As of August 2021, more than 1.8 million migrants and refugees lived in Colombia. Despite this population’s work capacity, the employability levels and the possibility for them to access labour formalization programmes and social security schemes are low. According to the Great Integrated Household Survey, in 2018-19, about 93.5% of migrants had no formal contract, and 94.5% had no social security coverage. At the end of 2019, the National Administrative Department of Statistics reported that the health scheme protected only 9% of the Venezuelan migrants employed in the country. At the same time, just 3% were affiliated with a pension scheme.

The project seeks to ensure that the Colombian social protection system protects the Venezuelan migrant population and Colombian returnees from Venezuela through:

1. improving the employability conditions of migrants, observing that the population is inserted in a route where they strengthen their labour skills, which promotes their insertion and securing of a formal job.

2. the adaptation of the social protection system, by analyzing, through transparent and solid social dialogue, the elements requiring adaptation to cover new developments in the labour market, particularly the migrant population. 

In addition, measures to facilitate complementary processes will be strengthened, including the exchange of information between national institutions in charge of identifying and registering migrants and Colombian returnees for social protection schemes. In this process, special emphasis will be placed on the production and availability of sex-disaggregated data, and on the analysis considering the practical and strategic needs of migrant and refugee women, making available the tools developed by the ILO.


Project partners

The ILO will directly implement the project in a joint effort with the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Migration Colombia, the Office for the Attention and Socioeconomic Integration of the Migrant Population of the Presidency of the Republic and the Delegation of the European Union in the country. In addition, the project proposes the involvement of other public institutions and employers’ and workers’ organizations in its design and implementation.




Mr. Pablo Casalí, Social Protection Expert, ILO Office for the Andean Countries –

Mr. Nicolas Gutierrez Pelaez, National Monitoring and Programming Officer for the project office of Colombia,

Human Rights are Universal: a video of the campaign #RightsAlsoMigrate (Spanish)

Infographic summary of the SP&PFM National Forum on Migration and Social Protection, November 2022 (in Spanish).

Migrant worker at her workplace in the city of Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, February 2021.

Migrant worker at his workplace in the city of Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, February 2021.

The capital city of Bogota, one of the main destinations for migrants seeking employment in Colombia.