Honduras | Services offered by oei in the framework of ERIN

Ehe aim of the ERIN program is to provide sustainable return and reintegration to returnees who have returned to Honduras from ERIN partner countries. OEI will provide meeting and welcoming services in the country to support returnees’ reintegration. Through the use of its human capital, infrastructure and Office Network, OEI will also provide sustainable return services to returnees in a speedy and efficient manner, in addition to monitoring post-return in order to guarantee sustainable reintegration.

OEI offers an individual reintegration plan to respond to the different needs of the returnee, with the aim of making the return and reintegration process a success.

The design of this reintegration plan is based on two cornerstones:

The existence of a national network of services and institutions (public, private and international organizations), that provides to the returnee with services free of charge and responds to different needs such as education, vocational training, health, housing, job seeking, business support, women’s care, child care, etc. Contact with returnees from previous projects is also encouraged to establish mutual support networks among peers.

A focus of individual care based on the combination of: needs and wishes of the returnee, and also access to services and assistance, in line with identified needs.

 

Information and Communication

OEI is responsible for updating the communication materials, which is understandable and produced in local language(s) to be used as program’s communication:

Elaborating a Briefing Note in Spanish and English, including a description of the available reintegration services.

Updating the OEI website with a microsite describing the available reintegration services.

 

Pre-return Contact

  • OEI will be available, if the returnee wishes, to take contact prior to the return trip, to establish a relationship of trust between both OEI and the returnee. In addition, SPOC will be available for national counselors or other pre-departure entities in sending countries.
  • OEI has arranged a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) in Europe for direct counseling for potential returnees before and after return.
  • The Single Point of Contact also serves as relationship building before arrival of the returnee in Honduras. Contact details are shown as follows:
 
 
  • OEI Honduras has also arranged a direct counseling service from Monday to Friday (8:30-17:30h) for returnees.
  • On the website www.oei.hn information about the service is available. OEI will answer the information requests within two working days via email:
 
 

Return and Reception

After the return, the beneficiary must go to or contact the OEI Office for the eligibility check. It is important to highlight:

There are at least three “face to face” meetings with the returnee (meetings will take place on locations agreed taking into account returnee’s preferences.: First meeting will be held after 15 days upon return. A first reintegration plan us designed and objectives are fixed, tasks are established, etc. The second meeting will take place depending on the length of the reintegration plan. In cases of 6 month reintegration plans, it will take place after 3 months from the start. In cases of 12 months reintegration plans it will take place after 6 months from the start. The second meeting aims at monitoring the process and analyzing potential new needs. The third meeting aims at the final evaluation of the reintegration plan.

In addition, telephone or Skype meeting is offered to returnees who do not live in the capital city of the country where the OEI Office is located.

Additionally, follow-up is provided to the national resources (health, education, etc.) to which the returnee has been referred.

Arrival Assistance and Airport pick up: in cases where necessary and at the request of the member entity of ERIN Network, the returnees will be collected at the airport and be provided with support in the immigration and customs procedures. In addition, support will be provided to purchase transportation tickets to reach the final destination of the returnee.

Emergency housing and immediate necessities after return: for specific cases, we will work with local resources (education, health, etc.) to facilitate emergency housing, food, clothing, among others, to solve primary needs.

Support to business start-ups: business orientation in relation to local economic context, assistance with developing business ideas, business training, development of a viable business plan, assistance with business registration, etc.

Below are shown the general and specific services which OEI will provide in the framework of ERIN:

General Services that OEI can provide
  • Referral to administrative instances and social networks (pre-departure or post arrival): OEI will provide support to registration in the community, apply for missing documentation, access to local healthcare, social care services and family tracing services. In addition, OEI will provide support to the returnee for establishing social networks, e.g. making contacts with friends, family and local communities.
  • Referral to legal service (e.g. land property and pension rights). OEI will refer to legal assistance if the services of a lawyer are required.
  • Counseling and referral with regard to the enrolment in school education: minors may need to enroll in the local school system. OEI will support to the returnee in determining the educational level of the (underage) children and refer the returnee to the appropriate schools.
  • Referral to vocational training/programme and assistance to labor market: OEI shall make use of its local or nation-wide infrastructure/network to support the returnee in identifying the appropriate vocational training/programme and support the returnee through enrolment in a vocational training/programme. This program can contribute to enhancing the returnee’s opportunities on the labor market. In addition, OEI will provide support to the returnee to access the labor market. This assistance may consist of referral to specialized employment agencies or job counseling.
  • Assistance for entrepreneurship of business projects: the returnee who wants to set up a business will receive advice and support from OEI on how a business is started, what kind of business are revenue generators, what official documents are needed, what financial matters should be taken into account, and how to design and draw a business plan.
Specific Services that OEI can provide
  • Medical services: OEI shall explain to the returnee with medical needs what medical treatments are in place in the country of origin (medical system) and provide clarification on the medical procedure which needs to be followed and the costs that are involved. In addition, the returnee with medical needs may want to see a practitioner/doctor or even visit the hospital for treatment. Also, it is possible that the returnee may want to see a practitioner/doctor for a medical check-up upon arrival. OEI shall, together with the returnee, determine what the medical needs are and consequently refer him/ her to the appropriate medical facility/treatment. In case the returnee wants to obtain additional medication after return, OEI must direct the returnee to the appropriate pharmacy/medical clinic to get that, though bearing in mind that the cost price of the medication and the medical treatment must be in line with the local standards.
  • Psychological support and social assistance: The returnee with psychological problems may want to get or continue his/her psychological treatment after return in the country of origin. OEI shall, together with the returnee, determine what the medical needs are and refer to the adequate entity, including the setting of an initial interview. On the other hand, the returnee with this kind of needs will be referred to the Social Services closest to his/her home. OEI shall, together with the returnee, determine what the social needs are and consequently refer him/her to the appropriate social facility including the arrangement of an intake interview.
Specific Services for Unaccompanied Minors
  • Family contact to take up contact with parents/relatives before the return in order to prepare the process.
  • When the parents/ relatives of the UAM cannot be identified prior to return, OEI must organize adequate accommodation (in line with local standards) for the reception of the child. The adequate accommodation must be able to provide at least reception, schooling and reintegration to the UAM.
  • When a UAM is placed in an adequate accommodation, an official governmental instance (e.g. Ministry of Social Affairs or Child Protection) must be held legally responsible for the UAM’s well-being. OEI shall provide all necessary support to the UAM in order to arrange the guardianship.

