The Government of Costa Rica and IOM join forces to promote MigrantApp

9 April, 2018

Participation of a Panamanian migrant during the launch event, who explained how to find reliable information abroad may be a real challenge.


San Jose. The United Nations Organization for Migration (IOM), together with the General Directorate of Migration (DGME) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , presented the mobile application MigrantApp in an event that took place on March 13th with the participation of more than 150 attendees, among which were senior representatives of the government, diplomatic corps, international organizations, delegates from countries of the Regional Conference on Migration, the private sector and the media.

MigrantApp is a pioneering IOM application that provides information on regular migration options to combat the risks associated with irregular migration, such as human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants throughout the region. In Costa Rica alone, it has more than 400 centers for migrants geo-localized.

"According to Costa Rican statistics, approximately 10% of the national population are immigrants. This demands an agile and reliable digital medium in which government institutions, international organizations and other entities dedicated to provide services for migrants can offer the necessary information to reduce high-risk migration," explained Roeland de Wilde, Chief of Mission for IOM Costa Rica, during the event. Costa Rica's support underscores the importance of regional efforts and national political will to promote safe, orderly and regular migration.

"For the Migration General Directorate, the availability of an official line of communication at the service of migrants means a very important tool to ensure a more secure mobilization of this population through technology. This will also facilitate access to assistance or other migratory, social or health services, with special emphasis on ensuring greater protection for vulnerable populations, who may be children and adolescents" said Gisela Yockchen, Director General of Migration. The DGME, through the National Coalition Against the Illicit Trafficking of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons (CONATT) and its special fund, supported this initiative.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Alice Shackelford, commented "in order to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda, we need to provide innovative responses to social needs. MigrantApp is precisely an example of how technology is put to the service of human rights and social development ".

Finally, Christian Guillermet, Director General of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, celebrated the launch of this digital platform, available free of charge to the entire migrant population without any distinction. "MigrantApp is an innovative response at the height of the 21st century. Costa Rica will continue to join efforts with IOM on initiatives such as MigrantApp, with a view to better serving vulnerable populations using a human rights approach and strengthening the capacities of governments and other actors for a holistic approach to migration", said Christian Guillermet.

The development of MigrantApp is carried out under the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the implementation of strategies to promote a regular, orderly and safe migration, ensuring adequate protection for migrants.