Welcome to the Country Profile page of Ecuador. Below you can find information and news on the country related to migration and development, what projects are going on in the JMDI and key documents or resources related to the projects or country itself.


Political and decentralization context:

Since 2008, Ecuador adopted a Political Constitution structured around three pillars, which have subsequently marked the political and institutional evolution of the State: sustainable and equitable development; deepening of human rights and guarantees; and recovery and strengthening of the state and the participatory democracy. As key elements of the latter, the National Government has promoted decentralization and de-concentration processes throughout these past seven years: the first, which implied transferring several responsibilities/competencies and human, financial and technical resources from the Central level to the Autonomous Decentralized Governments (DAG) at provincial, municipal and civil-parish levels; and the second, which involved transferring services offered by ministries (and other entities belonging to the Executive power) as well as other State institutions (Legislative, Judicial, Electoral and Citizen Participation), to offices in the territories. Both processes aimed to strengthen all levels of government and their articulation for territorial management, and promote territorial equity in the country.


Development context:

Between 2007 and 2012, Ecuador has had a 10 – place rise in the global Human Development Index, resulting from a combination of social progress and economic growth. For the period 2013 – 2017, the National Development Plan has established three development priorities which directly affect human mobility dynamics in the country:

  1. Poverty reduction and closing equity gaps, through the full exercise of the rights of Good Living; capacity building and opportunities; social inclusion and equity; and the strengthening of citizen participation and popular power;
  2. Change in the production matrix and strategic sectors, which implies the transformation of production under an environmentally efficient model; the introduction of environmentally clean technologies; energy efficiency and a higher participation of renewable energies; and, fighting climate change.
  3. Technology, innovation and knowledge: The main goal in transforming production is to create a dynamic, sustainable, diversified and inclusive economy focused on knowledge and innovation.


Migratory context:

1999 marked the beginning of an unprecedented migration trend, with the number of Ecuadorian emigrants increasing significantly, in particularly to the US and Spain. It has been calculated that between 1.4 and 1.6 million people left the country between 1999 and 2005 (around 10% of the population). The number of immigrants mainly from Colombia, Peru, Cuba and Haiti, entering and residing in Ecuador has also increased, and over the past 5 years Ecuador has become a transit country for African and Asian migrants travelling to Canada and the US. Due to the civil conflict in Colombia, a significant number of people in need of international protection (around 58,000) have arrived fleeing violence. The return of Ecuadorian migrants has also represented an important new trend over the last five years, as well as immigration from Northern countries, especially highly qualified Spaniards. People in human mobility are considered a priority by Constitutional mandate.


Key local, national laws and bilateral or international agreements related to M&D:  


The following organizations are working on Migration and Development-related issues in Ecuador:  



Key documents for this country:


JMDI Projects


Project 1

“Strengthening the Decentralized Autonomous Governments (DAG) of the northern provinces of Ecuador regarding issues of human mobility”

Where: Provinces of Imbabura, Esmeraldas, Carchi and Sucumbíos – norther frontier of Ecuador.

Context: The flow of people in need of international protection arriving to Ecuador, fleeing the ongoing armed conflict in Colombia and the humanitarian crisis thus generated, has increased significantly since the year 2000. According to recent statistics, in the northern border of Ecuador there are around 28.181 Colombian refugees, which represent approximately 51% of all refugees in the country. Their presence in the northern border has changed social relations and state intervention, because on the one hand there has been significant progress in terms of legislation and public policy regarding asylum, but on the other hand this situation has also shown the weaknesses of basic services implementation, and access to employment, health, education and housing, given the structural poverty of the zone. Additionally, Ecuadorian migrants who have returned to the northern border have settled in the main centers of economic attraction; however, they are also in a vulnerable situation because of their profile (age and education), their lack of local social networks and due to the dynamics/demands of local labor markets, hindering their possibilities of economic inclusion (compounding socio –cultural and affective integration).

Objectives: Contribute to the generation of synergies and institutional capacity for Autonomous Decentralized Governments of the northern provinces of Ecuador that promote the implementation of the local legislation and public policies aimed at the protection and restoration of rights of people in situations of human mobility.

Partner organization(s): Decentralized Autonomous Government of Imbabura (Social Board of Action) and the Commonwealth of Northern Provinces of Ecuador.

Beneficiaries: Direct beneficiaries: Authorities and public officials from the four Decentralized Autonomous Governments of the northern border; Rights Protection Regional Networks in the four provinces. Indirect beneficiaries: people living in situations of human mobility in the four northern provinces.

