Migration and Development: A Global Compact on Migration


In observance of the International Migrants Day, Dec 18

The 9th Global Forum on Migration and Development marked a successful continuation of a global process that addresses one of the most contentious issues in the global development agenda. As States intensify efforts to define the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, Regular Migration, there is a need to systematically identity core thematic elements, the normative framework, and a process of meetings and negotiations in the run-up to the proposed UN International Conference in 2018.

We organized a side event: “Migration and Development: A Roadmap to a Global Compact” where we presented the findings from the paper and we discussed possible principles on international migration.

We are proposing the following six core elements for the Global Compact:

  • Income and job creation in poor countries
  • Job competition for native workers in host countrie
  • National identity; Integration of migrants in host community
  • Trafficking, abusive employers and recruiters, skill recognition
  • Migrant rights; Exclusion, discrimination, xenophobic attacks on migrants
  • Mobilization of remittances and diaspora resources

These elements are necessary since governments will need to develop a migration governance mechanism to address the drivers of migration: income gaps, demographic changes, environmental changes, and fragility, conflict and violence. Migration pressures will increase in the years to come since there will be 875 million of people looking for jobs by 2050.

The normative framework would need to be founded on the above thematic elements, and build on existing conventions. A creation of bold new agreements when needed could be necessary. It would be also important that some institutions dealing with migration develop focused mission statements.

     1. Financing development projects
     2. Addressing fundamental drivers
     3. Maximizing benefits in line with the SDGS
        • Reducing recruitment costs
        • Reducing remittance costs
        • Improve data by migratory status
     4. Providing knowledge for policy making and countering negative public perceptions

International organizations are observers in the Global Compact on Migration process. However, they can apply the migration lens in their activities. For example, the World Bank will view their Systematic Country Diagnostics and Country Partnership Frameworks as well as their IDA 18 activities through the migration lens, for that purpose a migration diagnostic tool will be applied. IFIs could also bridge data gaps, finance pilots and facilitate dialogue among states.

Current discussions underline the different points of views and positions on possible elements of the compact. Some countries want to focus on return, readmission and reduction of irregular migration. Another group of countries would like to see a governance mechanism to address forced migration while other countries would like to see an increase in regular migration channels. Countries are holding the pen on how the Global Compact on Migration will be shaped and how to devise a migration governance mechanism that works for all countries. Perhaps, it is time to create a World Migration Organization where international cooperation is achieved.

Within this context, the World Bank can contribute by viewing migration through the lens of reducing poverty and sharing prosperity while respecting individual human rights. These elements can provide a unifying frameworks for operationalizing the Bank Group’s vast knowledge on migration and mobilizing its financial resources and convening power.

There is a need to devise innovative game-changing solutions since the time is short.

BASUG on Facebook