- Published on 27 March 2012
Roundtable 1.1 - Highly Skilled Migration: Balancing Interests and Responsibilities
Collate good policies and practices that will allow countries to better manage human resource development and deployment in highly skilled sectors, particularly the health sector, and ensure effective partnership between origin and destination countries. Codes of ethical recruitment practice need to be evaluated; and gender-specific data on skilled migration collected (31). The following actions were agreed during the session:
- Establish a matrix of good practices for countries of origin and destination and for joint actions between them that can help retain, train and recover skilled health personnel for development. This could be based on the GFMD background paper and the discussions in the roundtable and passed on by the session chairpersons to inform the work of the GHWA (for reporting at the next GFMD meeting in 2008?);
- Consider further development of codes of ethical recruitment in the health sector and the dissemination of lessons learned from existing codes of conduct. The Global Health Workforce Alliance has already begun a relevant study of such codes, and could report on the findings at the next Forum meeting in 2008.
Roundtable 1.2 - Temporary Labour Migration as a Contribution to Development: Sharing Responsibility.
A set of good policies and practices for safe and orderly temporary labour migration is needed, that also enforces its legality, temporariness and potential contributions to development. This can draw from some good partnership practices between countries, presented during the session and in the background paper, and from some of the ready-made policy tools offered by international expert organizations. The following action was agreed during the session:
- Develop a compendium of good practice policies on bilateral temporary labour arrangements that can contribute to development and give access to foreign labour markets, notably for low skilled, while controlling irregular migration and protecting the human and social rights of migrants. This could be taken forward by the roundtable session Chairs in collaboration with relevant international organizations and presented to a Friends of the Forum meeting in the near future.
Roundtable 1.3 - The Role of Other-Than-Government Partners in Strengthening the Developmental Contribution of Temporary Labour Migration
Private sector and other non-state actors should play a stronger role in reducing the costs of migration, ensuring better work conditions and informing and protecting migrants abroad. The following actions were agreed during the session:
- Undertake a feasibility study of financial intermediation services that would allow would-be migrants to borrow at market or if possible at concessional rates for their up-front expenses prior to migration. Bangladesh has expressed keen interest in undertaking this study in partnership with relevant agencies and reporting on the outcomes in Manila 2008.
- Organize a workshop among interested government and other partners to discuss ways of identifying good recruitment and employment practices and set up benchmarks/criteria for performance evaluation of recruitment agents and employers in origin and destination countries. Bangladesh has shown interest in co-organizing this workshop with relevant partners and reporting on progress in Manila 2008.
- Establish migrant resource centers along a well traversed migration corridor, and interconnect these to ensure timely and linked-up services to migrants. This may be a real Migrant Resource Centre or a virtual or internet-based one and may be considered for longer term action.
- Based on the Guatemala-Canada seasonal worker model, consider developing such projects as pilots in other countries along a well-used migration corridor. This could be taken forward by interested international organizations.
Roundtable 1.4 - How Can Circular Migration and Sustainable Return Serve as Development Tools?
Circular migration should be tested concretely as a mutually beneficial policy arrangement between origin and destination countries. More information is needed about the effectiveness of current schemes, with a view to improving them; and the working definition should be sharpened. Pilot projects should be attempted, with proper monitoring in order to assess their effectiveness and relevance. The EU timetable of consultations provides a useful framework for planning follow-up activities. The following actions were agreed during the session:
- Hold a workshop on circular migration prior to the next Forum meeting to lay the groundwork for future partnerships. For action by the European Commission, the initiator, and Mauritius which is likely to host it. The workshop would use the Mauritian model, and sharpen the definition of circular migration to operationalize the opportunities and benefits it holds for origin and destination country. To be held at the end of 2007 or early 2008, and to be reported on in Manila in 2008.
- Undertake an independent assessment of the development impacts of skills circulation models, such as MIDA (Migration for Development in Africa) and TOKTEN; and assess the feasibility of scaling them up and/or expanding them for greater development impact in the country of origin. This would be discussed with the implementing international organizations; and progress reported at the GFMD meeting in Manila in 2008 by interested governments.