Duration: 21 months

Contribution from JMDI: USD 230.000

Key documents for this project:

For more information contact the JMDI Focal Point: Paola Moreno Núñez, (+593) 22460 330


Project 2

“Reception, development and sustainable strengthening for social, productive and cultural integration of people experiencing human mobility with particular attention to the most vulnerable groups in the province of Pichincha”

Where: Municipalities of Cayambe, Pedro Moncayo, San Miguel de los Bancos and Guayllabamba; civil parishes of Calderón, Nayón and Chilibulo, in the province of Pichincha.

Context: Pichincha is a province that concentrates significant numbers of people in need of international protection (asylum seekers), immigrants, returnees and victims of trafficking, especially in Quito, Cayambe and Pedro Moncayo which are labour focal points, especially due to the presence of flower industries in the latter two localities where cheap labour is usually sought among immigrant people and refugees. Limited employment opportunities for newcomers, rights abuses and different types of discrimination place this group in particularly vulnerable situation, and thus in need of tailored and inclusive social and economic inclusion programs. On the other hand, the province receives important financial inflows from Ecuadorians abroad representing an important contribution to the region’s economy.

Objectives: Contribute to the protection and exercise of the rights of people in human mobility in the province of Pichincha, from the perspective of integral human development and through strengthening of their social, productive and cultural capacities.

Partner organization: Decentralized Autonomous Government of Pichincha (Human Mobility Office)

Beneficiaries: Refugees, immigrants, people in transit and Ecuadorian returnees and their families in the province of Pichincha.  

Duration: 20 months

Contribution from JMDI: USD 230.000


Key documents for this project:


For more information, contact the JMDI Focal Point: Paola Moreno Núñez, (+593) 22460 330


  Ms. Riallant argues that if such a mutli-sector and multi-level approach is not adapted, it will be difficult to truly ensure that ‘no one is left behind.’ In order to develop this desired policy coherence is to integrate migration into development and other governance policies and particularly recognise the importance of working at the local level where the...

Calendar of Events

  The Second Global Mayoral Forum took place in Quito, Ecuador from November 12-13, 2015 and gathered 86 Mayors, City Representatives and members of International Organisations. The overarching theme of this Forum was centred on the role of local government in implementing the migration-related targets in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. See the ...

M4D Resources

País: Ecuador Área temática: Inclusión social Palabras clave: Sensibilización, integración, cohabitación, empoderamiento Este estudio de caso se centra en la experiencia del Gobierno Autónomo Descentralizado de la Provincia de Pichincha en la lucha contra las actitudes racistas y xenófobas hacia los migrantes a través de políticas que promuevan la concienciación y las...
Pays : Equateur Thématique : Inclusion Sociale Mots-Clés : Sensibilisation, Intégration, Vivre-Ensemble, Autonomisation Cette étude de cas se concentre sur l'expérience du gouvernement décentralisé et autonome de la province de Pichincha dans la lutte contre les attitudes racistes et xénophobes vis-à-vis des migrants, à l’aide de politiques de sensibilisation...
Country: Ecuador Thematic area:  Social Inclusion Key words: Sensibilisation, integration, cohabitation, empowerment  This case study focuses on the experience of the Decentralized Autonomous Government of Pichincha Province in combating racist and xenophobic attitudes towards migrants through policies that promote awareness-raising and intercultural societies....
País: Ecuador Área temática: Integración de la migración en la planificación del desarrollo local Palabras clave: inclusión social, inclusión económica, enfoque multilateral, enfoque multiniveles Este estudio de caso describe las principales lecciones aprendidas sobre cómo integrar la movilidad humana en los programas de desarrollo local y las políticas públicas, para...
Pays : Equateur Domaine thématique : Intégration de la migration dans la planification du développement local Mots clés : inclusion sociale, inclusion économique, approche multi-acteurs, approche interinstitutionnelle Cette étude de cas décrit les principales leçons apprises sur la manière d'intégrer la mobilité humaine dans les programmes locaux de développement et...
Country: Ecuador Thematic area: Mainstreaming Migration into Local Development Planning Key words: Social Inclusion, economic inclusion, multi-stakeholder partnership, inter-institutional approach This case study outlines key lessons learnt on and how to integrate human mobility into local development programmes and public policies  for enhanced development impact....
País: Ecuador Área temática: Asociaciones para la gestión efectiva de la migración para el desarrollo local Palabras clave: colaboración interinstitucional, enfoque multi-actores, derechos de los migrantes Este estudio de caso muestra la importancia de crear alianzas interinstitucionales a nivel local para mejorar la gestión de la movilidad humana para el desarrollo....
Pays : Équateur Domaine thématique : Partenariats pour une gestion efficace des migrations pour le développement local Mots clés : partenariat interinstitutionnel, approche multi-acteurs, droits des migrants Cette étude de cas montre l'importance de créer des partenariats interinstitutionnels au niveau local pour mieux gérer la mobilité humaine pour le développement....