Assistance to Irregular Migrants Returning from the United States
So far this year IOM has provided assistance to more than 7,100
irregular migrants who have been returned to their country from the
As part of a cooperation agreement signed earlier this year
between IOM and the Government of Guatemala, IOM meets the arriving
migrants at the airport and provides transport to their places of
Working with the Ministry of Labour, an IOM database collects
information on the returnees in order to match their job skills
with employment opportunities in the public and private sectors.
IOM also provides skills training for successful reintegration into
the job market; and works with others in the design of micro
enterprise projects so they can open small businesses and become
IOM also will partner with Guatemalan universities to find
employment for returning professionals and to provide support to
those wishing to continue their university education.
According to estimates from the Government of Guatemala, some
25,000 Guatemalans living in the United States will be returned to
their country in 2007. At this rate, some 2,000 persons will need
humanitarian support every month.
Through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the returnees receive
food rations, medical assistance, if needed, and are provided with
free telephone access so they can contact their relatives upon
"The returnees need to feel that they are not alone when they
return home. This programme provides the support they need to
reintegrate into society and start new and productive lives,"
explains Gunther Müssig, IOM Chief of Mission in
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