UN Action Plan for International migration for development and reduce its economic and social costs

Published Date:   Friday, Oct 11, 2013

For only second time in UN history, High-level Dialogue puts international migration at centre stage with theme of Making Migration Work
New York: The United Nations considers actions to harness the benefits of international migration for development and reduce its economic and social costs, when delegates from more than 150 countries, including dozens of ministers and hundreds of civil society representatives, gather for a High‑level Dialogue on International Migration and Development on 3-4 October.
The global number of international migrants has risen from 175 million in 2000 to 232 million in 2013, according to figures released last month by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The number of international migrants has continued to grow despite the recent economic and financial crisis.
A report by the UN Secretary-General for the High-level Dialogue identifies eight action points for Member States to consider, including protecting migrant rights by implementing relevant conventions and creating greater opportunities for legal migration. The report suggests that Member States should take collaborative action to reduce the costs of migration, such as lowering the transfer costs of remittances and fees paid to recruiters, especially by low-skilled workers. 
The report also calls on Member States to protect and assist migrants stranded in humanitarian crises, such as the conflict in Syria; to raise public awareness of the contributions migrants make to destination countries; to eliminate migrant exploitation, especially human trafficking; to fully integrate migration into the post-2015 development agenda; and to make major improvements in data collection related to migration. The report notes, for example, that four out of 10 African countries lack basic data on migration. “This High-level Dialogue is about taking concrete measures to make migration a catalyst for development,”
UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said. “I hope that Member States will present good practices and launch concrete initiatives to address the migration challenges at the bilateral, regional and global levels.”
Mr. Eliasson said that Member States and stakeholders should use the High-level Dialogue to identify priorities for international cooperation on migration in the coming years. With the UN planning to adopt a new development agenda in 2015, the meeting will highlight the critical contributions of migration to development and make a strong case for including migration in the post-2015 development agenda.
“From a global perspective, migration should be recognized as a positive force for development. Migrants bring fresh energy and ideas to receiving areas, contributing directly to economic growth.
Migrants can also relieve the pressure caused by under‑employment in countries of origin and support those economies through remittances and the transfer of knowledge and ideas,” UN Under Secretary- General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo said. “Migration is an age-old strategy for people seeking to escape poverty, mitigate risk, and build a better life,” Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration Peter Sutherland said. “I will focus on a series of concrete initiatives, including ones to ensure that migration is given full consideration in the post-2015 development agenda, to reduce the costs of migration, and to ban the detention of migrant children.”
The Special Representative also will expand his advocacy for the Domestic Workers Convention, which extends the labour and social rights of millions of migrant domestic workers around the world. Events this week will build on progress made since the first High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development was held in 2006, after which the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) was created. Since 2007, the GFMD has served as a platform for informal dialogue and cooperation on international migration and development outside the UN. Also in 2006, the Global Migration Group was created by the UN to increase interagency cooperation on migration.
For the latest statistics on international migrants, please visit www.unmigration.org.
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