MIRPS in Guatemala

Guatemala can be seen from different perspectives: as the country of origin of migrants and refugees, as a country of return, as a host country, and as a transit country, mainly for people from Central America. Guatemala is also becoming a country of refuge for a small but growing number of refugees who seek international protection. To address the situation, Guatemala joined the MIRPS in 2017 and has made progress in the implementation of its commitments to provide protection and solutions for the displaced population. Nonetheless, to address the needs of the thousands of people seeking safety in the country, the support of the international community is needed to ensure the provision of specialized, differentiated, safe, and decent reception conditions, the strengthening of the institutions that govern the protection of children and adolescents in border areas for returnees with international protection needs, and other vulnerable people (LGBTIQ+, survivors of SGBV), and jobs and livelihood opportunities to promote the labour inclusion of refugees and applicants for recognition of refugee status, and returnees with protection needs.



   14 commitments


Jobs and Livelihoods

10 commitments


2 commitments


1 commitment

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Latest Achievements


Improvement in the procedures of attention and registration

Improved registration and refugee status determination procedures and the management of claims from the Department of Recognition of Refugee Status, the National Commission for the Protection of Refugees, and the National Migration Authority.

Early identification of returnees in need of protection

Through the application of questionnaires and in coordination with the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman and Asociación El Refugio de la Niñez, services have been delivered to people in need of protection in the different shelters for receiving returnees.

Increased protection to unaccompanied children and adolescents

Temporary state shelters for the specialized care of returned unaccompanied children and adolescents, together with the application of an instrument for determining the Best Interest of Unaccompanied Children.

Speed and decentralization of processing and resolution of work permit requests

through legal reforms and the implementation of the National Work Permit System. The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare will directly benefit applicants for refugee and refugee status, as they will now be able to carry out any work permit procedure online from anywhere in the country.

Implementation of the first livelihoods program for asylum-seekers and refugees in Guatemala

Lead by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Guatemalan Tourism Institute, TurIntegra, aims to integrate asylum- seekers and refugees to the labour market by providing specialised training and support.

Free issuance of the Special Personal Identity Document for refugees and asylum-seekers

Allows access to education and health services and obtaining a formal job.

Looking ahead


Strengthening governing institutions in border areas focusing on the protection of children and adolescents

Identification of children with international protection needs; scaling up pilot initiatives like the Temporary Foster Care Programme to avoid institutionalisation (Infrastructure, capacity building).

Assessing the capacity to install "open shelters" in strategic locations

With differentiated services for people on the move with international protection needs. (Infrastructure, capacity building).

Strengthening Reception Centres for the identification (in situ) of returnees with protection needs.

(Infrastructure, capacity building, access to cash for livelihoods/integration processes).

Promoting actions with local authorities and educational institutions throughout the country for the inclusion of children and young people

into the national education system from 1st through 12th grade. (Infrastructure, capacity building, cash for education purposes, linking to existing activities by development actors).

Facilitating access to jobs and sustainable livelihoods through:

Strengthening of relevant government line ministries and changes to current regulations for the provision of work permits for refugees; market-driven initiatives for job placement and vocational training. (Infrastructure, capacity building, access to capital for small business development, linking to existing activities by development actors).