Tuesday, 22 August 2023
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Thematic Workshop on the Impact of Climate Change on Labour Migration

A thematic workshop on the “Impact of Climate Change on Labour Migration” convened at the ILO headquarters in Geneva and online on March 29, 2023, aimed at providing insights into the upcoming 14th GFMD Summit scheduled for January 23-25, 2024, in Geneva. The workshop gathered over 180 participants, representing more than 45 Member States, alongside civil society, the private sector, local authorities, youth, academics, and international organizations.

The event featured two insightful panel discussions followed by active interactions from both in-person and online participants. The first panel delved into the potential of labour migration to enhance the adaptive capacities and resilience of migrants, countries, and communities. Discussions emphasized the imperative of addressing root causes and inequalities to transform migration into a choice rather than a necessity. Key proposals included aligning labour migration policies with broader adaptation and just transition agendas, ensuring minimum protection standards in line with international labour norms, and establishing permanent legal pathways for socio-economic integration and family reunification.

Conversely, the second panel spotlighted the necessity of acquiring new skills to facilitate a successful transition to low-carbon economies. Labour migration emerged as a pivotal vehicle for nurturing green skills and mitigating labour shortages, provided it is effectively managed. Suggestions included investing in youth empowerment and diaspora engagement to mitigate brain drain and promoting long-term settlement and socio-economic integration perspectives to advance sustainable development goals. Additionally, the panel underscored the importance of targeted, rights-based labour mobility programs and the alignment of national policies with adaptation and just transition plans, advocating for a gender-sensitive approach.

Undoubtedly, based on the suggestions and insights that emerged from this workshop, the 14th GFMD Summit in January 2024 will be a further opportunity to bring together multiple stakeholders to examine and discuss the question.

You can watch the workshop recording on the GFMD YouTube channel: GFMD France - Thematic workshop on labour migration and climate change (29 March 2023) - YouTube

The Summary note and other related documents are available in the 2022-2023 Chair’s Key Documents.