This paper examines several of the issues related to international migration, risk management and social policy in the Latin American context.
Latin America is a region of net emigration (emigration outpaces immigration) to the rest of the world. At the same time there is also a growing flow of intra-regional migration among economies sharing common borders, common language but having large differences in per capita income among them. An important factor driving extra-regional migration from Latin America is the persistence of development gaps and differences in economic and social opportunities with more advanced economies such as United States, Spain, Canada and other high income countries. Also disparities in economic performance within the Latin American region encourage intra-regional (South-South) migration. International migration introduces new challenges to the design, management, eligibility and financing of social policy. Migrants face various sources of vulnerability coming from labour market, health, legal and longevity risks. These risks can be reduced through various mechanisms ranging from self-insurance, family and network support, market insurance, social insurance by the state or by civil society organizations.
This paper was prepared for the UNRISD – IOM – IFS project on Social Policy and Migration in Developing Countries.