E-consultation: contribute to the EC’s proposals on how to enhance its M and D policy!

English

  

E-consultation: Seize the opportunity and contribute to the EC’s proposals on how to enhance its migration and development policy!

Context

The European Commission (EC) has been developing proposals on how to enhance the external dimension of the EU's migration policy ('The EU Global Approach to Migration'), to better meet the policy objectives and interests of the European Union (EU), its partner countries and all migrants concerned. This package of proposals includes a specific focus on the Migration and Development dimension of the EU migration policy. To access the full discussion paper prepared by the EC, click here. As a member of M4D Net, the EC wanted to hear your view on this important piece of policy development!

Moving towards a migrant-centred approach

The proposals argue that the traditional migration and development agenda should be broadened to offer a migrant-centred approach. As such, the EC considers it is important to examine migration and development policy using the following lenses and identifying the benefits which migration brings for each, together with the challenges and possible solutions: individual migrant; migrant’s family/household; countries and local communities of origin; and countries of destination. It aimed at enabling policy makers to enhance the human and social dimension of migration and development policies. A migrant-centred approach can also be strengthened by increasing the involvement of migrant groups, research institutes, media and other non-state actors in both the development and implementation of migration and development policy. Finally, given that the largest movement of migrants occurs between countries located in the global South (so called South-South migration), the contribution of these migrants to the development of their countries of origin should be recognised and supported.

The following areas were addressed during this e-consultation:

Topic 1 - 18th April 2011 - 9th May 2011:

Taking into account the migrant centred approach described above, explain how the various stakeholders i.e. countries of origin, destination, local governments and communities, can best contribute to its implementation?

Topic 2 - 9th May 2011 - 30th May 2011:

How would a more migrant centred approach to migration and development policy impact on the following key policy areas: 

- Brain Drain – Can you suggest ways which the EU might assist those countries affected by brain drain? Would the development of circular migration schemes in sectors which are particularly affected by brain drain help ease the issue? 

- Migrants’ Rights – From your perspective, how can migrants' rights be best supported and implemented?  

- Social consequences of migration: How best can the social consequences of migration be addressed through the EU migration and development policy?

 

Your contributions have been gathered in the consolidated reply available here.

 

 

 

Dear Colleagues,

Find below our contribution to the proposed EC Policy on migration:

According to the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in despicable acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and have led to hardship and death of many.  Every member of the world family has the same fundamental and equal rights that others have. Each one is entitled to have these rights respected, and each of us has a responsibility to protect those rights for all others.

Yet every day, these rights are being violated in almost every country against both the indigenous people and the migrants. Each violation of human rights, wherever it occurs, is a threat to the welfare and dignity of the entire human family. The protection of human rights therefore is a worldwide responsibility which transcends all racial, ideological and geographical boundaries. This is the fundamental belief which has given birth to the international struggle for human rights. And this rights-based approach is the premise upon which our contribution to e-consultation on the proposed EU migration policy on migration and development is based. If rights-based approach is considered, it would go a long way in putting the migrants at the centre of EU migration policy thrust leading to a meaningful impact on the development of both the country of destination and of origin.

Meanwhile in the course of our [JMDI] project (MigrationAware N-055), the following were identified as major causes of (ir)regular migration as highlighted by stakeholders on migration: poverty; unemployment; bad economy; anti-youth policies; human rights abuse; poor workers’ remuneration; lack of functioning social amenities; bad-governance; and increased crime rate. In countries where all these factors are in the reverse, migration then becomes a pull-and-push factor to many a migrant.  But then, the need for workable policies on migration in countries of destination and origin is imperative in order to minimise the attendant negative impact and enhance the positive impact of migration on development.

Resolving the issue of migration should be a joint effort of us all; and this includes but is not limited to migrants, diasporas, and their families, CSOs, governments, and international development actors. While the CSOs are constantly reminding governments of the need to account to the Millennium Pledge they signed in 2000 in New York, governments should develop all necessary political will to make life as much comfortable as possible for their citizenry.

Policies on good governance churned out by the UN for all countries to domesticate might be necessary especially for developing countries where bad governance makes people become emergency migrants and asylum seekers. Political leaders both elected and appointed should be accountable to the electorate while the parliament should enact people-centred policies. Circulating old cargoes as political appointees to the detriment of the youths would not augur well for the development of most of our developing countries. Most presidents of the developed countries are young adults of under 50 years against over 60 years we parade in most of the developing countries while most of them are sit-tight leaders that should be swept away by the millennium revolution as it is happening in north Africa.

