Migration Institutions in El Salvador
General Office of Migration and Immigration, Ministry of Justice and Public Security
The Migration and Immigration Act establishes the following as functions of the General Office of Migration and Immigration:
- Enforce migration control according to the instructions of the Ministry of the Interior, and resolve consultations made to it on such matters;
- Issue the exit cards referred to in article 50, item d) of the Migration Act;
- Monitor that exit cards or any other document necessary for migration purposes are collected by the respective Delegations;
- Maintain migration movement statistics according to technical indications received from the General Office of Statistics, duly specifying separately the statistics on Definitive Residents, Temporary Residents, Tourists, and Emigrants. To that effect, migration delegations will gather the minimum indispensable data and centralise them at the General Office of Migration;
- Perform the pertinent statistical calculations and censuses it is ordered to carry out, in order to provide timely data to the General Office of Statistics for purposes of publication, and to publish these calculations directly when convenient for informative interests, according to instructions from the Ministry of the Interior;
- Monitor compliance with the obligations established in Articles 21 and 65 of the Law, regarding transportation companies’ control of their crew members;
- Remind, in writing, the foreigners with Definitive Resident status, with reasonable anticipation, regarding the obligation to renew/endorse their registration, according to provisions of article 47, item 2 of the Migration Act.
Deputy Ministry for Salvadorans Abroad, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Deputy Ministry for Salvadorans Abroad currently has three general offices: Foreign Service, Migration and Development, and Human Rights.
The primary objective of the General Office of Foreign Service is to efficiently manage and develop the administrative and technical mechanisms based on the work of the Salvadoran Foreign Service and the provision of services provided to the public by the Ministry. It supervises the work of consulates, embassies, and Salvadoran Foreign Service offices. In addition, it is in charge of coordinating and modernising consular services offered abroad, and of offering these services at its headquarters.
The General Office of Migration and Development was created in 1999 as the Office of Attention to Communities Abroad. As of 2009, it became the General Office of Migration and Development (DGMD, for its initials in Spanish), becoming the entity responsible for promoting the strengthening of bonds and identity of Salvadorans abroad, making them active and inclusive participants in the development processes of their communities of origin and in the country. The DGMD aims to strengthen ties of mutual support with Salvadorans abroad by developing spaces for dialogue and co-existence between the Salvadoran community worldwide in a gender-equal and fair setting.
This office leads in the generation of activities and mechanisms for Salvadorans abroad to participate with El Salvador or their communities of origin in the areas of culture, education, sports, environment, innovation, science and technology, development of productive activities, and infrastructure, from the perspective that participation actions and methods contribute to the local development of communities of origin and their families.
The General Office of Human Rights. The respect and promotion of human rights are a priority for the current government. For this reason and with the objective to initiate a new era of relations with the international systems of human rights protection, and to honour the commitments of the State in this matter, the General Office of Human Rights was created in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in September of 2009. This office is in charge of the formulation and execution of a Ministry-level policy to promote the respect and guarantee of human rights within the area of relations with international human rights protection organisations.
Furthermore, it establishes spaces for dialogue and exchange with civil society, especially with organisations that defend and protect victims of serious violations of human rights, with the purpose to make them participants of the construction of a new policy of recognition and dignity. In addition, it is the office responsible to promote the guarantee of human rights of Salvadorans abroad, and of migrant persons in transit through El Salvador.
El Salvador is a country whose development is impacted by the dynamics of migration. It is calculated that around three million Salvadorans live abroad. The majority of this population resides in the richest countries of the world: primarily the United States, Canada, Italy, Sweden, Spain, and Australia.
The Deputy Ministry for Salvadorans Abroad considers that “El Salvador can only be thought of, can only be viable, and only is possible if Salvadorans abroad are included in national development plans.” Thus, the Deputy Ministry has as its fundamental objective to promote the protection of rights of Salvadorans abroad and access to opportunities for their inclusion in national development. This is now the main function of Salvadoran consulates in the administration of President Mauricio Funes.
Furthermore, the Deputy Ministry aims to facilitate inclusion and citizenship participation of Salvadorans abroad and their families in national and territorial development processes, and contribute with compliance of the State’s international obligations regarding human rights matters, emphasising consular and diplomatic protection of Salvadorans abroad through comprehensive, effective consular services, providing dignified and quality treatment of Salvadorans and their families abroad; achieving that Salvadorans abroad and their families take charge of their rights and actively participate in national and territorial development processes, strengthening the bonds of Salvadorans abroad with the country and their municipalities of origin, and promoting the respect and guarantee of human rights of all Salvadorans abroad pursuant to current national and international regulations, regardless of their migration status.