Date Publish: 
Monday, May 21, 2018

IOM called on El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly and the Executive Body to promptly approve a new immigration law that corresponds to the current dynamics and that articulates actions in ​​Human Rights, human security and development, as established in the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the proposals promoted in the framework of the Global Compact for Migration.

El Salvador must adapt its special regulations on migration and foreign matters, considering all the obligations that the country has contracted before the international community to avoid arbitrariness in the matter of guarantee, restitution and full compliance with the rights related to human mobility of Salvadorans, migrants in transit or foreigners residing in Salvadoran territory.

The Migration Law of El Salvador dates from 1958. Comparatively, the neighboring countries that have updated these regulations: Honduras renewed it in 2003; Costa Rica in 2009; Nicaragua in 2011 and Guatemala in 2016. This means that El Salvador has the most obsolete specialized legislation in the region that, moreover, does not respond to the challenges of migration in this century.

The absence of such regulations makes it impossible for the country to comply with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG 10, which calls for facilitating the orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people. Therefore, Salvadoran migratory governance is limited and prevents offering a comprehensive framework for the full development of foreigners in El Salvador.

"Respecting the national sovereignty that marks the migratory policies, we see with good eyes what, until now, it has been agreed around the project of law that exists and the advances that were had inside the previous Commission of External Relations, Central American Integration and Salvadorans Abroad from the Legislative Assembly”, said Jorge Peraza Breedy, IOM's Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

According to the Migration Governance Profile (MGI), prepared by IOM, El Salvador has important advances in the area of ​​reintegration. However, challenges have been identified in the protection of human rights of foreign migrants in El Salvador. According to official estimates, there are almost 50 thousand immigrants in the country.

The MGI measures the institutional and normative framework on the migration of a country, identifying good practices and areas for improvement. It can also be used to monitor the compliance with the SDGs and integrate the results of the analysis in national reviews of commitments to multilateral forums. Therefore, the MGI provides a coherent, balanced, practical, concrete and comprehensive framework and methodology for analyzing the structures of the country's governance.

With the entry into force of the new Migration and Foreigners Act, El Salvador would be strengthened in the execution of projects such as electronic passport and biometric control; the creation of the Migratory School, which would train personnel of the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME); and in terms of security.

As committed to the previous Commission, IOM reiterates its assurance to continue working hand in hand with the new Commission on Foreign Relations, Central American Integration and Salvadorans Abroad of the Legislative Assembly to continue this initiative to contribute to the compliance, guarantee and restitution of the rights of migrants in El Salvador.

For more information, please contact IOM El Salvador: José Miguel Gómez - or IOM Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras: Alba Miriam Amaya -