Diaspora Organizations and similar initiatives in Europe, America, and Asia have a tremendous role to play in nation building and helping our youths. Diasporas are men and women full of brain and brawn ready to use their intellect and other resources at their disposal to fix the problem of various countries. Their remittances home have been of significant development impact on the lives of families and communities. Any little Diaspora investment done at home would go a long way in transforming the lives of our youths. Therefore, EU migration policies could be tailored to meeting the yearnings and aspirations of these people, and recognising the tremendous contributions they are making in both countries of origin and sojourn. 

EU development technocrats could summon skilled migrants/diasporas to policy discussions whereby they could brainstorm on how they could bring development to their respective countries back at home. For example, some industries are relocating to neighbouring countries like Ghana because of incessant power outage or lack of it in Nigeria. UNIDO could invest in power generation redeeming our local industries and transforming the lives of the artisans who have abandoned their trades for lack of power supply. Using their resources, the diasporas could establish refineries that would eventually generate income to our country. They could set up NGO-led micro-finance banks for the benefit of the poor who would have access to soft loans.

Governments should enact youth-friendly policies, and create employment opportunity for our teeming youths to enable them exhibit their respective potentials instead of becoming brain drain and brain waste to their own country. In addition, governments should direct their policies towards poverty eradication and give the populace functioning social amenities, in order to reduce the menace of irregular migration. They should also provide a conducive environment for our entrepreneurs to operate while encouraging development of home-based industries. Security agencies should be empowered at our various borders while African governments should have a Memorandum of Understanding with European countries most especially on border issues dealing with the protection of the rights of migrants.

Specific protection policies should be enacted for the benefit of the migrants in Europe. It is not only irregular migrants that suffer in the hands of security operatives in Europe, those who have overstayed their visa also suffer human rights abuses. Some migrants who may have some problem with their immigration papers are sometimes arrested and summarily deported without allowing them to have access to their lawyers or their personal effects while some are detained unjustly.

There is a well?documented threat to migrants, most particularly women, of sexual exploitation. There is a threat of labour exploitation as well. In the destination countries, irregular migrants are found in a variety of employment sectors, including agriculture, construction, nursing, care, domestic work and hospitality. These industries typically require large numbers of low?paid, flexible, seasonal workers, sometimes in difficult or dangerous conditions. Coercion and deception are used to control and exploit migrants. They may experience debt?bondage, the withholding of identity documents, threats and abuse, reduced or no pay, excessive working hours, dangerous conditions, poor accommodation and discrimination.

Irregular migrants are also subjected to the death penalty as against the injunction of UDHR. According to ThisDay newspaper of 30th August 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 52 Nigerians were currently on death row across the globe for various offences. A statement signed by the ministry's spokesman in Abuja, Mr. Ayo Olukanni, also said that 3,132 were serving various terms of imprisonment and while another 1,640 were in detention, 3,719 others were to be deported.

Europe should refrain from anti-migrant policies and embrace migrant-centred policies that would recognise, respect, and uphold human rights. Libya is becoming notorious for human rights violation of the migrants going by the 2009 bilateral treaty it has entered into with Italy. According to a report by Giulia Segreti in Rome published on August 30 2010 17:06, Muhammer Gaddafi, Libya’s leader, urged the European Union to give €5bn a year to his country to fight illegal immigration in the Mediterranean. “Libya turns to the European Union to support what Libya asks because Europe, in the future, might not be Europe any more but might turn black because of all the illegal immigrants”, said Col Gaddafi on the second anniversary of the Libyan-Italian friendship treaty. Under the 2008 accord, Italy pledged to pay some $5bn over 25 years as reparations for its colonial rule of the north African state, which lasted from 1911 to 1943. In return in 2009, Libya made a deal regarding asylum seekers and gave Italian companies priority in infrastructure projects. (Thank goodness that Gaddafi’s reigning glory is waning as he is being sent packing from power he has been enjoying since 1969!).This bilateral treaty is an ignoble alliance!

