About the Migration Governance Indicators
About the Migration Governance Indicators
Migrants' rights
Migrants' rights

Indicators in this domain assess the extent to which migrants have the same status as citizens in terms of access to basic social services such as health, education, and social security. It also describes the rights of migrants to family reunification, to work, and to residency and citizenship. The ratification of the main international conventions is also included within this domain.

Whole of government approach
Whole of government approach

Indicators in this domain assess countries’ institutional, legal, and regulatory frameworks related to migration policies. Domain 2 also reviews the existence of national migration strategies that are in-line with development, as well as institutional transparency and coherence in relation to migration management. This domain also investigates the extent to which governments collect and use migration data.

Partnerships
Partnerships

This domain focuses on countries’ efforts to cooperate on migration-related issues with other states and with relevant non-governmental actors, including civil society organizations and the private sector. Cooperation can lead to improvements in governance by aligning and raising standards, increasing dialogue and providing structures to overcome challenges.

Well-being of migrants
Well-being of migrants

This domain includes indicators on countries’ policies for managing the socioeconomic well-being of migrants, through aspects such as the recognition of migrants’ educational and professional qualifications, provisions regulating student migration and the existence of bilateral labour agreements between countries. Indicators equally focus on policies and strategies related to diaspora engagement and migrant remittances.

Mobility dimensions of crises
Mobility dimensions of crises

This domain studies the type and level of preparedness of countries when they are faced with mobility dimensions of crises, linked to either disasters, the environment and/or conflict. The questions are used to identify the processes in place for nationals and non-nationals both during and after disasters, including whether humanitarian assistance is equally available to migrants as it is to citizens.

Safe, orderly and regular migration
Safe, orderly and regular migration

This domain analyses countries’ approach to migration management in terms of border control and enforcement policies, admission criteria for migrants, preparedness and resilience in the case of significant and unexpected migration flows, as well as the fight against trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants. It also assesses efforts and incentives to help integrate returning citizens.

Key findings
Introduction

This country Profile describes examples of well-developed areas of the Republic of Panama’s (hereafter referred to as Panama) migration governance structures and areas with potential for further development, as evaluated through the six domains of the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI). These address migrants’ rights, a “whole-of-government” approach, partnerships, socioeconomic well-being of migrants, the mobility dimensions of crises, and safe and orderly migration.

Click the icons on the wheel to explore the key findings.

The Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) initiative is a policy-benchmarking programme led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and implemented with research and analysis from the Economist Intelligence Unit. Funding is provided by IOM Member States.

Key findings
Migrants' rights

Migration Governance: examples of well-developed areas:

  • Migrant workers have the right to join the mandatory Social Security Fund system, regardless of labour or immigration regulations breaches.
  • The Government allows refugees to follow courses offered by National Institute of Professional Training and Training for Human Development and to receive a certification.
  • Panama has agreements on the portability of social security benefits with other countries, such as Costa Rica. 

Areas with potential for further development: 

  • Panama has not yet developed a strategy or policy against hate crimes, violence, xenophobia and discrimination against migrants.
  • An extensive list of professions in Panama is reserved to Panamanians by birth.
Key findings
Whole of government approach

Migration Governance: examples of well-developed areas:

  • The Migration Consultative Council is a consultative and advisory body for migration policies that acts as an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism.
  • The National Migration Service is responsible for the design and coordination of the implementation of migration policies.

Areas with potential for further development:

  • Panama does not have a single national migration strategy.
  • National strategies regarding migration are not necessarily aligned with the National Strategic Plan.
Key findings
Partnerships

Migration Governance: examples of well-developed areas:

  • The country is part of the Central American Commission of Migration Directors (Comisión Centroamericana de Directores y Directoras de Migración), which coordinates policies and promotes cooperation on migration
  • Panama signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Colombia on cooperation regarding the prevention, investigation and control of human trafficking, and on assistance and protection to trafficking victims.
  • Panama signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chile, which establishes a Bilateral Commission for Cooperation on Migration and Consular Affairs. 

Areas with potential for further development: 

  • The Government does not collaborate formally with civil society on migration issues. 
  • The Government does not collaborate formally with members of its diaspora for the development of programmes and the implementation of migration policies.
Key findings
Well-being of migrants

Migration Governance: examples of well-developed areas:

  • The country has formal agreements on labour migration issues with other countries, such as Costa Rica.
  • Mechanisms have been developed to protect nationals abroad, especially Panamanians working outside the country.
  • Panama provides different types of visas to attract foreigners with specific professional competences. 

Areas with potential for further development: 

  • There are no programmes for immigration management based on labour market demands.
  • Panama does not have programmes to promote the financial inclusion of migrants and their families.
Key findings
Mobility dimensions of crises

Migration Governance: examples of well-developed areas:

  • Panama has established measures to assist its nationals abroad in crisis situations.
  • The Government has a strategy that includes specific provisions to assist immigrants from countries in crisis situations, including provision of temporary accommodation.
  • Panama guarantees protection to refugees, asylum seekers or stateless persons until their return to the country of origin or their resettlement in a third country has been finalized.

Areas with potential for further development: 

  • Panama does not have a national strategy that outlines measures related to displacement.
Key findings
Safe, orderly and dignified migration

Migration Governance: examples of well-developed areas:

  • Foreign nationals may apply for specific types of visas before arriving in the country.
  • Panama regularly strengthens the technical capabilities of institutions involved in humanitarian response to better respond to migration crises in the country.
  • The National Plan against Trafficking in Persons focuses on prevention, awareness-raising, protection of victims, prosecution of crime and international cooperation.

Areas with potential for further development: 

  • Panama does not have mechanisms in place to locate and identify missing migrants in its territory for cases that are not reported.

2019 December

Migration Governance Profile: The Republic of Panama