Making migration work for all

The General Assembly High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development opened on 3 October in New York with a call from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to implement measures that protect the rights of millions of migrants as well as recognize their contributions to society.

“It is our collective responsibility to make migration work for the benefit of migrants and countries alike,” Mr. Ban told the High-level meeting. “We owe this to the millions of migrants who, through their courage, vitality and dreams, help make our societies more prosperous, resilient and diverse.”

Protecting human rights of migrants

In his remarks, Mr. Ban presented the report on International Migration and Development, which makes eight key recommendations to “make migration work” for all. They include: protecting human rights of migrants who are frequently the subject of abuse and exploitation, lowering the cost of migration, and changing public perception of migrants, as many face discrimination on a daily basis.

The report also stresses the need to find ways integrate migration in the development agenda, improve data collection on migrants and the impact they have on development, and enhancing migration partnerships so governments, the private sector and civil society can share ideas and knowledge on mobility.

The report also stresses the need to find ways integrate migration in the development agenda, improve data collection on migrants and the impact they have on development, and enhancing migration partnerships so governments, the private sector and civil society can share ideas and knowledge on mobility.

Half of international migrants are women

According to UN figures, migration continues to increase in size and scope. In 2000, there were 175 million international migrants compared to some 232 million in 2013. Half of them are women. The impact of remittance flows is also significant having reached $401 billion last year – nearly four times the $126 billion in official development assistance (ODA).

General Assembly President John Ashe said Member States should learn from their experiences from the past seven years – when the first high-level meeting on the issue occurred – and move from dialogue to action. “We need to redouble our efforts to ensure that the contributions of migration are not only apparent to us, but also to the public at large. We have an important responsibility to get the message right,” he added.

The High-Level Dialogue offers a unique opportunity to include migration in the post-2015 development agenda. “This should send a strong signal to governments, be they national planning commissions or bilateral development cooperation agencies, and to multilateral development agencies to take migration into consideration in their development analysis, plans and monitoring efforts,” said Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy of Sweden, Tobias Billstrom in a Round table on “Sustainable Development and the Post-2015 Framework”.

The two-day Dialogue seeks to identify concrete measures to strengthen cooperation and enhance the benefits of international migration for migrants and countries, while reducing its negative implications. The event features presentations by Member States and a slate of panel discussions on specific issues such as the links between migration and sustainable development, and labour mobility and its impact on development.

Migrants are human beings with human rights

The Special Rapporteur on the protection of migrants, François Crépeau, highlighted in a press briefing the human dimension of migration, stressing migrants should not bee seen as agents of global remittances only.
“Migrants are human beings with human rights, not simple agents of economic development remittances,” he said. “All migrants, by virtue of their human dignity without discrimination are protected by international human rights law, on the same footing as citizens regardless of their administrative status or situation.”
Mr. Crépeau urged countries to ratify all international human rights treaties including those pertaining migrant rights such as the Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

 

Source: UN news/UN DESA

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