IOM Study Finds Improved Labor Trends and Decreased Informal Work and Underpayment of Venezuelan Migrants in T&T

By transitioning out of labor informality, migrants and refugees from Venezuela are able to gain the security they need to create a better life for themselves and their families. Photo: IOM/Ramiro Aguilar

Port of Spain - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) released its 2022 Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Report, revealing improved labor trends and decreased instances of informal work and underpayment among Venezuelan nationals in Trinidad and Tobago.

The report, which collected and analyzed data from 1,323 Venezuelan nationals in Trinidad and Tobago, further identified access to food, income generation, shelter, and education and training as top priorities for respondents. A novel finding of street dwelling among respondents was also discovered. 

Apart from this, it showed a steady reduction in arrivals to Trinidad and Tobago since 2020, although 57% of respondents had irregular migration status.

In terms of health, most respondents reportedly had access to healthcare and were vaccinated against COVID-19, while there was an increase in access to prenatal care for pregnant and breastfeeding respondents compared to previous DTM efforts. However, the report raised concerns about the uptake of sexual and reproductive health.

Additionally, the report noted that 64% of children residing with respondents lacked access to education in Trinidad and Tobago. It also highlighted information gaps related to processes for acquiring birth certificates for children born in Trinidad and Tobago to Venezuelan parents and access to health services.

Considering these trends, the report called for systematic and consistent assessments of the evolving situation of migrants to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of response efforts. Mr. Richard Lynch, Deputy Director of the International Affairs Unit at the Ministry of National Security, expressed the government's commitment to ensuring the security of the host community and migrants. 

Mr. Dennis Zulu, Political Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy, and Mr. John Miller, Resident Coordinator (a.i) of the United Nations, also brought remarks at the Presentation of Findings for the 2022 DTM exercise.

The 2022 DTM Report was conducted from September to December 2022 and funded by the United States Department of State (USDOS) Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). Ms. Jewel Ali, Head of Office for IOM Port of Spain, emphasized the importance of data in decision-making and how sound data can assist decision-makers in anticipating changes and reducing risks.

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth