Migration, Development and International Cooperation: Priorities for Action
Adopting a human-rights and gender-based approach to international migration and development policies allows migrants to contribute more positively to development – and development to have a more positive impact on migration.
Protection and respect for human rights of all migrants and members of their families – including the right to development and non-discrimination regardless of migration status – forms a solid foundation for migration and development policies.
Promoting the integration of migrants into society and combating xenophobia, racism and discrimination enhances the public perception of migrants and can assist in making migration a safe, dignified and enriching experience.
Addressing negative perceptions of migrants and removing discrimination and inequality – both in law and practice – is a key element in integrating migrants and enhancing their contribution to development. Member States should adopt measures to reverse social and cultural norms that violate human rights, and promote tolerance and equity.
Promoting economic growth and sustainable development is critical to ensuring that migration takes place as a matter of choice rather than necessity.
The positive impact of migration on development is maximized when it occurs out of informed choice. Effective management of international migration will depend on making the option to remain in one’s country viable for all.
Understanding regional specificities is critical in the formulation and implementation of tailored and effective migration policies.
Regional specificities, complementarities of labor markets, and regional and sub-regional integration should be the basis for designing practical and coherent migration policies.
Incorporating an age and gender-sensitive perspective is vital in the design and implementation of effective migration and development policies.
Applying an age and gender-sensitive lens to migration policies is both right in principle and will increase our understanding of the diverse experiences, challenges and opportunities faced by migrants.
Developing comprehensive mechanisms to address the vulnerability of migrants in irregular situations is an urgent priority.
Migrants in an irregular situation are often afraid or unable to seek protection and relief from the authorities of countries of origin, transit or destination. Consequently, they – especially girls and women – are at greater risk of discrimination, exclusion, violence, exploitation, abuse, human trafficking and smuggling. There is an urgent need to explore viable means to addressing migrants’ lack of legal status, including the promotion of regular channels of migration and the possibility of regularization.
Making social security benefits portable and mutually recognizing qualifications and certifications are important mechanisms for ensuring that migration strengthens human development.
Recognizing social security rights and the principle of equality of treatment as a human right, mutual recognition of qualifications and certifications between countries, and greater participation in vocational training and education would facilitate mobility and enhance the development potential of migrants.
Facilitating equitable access to health services and social protection for migrants and their families enhances their well-being and development potential.
Social protection mechanisms hold considerable potential to facilitate more equitable access to health services, goods and facilities for migrants, regardless of their legal status. Member States should also apply practices of ethical international recruitment of health personnel and herewith facilitate the strengthening of health systems.
Enhancing and expanding data collection, analysis and dissemination on migration is imperative to strengthen the evidence base for policies and programmes.
Member States are urged to strengthen the evidence base on migration by collecting and disseminating detailed data disaggregated by age, sex, country of origin, education, occupation, skill level and other relevant information such as regular/irregular status, issuance of entry, exit and work permits, and changes in nationality. The main priority is to ensure that results from the 2010 round of population censuses are made available before the 2013 High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.
Strengthening the capacity of governments and other key stakeholders to mainstream migration policies into development planning is critical for institutional and policy coherence.
Mainstreaming migration into development planning will necessitate assessment of the implications of migration on any action planned in a development and/or poverty reduction strategy as well as in other planning tools.
Member States should ensure that families derive lasting benefits from remittances.
To enable families to derive lasting benefits from remittances, Member States should design programmes that allow stakeholders to increase access to financial services and financial education for migrants in countries of origin and destination. They should also provide incentives and information for migrants and their dependents to allocate remittances to savings, education, health and productive activities. The promotion of social remittances such as knowledge transfer will also ensure that families derive lasting benefits from migration.
Developing mechanisms to foster meaningful adolescent and youth participation is essential to realizing their civil and social rights.
The development of policies and progammes at national, regional and local levels to foster the participation of children, adolescents and youth affected by migration is critical to realizing their rights. Such children include those travelling alone or unaccompanied, left-behind, and those born to migrant parents in destination countries. Greater attention should be paid to the psycho-social effects of migration on children and adolescents as well as address the potential risks in terms of discrimination and lack of social inclusion that migrant children, adolescent, youth and those born of migrants parents face.