Roundtable 2.1 - Improving the Formalization of Transfers and Reducing Their Cost
On the reduction of remittance costs and improvement of their formalization, participants proposed the following actions to be considered by governments:
- Enhance competition on the remittance market by i) avoiding monopolies and promoting partnerships that enable more actors to enter this market, including through more relative flexibility of regulations for the remittance industry, taking into account the legitimate need for security regulations (fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, etc.); and by ii) engaging with financial institutions to raise their awareness of the relevance of remittances;
- Facilitate transfers by supporting partnership between:
- commercial banks, money transfer operators and microfinance institutions;
- commercial banks located in sending and receiving countries;
- central banks of sending and recipient countries to enhance payment systems;
- Implement financial literacy programs tailored to the needs of remittance senders and recipients (including in predeparture programs) and ensure transparent dissemination of information on transfer costs;
- Promote public/private partnerships for the use of new technologies to facilitate transfers and reduce costs;
- Support research on remittance senders’ behaviour.
Roundtable 2.2 - Increase the Micro-Impact of Remittances on Development
On the need to ensure positive micro-impacts of remittances on development, participants proposed the following actions to be considered by governments:
- Enable a diversified supply of financial services (from micro-insurance, micro-pension, etc. to investment opportunities, etc.) by the private sector for remittance senders and recipients, e.g. through the creation of multi-stakeholder partnerships, while retaining the possibility for governments to intervene as necessary; and ensure full use of the services already existing;
- Set up intermediary structures for on-the-ground management of migrant investments in the country of origin, taking into account the necessary gradual approach from individual to collective, local and national investment;
- Provide financial literacy programs and better information on financial services to remittance senders and recipients;
- Support research on tools and incentives needed for governments to make remittances become investments, as well as on the impact of remittances on the situation of women and on children.
Roundtable 2.3 - Increasing the Macro-Impact of Remittances on Development
On the need to ensure positive macro-impacts of remittances on development, participants proposed the following actions to be considered by governments:
- Improve remittance statistics to enable their inclusion in calculations of country creditworthiness to facilitate access to international financing that can fund development projects;
- Support securitization of future remittance flows to access international financing that can fund development projects;
- Promote the issuance of diaspora bonds where appropriate to access international financing that can fund development projects;
- Redress remittances’ possible negative macro-economic impacts through long term structural solutions rather than short term solutions.
Roundtable 2.4 - Working with the Diaspora for Development
On partnerships with diasporas to enhance the development impact of their activities, participants proposed the following actions to be considered by governments:
- Identify partners within the diaspora (numbers, location, skills, etc.) and support diaspora organizations’ organizational and representation capacities;
- Establish triangular partnerships between diasporas, home and host countries and increase coordination among different ministerial departments in home and host countries, between home and host countries, as well as between host countries harboring diaspora of the same origin;
- Enhance links between diasporas and countries of origin, including over generations, through regular dialogue and information channels (formal or informal, political involvement) and provide accurate information to diasporas about development and investment opportunities in countries of origin ;
- Create an enabling environment for diaspora activities for instance by providing multiple re-entry visas, dual citizenship, recognition of skills and portability of social welfare;
- Enable the consultation of diaspora as well as the coordination of their interventions with national and local development plans to enhance their sustainability;
- Further research the reciprocal influence between diasporas’ integration in the host country and their involvement in the development of their country of origin.
Roundtable 3.1 - Measuring Migration and Development Impacts: Latest Initiatives and Progress
There is a need to support initiatives aimed at gathering policy relevant data on migration and development-related impacts and producing analytical information and knowledge to be made available to policy-makers. This will benefit from new partnerships which identify priority areas where cooperation and joint action could lead to better results. Such support would signal a serious commitment to examining the impacts of migration on development. The discussion among the participants led to the following proposals:
- To support capacity building initiatives to develop more effective systems for monitoring migrant flows to and from developing countries and better policy planning and provide support to Southern and Northern data gathering institutions. This needs to be developed with the support of the donor community and relevant international organizations;
- That the Forum be invited to consider:
- The creation of an expert working group of government policy-makers, researchers and civil society from both migration and development communities in order to assess and coordinate research priorities. Key persons would be drawn together and sponsors could help shape the research.
- The development of a brief report on key policy lessons drawn from existing research, to be presented in Manila 2008;
- The creation of a working group between relevant institutions on better data gathering and sharing.
