Paraguay | 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 Paraguay 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 Portuguese, Spanish and English, including a description of the reintegration available 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 Paraguay. Contact details are shown as follows:
  • OEI Paraguay has also arranged a direct counseling service from Monday to Friday (8:30-17:30h) for returnees.
  • On the website 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 Paraguay

Economic Context and Labor Market

The development of the Paraguayan economy in recent years has been characterized by high volatility resulting from certain difficulties in the agriculture sector. In 2013 the GDP grew by 13.6%, through growth in the agro-exports industry and the favorable international prices of soya, corn and meat. In 2014 and 2015 growth was significantly more moderate, at 4% and 3.1% respectively.

The policy to control inflation promoted by the Paraguayan government is noteworthy through being able to maintain low and stable prices. In terms of public deficit, it is worth pointing out that this has been kept stable in recent years in Paraguay, at 1.42% in 2013, 0.72% in 2014 and 1.32% in 2015.

With regard to public debt, relative growth has been experienced in recent years, moving from 17.02% in 2013 to 24.19% in 2015.

The distribution of industries in the Paraguayan economy has the following structure:

  • The primary sector: 25.1%.
  • The secondary sector: 26.8%.
  • The service industry: 41.4%.
  • Taxes on products: 6.8%.

As seen above, the service industry is significantly higher, although the relative importance of the primary sector is greater than the majority of Latin American economies.

The main social indicators in Paraguay are the following:

  • Gini Index: 48.3.
  • Human Development Index: 112th.
  • Life expectancy: 76.99 years of age.
  • Rate of illiteracy: 5.3%.

Paraguay, as with other countries, is currently experiencing a complex economic situation with difficulties in different areas. However, such problems also generate opportunities, particularly the broad opportunities to design and launch on the market and consolidate business ventures. Returnees can undertake micro-projects in retail, for example, via grocery shops or stores for mobiles and other electronic devices. There are also numerous opportunities to successfully start up small businesses in the food and electronics industry. This is due to the positive global market trend and the nature of this type of business.

As regards the labor market, a recently higher demand for skilled labor in the job market has also revealed the low skills of people looking for work in the country. This gives rise to a paradoxical situation, whereby educated emigrants, in comparison with non-emigrants in the country, looking for work abroad find low-skilled jobs, while internally there exists an unsatisfied demand for skilled workers.

There are employment opportunities in the following industries:

  • Services: There are opportunities in the customer service industry due to the growth of business, which is particularly applicable to the hotel industry.
  • The farming industry: Professions from the primary sector, both in livestock and agriculture.
  • Consumer goods: Professions related to consumer goods like décor, stationery, cosmetics and food are the most notable.
  • Industry: Professions linked to construction are high in demand, as are professions like electronics technicians, mechanical technicians and production operators, among others.

It’s important to mention the service provided by the Secretariat for the Development of Conventional Returnees and Refugees(SEDERREC), particularly regarding the support for the start-up of business ventures, as well as the design of plans for labor insertion. Numerous activities are also developed for beneficiaries and are focused on writing CVs or preparing for interviews.

Health and education system

In Paraguay the total expenditure on healthcare from the public sector was 9.8% of the GDP in 2014, reflecting a significant increase with regard to 1995, when this figure was 5.9%. The public health system in Paraguay falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, the Social Security Institute, Military Health and Police Health Services and the National University of Asunción.

In terms of education, it is worth noting that in 2012 it was 5% of the GDP, representing 0.5% more with respect to 1999. Despite the efforts made, the Paraguayan education system continues to be at much lower levels than those reached by neighboring countries, standing at a global level of 133 out of a total of 144 countries.

Macroeconomic improvements are expected in the Paraguayan economy in the years to come, which would enable public policies to move towards better coverage of the population’s social needs. According to data from CEPAL, the Paraguayan economy is set to grow by 4% in 2017.

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.