Circular Migration Ecuador

Ecuador Seeks to Expand Circular Migration with New Countries

Ecuador Seeks to Expand Circular Migration with New Countries, reports El Universo.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ecuador currently has circular migration agreements with Spain, Israel, the United States, and Canada. Efforts are ongoing to establish similar agreements with other nations. The term “circular migration” refers to a legal, regular, and orderly form of labor migration, where temporary or seasonal employment is offered in the contracting country to workers from the country with which the agreement is made.

Agreements have been signed with Spain and Israel, while in the case of Canada and the United States, arrangements must be made directly with companies. These programs operate through company announcements in the contracting country, specifying required profiles and the number of vacancies, which are disseminated through the Ministry of Labor’s Encuentra Empleo platform.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that, aiming to strengthen and expand these initiatives, it is working with various countries and international organizations such as USAID, the World Bank, Italy, France, and German cooperation.

Between 2021 and 2024, more than 400 workers traveled to Spain, primarily in the agricultural sector. This year, for the first time, other productive sectors were included, such as 36 lifeguards from Pedernales, Santa Elena, and Manglaralto, who went to work as lifeguards or aquatic rescuers. Efforts are underway for a call for Ecuadorian mechanics to work in a company in Murcia.

On April 3, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Ecuador and Israel regarding the temporary employment of Ecuadorian workers in the agricultural sector. Negotiations are currently ongoing regarding the annexes and other technical documents needed to launch the first call.

On January 22nd of this year, Primicias reported that Israel planned to employ 25,000 Ecuadorians Due to “worker shortage caused by war.” The Vice President announced the hiring of Ecuadorians in Israel through a video posted on the social media platform X on December 22, 2024. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that a meeting was already held in December to address the issue between the two countries.

Vice President Verónica Abad, acting as ambassador in Israel, stated that “the requirement for 25,000 Ecuadorian workers in Israel has been secured legally.”

“Given the extreme poverty, rampant violence, and terror caused by drug trafficking, the best social program is employment. There is good news for Ecuador,” said Abad.

The 25,000 Ecuadorians will have legal employment with guaranteed food and housing, Abad concluded. “The hiring of Ecuadorians in Israel results from coordinated efforts between the Vice Presidency, the Ecuadorian Embassy in Israel, and the private sector,” stated the Vice Presidency.

However, minutes later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador clarified that Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eli Cohen, and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld had already met on December 11, 2023, to discuss the hiring of Ecuadorians. According to a post by Cohen on X, “We also discussed advancing a framework agreement to bring 25,000 workers from Ecuador in the construction and agriculture sectors.”

Other projects are also under development, such as with Australia, where several Ecuadorians have traveled to work legally on a temporary basis. Similarly, there is an effort to establish an agreement with Hungary. Additionally, the Ecuadorian government is requesting Italy to include Ecuador in its seasonal or temporary worker scheme.

One of the conditions of these labor migration modalities is that, upon completing the agreed period in the employment contract, the individual must return to their home country. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the scheme with Spain has been at risk because, in previous years, some compatriots remained irregularly in that country, which could reduce the availability of job openings in the future.


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