Finland, as chair and coordinator of Session 3.1 of the first GFMD meeting, is willing to continue working on these issues and is looking into the options for how to start implementing the policies and findings, in close cooperation and coordination with other countries and agencies.
Roundtable 3.2 - Coherent Policy Planning and Methodology to Link Migration and Development
The outcome of Session 3.2 was to provide a set of recommendations that can serve as general guidelines for any country that wishes to pursue policy coherence between migration and development, but is unsure of which steps or approach to take. Some of the proposals made by participants could be implemented almost immediately, provided that there is the political will to do so. The proposals could be summarized as follows:
Greater intertwining of migration and development policies is required in order to shift the paradigm and make migration work better for development and vice versa. There is a need to ensure continued political commitment and work towards shared responsibilities between origin and destination countries in promoting and achieving greater policy coherence and a common view on the mutually beneficial inter-relationship between migration and development policies. The discussion led to the following proposals:
- To include migration concerns in national development planning processes and in the formulation of country strategies for bilateral development cooperation (124) including, where relevant, Poverty Reduction Strategies. Consultations for this purpose should be held with civil society actors, including diaspora organizations. A first step towards this end could be the production of a national policy and action plan on how to promote synergies between migration and development policies and actions. Working papers on the subject may be useful as a starting point;
- To establish formal and informal mechanisms, adequately resourced, to enable those government officials responsible for migration policies and development policies to communicate and consult with one another on ways to promote synergies between their respective policies and decisions. It is essential that these consultations take place at all levels of government. The following concrete actions were suggested :
- The creation of a focal point specifically for the GFMD has contributed to improved policy consultations on migration and development within many countries. All governments should maintain and reinforce the GFMD focal points in order to facilitate further dialogue at national level, as well as networking at the global level between GFMD participating governments. If contact points on migration and development are established in various government departments, they should be regularly in contact with each other at the national level. Focal points should be established at a sufficiently high level of policy making or at least, should regularly report to policy makers;
- The creation of a working group to look at good practices and lessons learned in promoting policy coherence within governments, building on the thematic survey undertaken by Sweden in preparation for the first Forum meeting. A follow-up survey could be undertaken before the next GFMD meeting and a subsequent progress report with analysis of the responses;
- Sweden, as chair and coordinator of Session 3.2 of the first GFMD meeting, is ready to continue to actively work on these issues in the future, together with other countries willing to take the lead of such group. A report from the working group could be presented in Manila next year;
- Developed countries and international organizations should support the strengthening of capacity building in developing countries both at the levels of policymaking and of institutional set-up to better address migration and development related impacts. A progress report on this would be useful for the GFMD meetings of 2008 or 2009.
Roundtable 3.3 - Future of the Global Forum on Migration and Development
Session 3.3 was chaired by Mr Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for International Migration and Development, together with H.E. Ms Régine De Clercq, Ambassador for Migration and Asylum Policy, Belgian Executive Director of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, and H.E. Mr Enrique A. Manalo, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in Geneva. This session was devoted to a discussion on the future of the Forum, and built upon the work of the Geneva ad hoc group of States (See above), as well as on the previous discussions of the Friends of the Forum. Given the state-led nature of the Forum, it was indeed considered of utmost importance that governments present in Brussels could discuss, among themselves, the future operating modalities of the process. The session was restricted to heads of delegations of Member States representations. The document entitled Operational modalities which is available in annex to the present report reflects the work of the Geneva ad hoc group of States and the discussions which took place in session 3.3. These Operating Modalities aim at ensuring sufficient continuity and practical support for the incoming chair(s). However, this document may be assessed and revised, as appropriate, at the GFMD in Manila in 2008.
Looking forward, the next GFMD meeting will be organized by the Philippines in Manila in 2008. That meeting may address other aspects of Migration and Development, but will also continue the debate and report on some issues discussed in Brussels, particularly the follow-up actions. Provisional modalities have been agreed upon for continuation of the GFMD process: a Troika comprising the past, present and future chairs, a regionally balanced Steering Group, the Friends of the Forum, and a Taskforce attached to the Chair-in-Office to organize, administer and report on the actual meeting (See annex for details). A number of elements will be essential to the successful continuation of the Forum, including funding support, ongoing government engagement, and favourable public opinion. The country focal points will be key to achieving these, and should be supported to play stronger roles as conduits to the Forum, coordinators of intra-governmental engagement and vehicles for interaction at the regional level. The network of focal points at the global level should be consolidated for this purpose.
