For only the second time ever, United Nations’ Member States organized a High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD) on 3 and 4 October 2013.
Global civil society invited governments to commit to five years of collaboration on a set of key priorities on international migration and development, including addressing questions like how to regulate private agencies that recruit, place and often abuse foreign workers, how to better respond to boat people and other migrants seriously hurt or traumatized in migration journeys -many at the hands of merciless human traffickers, smugglers and other criminals, how to set and achieve global goals for development that provide countries and people with decent work at home and opportunities to migrate safely, legally and affordably, how to build and strengthen rights-based systems for legal labour migration and decent working and living conditions, integration and options for citizenship in countries of destination, and how to further promote the positive engagement of migrants and diaspora communities in the countries to and from which they have migrated.
Although no firm commitments came out of the HLD, global civil society was struck by the enormous convergence among many governments, international organizations, and civil society groups around a set of key priorities that must be urgently addressed.
In particular, civil society was struck by the great number of similarities and complementarities existing between Civil Society’s 5-Year-Action Plan and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moons’ “8 point action agenda” (Available Here), Peter Sutherland’s 10 points (Available Here) and IOM’s 6 points (Available Here), as well as the Mexican-facilitated milestone Declaration that UN Member States adopted unanimously at the HLD (Available Here).
The widest convergence centered on 6 issues:
- Adding specific references, targets and indicators regarding migration and diaspora in the post-2015 development agenda when the current “Millennium Development Goals” expire.
- Collecting and advancing existing principles and practices in an organized operational framework for providing protection and assistance to migrants in crises, beginning with conflict and disaster situations, but also looking at migrant victims of trauma and violence in transit.
- Reforming the migrant worker recruitment industry. Civil society noted repeated references by states at the HLD to the importance of this issue.Promoting the ratification and effective implementation of the new ILO Domestic Workers Convention (C 189).
- Addressing the needs of children in the context of migration, in particular the plight of unaccompanied children, and structuring alternatives to the detention of children.
- Reducing the costs of migration
The GFMD Civil Society Coordinating Office prepared a short matrix presenting that convergence.