Reintegration Opportunities in Honduras

Economic Context and Labor Market

Located in the center of the Central American isthmus, the Republic of Honduras is the second largest country in the region. Honduras is a multi-ethnic, multilingual and multicultural country. According to data from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the indigenous population could represent between 7 and 13% of the total, including indigenous and Afro-Antillean peoples. Honduras is a multiracial country; its population is divided into four ethnic groups:

  • The Ladinos or mestizos (Mayority).
  • The Garifunas.
  • The Criollos.
  • Indigenous grous.

Honduras has medium-low income that faces significant challenges, with about 63% of the population living in poverty in 2014, according to official data. In rural areas, approximately six out of ten households live in extreme poverty or less than $ 2.50 per day.

Since the 2008-2009 economic crisis, Honduras has experienced a moderate recovery, driven by public investment, exports and high remittances. In 2016, the country grew by 3.4% and in 2017 is expected to expand its economy by 3.7%. The volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Honduras places the country as the second largest recipient of Central American FDI, behind Costa Rica. The main investors are the US, Mexico and Panama.

In the analysis of the economic structure of Honduras, services represent 59.8%, with an upward trend during the last 4 years, although remaining stable in the last two years. The industry represents 26.4%, after two consecutive years of fall of the weight of the industry in the national GDP. Agriculture accounts for 13.8% of GDP, with a wide margin of improvement in terms of productivity. According to The World Bank studies, the majority of Hondurans lives on the poverty line so in rural areas and depends on agriculture for subsistence.

Health and education system

According to data from the World Bank, in 2013, Honduras recorded 15.6% of GDP in public spending. Education and Social Security represent the highest percentages. Spending on education represents the largest percentage of public social institutions, with 5.8% of GDP in 2013. Important achievements have been made in the health sector (8.6% of GDP), Infant mortality and chronic malnutrition, but challenges remain in relation to non-communicable diseases.

The population of Honduras exceeds 8 million inhabitants. The main economic activities are related to the agricultural sector, in addition to trade, manufacturing, finance and public services. The services sector includes trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal effects and household goods (4.17%), education services (7.24%) and Financial Intermediation (6.64%), among others. In particular, the most demanded jobs in the country are related to: services (catering, hostelry, transportation, sales and customer service), agricultural (day labor) and industry.

Although economic activity is still dominated by traditional sectors (agriculture, manufacturing, retail), growth is concentrated in new service sectors, particularly the housing and financial sector, and transportation and communications.

The vast majority of the population is highly vulnerable in terms of employment and income. Honduras has a dual labor market that has: 1) a majority (80 per cent) working in the informal sector, unprotected and for low wages, which despite the country's economic growth has not substantially improved its living standards during the decade; and 2) a more skilled minority (20 per cent) working in the formal, public sector, with protection and receiving comparatively higher wages that continues growing over time. In turn, the majority of the new employments are still created in traditional, low-productivity sectors.

The wage differences according to the educational level and the employment sector (public/ private) have grown, which explains a significant portion of the inequality in the distribution of income. Certain groups, such as young people, women and the urban poor, face constant employability challenges. Moreover, the limited employment opportunities available to the majority of the population have encouraged emigration as a mechanism to achieve higher standards of living. Vulnerabilities in the labor market in Honduras came to light during the last economic crisis of 2008-2009, which destroyed a large number of formal jobs in urban areas, with subsistence farming acting as an "employment of last resource". Income inequality also increased as a result of the crisis. Wages in the lowest income quintile were the most affected, and emigrants' remittances, which declined significantly, have not yet regained pre-crisis levels.

Although the economic perspective is positive, Honduras faces the highest levels of economic inequality in Latin America, with a Gini coefficient of 0.574.

Another of its great challenges is the high level of crime and violence with very high crime rates. The Human Development Index (HDI) of 2014 in Honduras was 0.606 points, which implies a slight deterioration compared to 2013, where it placed at 0.617.

Sources of information:

Service Management with a Migrant Rights Approach

OEI shall develop its activities taking into account the following principles in:

  • individual return approach
  • confidentiality
  • impartiality
  • equal opportunities
  • adherence to applicable international principles and standards in migrations affairs; and
  • reintegration plans designed to safeguard dignity and rights of migrants in return operations.
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