Roundtable 3.4 - Regional Migration Consultation Processes and Development: Advancing Cooperation
Given the state-led nature of RCPs, any decisions regarding the activities of RCPs need to be taken by participating governments. Greater integration of development considerations into the agenda of RCPs can be implemented, in particular, through the following measures (it is however clear that not all the proposals mentioned here can be applied to all RCPs):
- To promote greater sharing of information about activities and achievements of RCPs in the fields of migration and development. This could be achieved for instance through:
- Regular meetings for greater cross-fertilization between RCPs The question remains whether it would be preferable that this cross-fertilization among RCPs remain informal and organized on an ad hoc basis, or whether it would be better to set up formal consultations and regularly scheduled interactions;
- A common database on good practices on migration and development from the RCPs and a website Participants highlighted the importance of adopting a proactive approach in this field. Collecting all the findings, recommendations and projects statically on a website is not sufficient to ensure effective communication of the information. There is a need to find ways to actually get the information to those that need it. Active mailing and regular update of the achievements of RCPs listed on the website could constitute a useful first step in that direction;
- An RCP newsletter that goes through them and focuses on migration and development issues;
- To encourage a more systematic evaluation of RCPs’ achievements and impacts in the fields of migration and development, especially in the field of capacity building, in order to promote a better understanding of the contribution of RCPs to managing migration for development. The participants of the first meeting of the Forum are invited to identify who could be in charge of organizing such assessments. These surveys would be non-binding but could lead to the formulation of recommendations for capacity building. They could include all government respondents and be conducted on a more regular basis and in greater depth to promote a better understanding of the contribution of RCPs to managing migration for development. However, participants highlighted the need not to proceed too quickly to assessments of the achievements and impacts of RCPs, given the fact that most of these processes are still recent and need more time to develop effectively. They could most usefully be pursued as a means to identify areas for strengthening activities;
- To encourage the involvement of government departments and agencies of developing and developed country governments (and where appropriate, non-governmental actors) responsible for development in RCP meetings and projects as appropriate. While the initiative to promote policy coherence has to come from national governments, RCPs can support these efforts by also involving government departments and agencies responsible for development and by facilitating intra-governmental information sharing through appropriate dissemination strategies (e.g. cross-departmental email list);
- To reinforce donor support for migration and development-related activities of RCPs, especially in regions of high migration and development interest to the donor community (e.g. MIDSA and MIDWA in Africa);
- To promote more links between RCPs and other regional fora, formal and informal, as appropriate (e.g. regional trade and integration regimes). States may consider further developing links between RCPs and inter-regional political level dialogue in part to provide a mechanism for follow-up on political level commitments at a more technical level. The nature of linkages between RCPs and inter-regional political level dialogues, as well as the level of participation, should be decided by RCPs’ member states, since RCPs are government-led, non-binding and information-sharing informal processes. This is fundamental both for the ownership of states that are concerned as well as for the development issue;
- To establish new RCP’s in developing regions where they are absent (e.g. in Central and Eastern Africa). These new RCPs could be linked to existing fora, such as regional trade organizations. However there is a need for information on organizational and structural aspects of RCPs to the concerned states to start off the process of RCP;
- To ensure a sustainable two-way information flow between RCPs and the GFMD, for example: RCPs could complement the activities of the GFMD by providing a testing and dissemination ground for new ideas that the GFMD produces in relevant areas. GFMD results could be brought back to the RCPs for their consideration and possible integration in their work plans/agendas. A sustainable two-way information flow between RCPs and the GFMD could be encouraged, for example :
- by undertaking regular surveys of RCPs from a migration and development perspective. This would provide an opportunity for RCPs to highlight some of their good practices in the field and feed their achievements into the GFMD, while the issues/points which are highlighted at the GFMD could be included in the next survey;
- by creating a network of GFMD focal points in different RCPs to support this exchange and consult them on best practices before organizing the next forum.
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Now in its seventh year, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) has remained as the largest and most comprehensive global platform for dialogue and cooperation on international migration and development.