assistance to labour migrants on how to link remittances and development by creating income-generating projects and programmes.