Ecuador: Youth, Employment, Migration – Reducing Inequalities in Ecuador


Ecuadorian youth between 15 and 29 account for around one quarter of the population, an age group marked by high levels of underemployment and unemployment, as well as precarious working conditions, which, together with other factors, encourage migration. This Joint Programme improved opportunities for youth experiencing social, economic, gender, land and cultural inequities by fostering decent employment and economic enterprises.

The Programme was implemented at two levels:

  1. At the national level, through joint work with various ministries and agencies of the Ecuadorian Government, such as the National Secretariat for Migrants, the Ministry for Social Development Coordination, the Ministry of Labour Relations, the Ministry of Social Inclusion  and the National Secretariat for Planning and Development;
  2. At the local level, in three provinces – Azuay, El Oro and Loja – and 12 municipalities (four per province) where there is high youth unemployment and significant migration.

The Programme promoted the coordinated implementation of national youth employment policies, together with socio-economic inclusion and migration, focusing on the economic, social and cultural rights of youth. It also strengthened protection systems for youth rights and governance of public policies supporting youth’s civic participation.

This intervention enabled progress to be made in Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 8, by providing youth with access to decent and productive employment, and also progress towards the MDGs that promote gender equality.

Some of the achievements of the Programme were:

  • Youth were involved in local roundtables, decision making, planning and processes focusing on the issue of youth entrepreneurship. This  allowed the Ecuadorian Government to allocate USD 2 million for youth enterprises, based on financial products designed ​​by the programme and adopted as public policy.
  • Two provincial governments allocated budgets to continue the actions initiated by the programme and further provided six technicians to support  entrepreneurs.
  • Support was provided for the design of three public policies on migration that favour youth-led activities, decent youth employments and the design of the Manual de Protección a Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes (Manual  on the Protection of Children and Adolescents). A study was conducted of routes used by young migrants for irregular migration.
  • More than 300 youth enrolled in programs promoting workforce integration; more than 450 trained in entrepreneurship.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Ecuador (in Spanish).



The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 02 Jun 2009 - 28 Feb 2013
Net funded amount $4,245,775
Participating UN agencies ILO, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF
National partners SENAMI, MIES, MRL y sus entidades desconcentradas en las 3 Provincias; Consejos Provinciales del Oro, Azuay, Loja y 12 municipios
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