This anti-human rights policy is already stirring arguments across the globe. That 2009 deal, under which Libya pledged to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants from Africa to Italy, has been condemned by the Vatican and by human rights organisations. The UN estimated that in the first four months of the treaty alone, Italy sent back 1,000 Africans it had intercepted in international waters, without screening them for refugee status. The bilateral friendship treaty, signed in 2008, stirred further controversy and criticism from Italian politicians from all sides on Monday August 30 2010 after the Libyan leader held lessons on Islam for more than 500 young women in Rome’s Academy of Libya.

Summary

Countries of origin:

1.   The governments of countries of origin should collaborate with CSOs [Civil Society Organisations] and agencies that are working in the area of migration such as CAFSO-WRAG for Development, Nigeria Immigration Service and National Orientation Agency on disseminating necessary immigration information available at their disposal to our youths and potential migrants.

2.   The governments of the country of origin as a matter of urgency should have friendly youth policy in place that will encourage youths to have confidence in contributing to the development of their own country.

3.   Governments should make infrastructure work in order to boost industrialisation and bring sustainable development through employment generation for our youths.

4.   Nations should have abiding interest and inherent stake in protecting the basic rights of their own citizens even when they are abroad.

Countries of destination:

1.   Should have memorandum of understanding on migration policy with other African countries and respect such understandings.

2.   Should respect all international treaties that they are signatories to especially those dealing with the issue of labour and migration.

3.   Provide an enabling forum whereby migrant communities of interests and practice especially the professionals, researchers, CSOs and individuals could be sharing experiences and getting information on jobs, educational opportunities etc available in other countries within and beyond Africa subregion.

4.   Should reaffirm that the promotion and protection of human rights and the fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction by reasons of race, gender, language, nationality, or religion, is a priority for the international community and is the responsibility of every state.

Local governments:

1.   Local authorities  with the securities operatives should serve as watchdogs at land border posts to curb irregular migration or trafficking in person while border communities should be involved in controlling or harbouring irregular migrants (irregular or undocumented migrants).

2.   Local governments can as well facilitate information centre at the rural areas among the potential migrants through provision of migration counseling and referral services.

3.   Local governments should be empowered on issues related to migration for development and establish different  skills acquisition centres so as to discourage brain drain from the communities.

4.   People-centred policy tilted in favour of those living in poverty in rural communities should be encouraged by our local councils in order to be relevant to policy formulation at the global level.

Migrants/Diasporas Forum:

There should be a legal framework providing an enabling environment whereby Diaspora and migrants (irregular/regular) communities could be meeting so as to be engaging themselves in socio-policy issues affecting them and affecting the development of their countries.

We hope to make further contributions to this e-discussion if opportunity arises again. Thank you.

D. Tola Winjobi (PhD)

Principal Coordinator

CAFSO-WRAG for Development/MigrationAware

tolawinjobi58@yahoo.com

+2348030618326;8082008222

 

Summary prepared by the M4D Net Team

(Please click here for the full contribution.)


Harnessing migrant remittances for sustainable economic development: A case for remittance policy in Nigeria.

Today, remittances by Nigerians abroad rise to a level that is comparable with its development assistance and foreign direct investments. What is needed is a coherent remittance policy to capture the beneficial effects of remittances in nation building. In the old situation, policy makers, development agencies, economists, and researchers showed little interest in the role of remittances in economic development, arguing that remittances were used for consumption, and not for productive investment. This has changed as recent times have seen a substantial remittance growth, together with the level of organization of migrant groups known as Hometown Associations (HTAs) that have begun to channel funds into local infrastructure projects. The Nigerian government should create a remittance policy that aims at maximizing the impact of remittances on growth and development.

It is important to follow the example of a number of other migrant countries who have already devised mechanisms aimed at mobilizing remittances for investment. These mechanisms are meant to 1) reduce transfer costs, 2) redirect remittances to investments and 3) help involve migrants in the development of their communities at home. So-called communal or collective remittances transcend the issue of unproductive use. However, it must be the role of the government to devise policy that entices HTAs and the private sector to channel funds into job-generating projects.

Collective remittances are limited by their aim at infrastructure projects. If these projects do not create jobs, in the end they do not lead to development, an increase in people’s productive capacity. Help is needed on several fronts. Migrant organisations are often not able to successfully design development projects. Additionally, local government sometimes lacks the capacity to implement the project and make it sustainable. Leadership is the first step. Successes have come from government supporting capacity building. Furthermore, programmes for attracting and leveraging remittances must be made permanent. To conclude, carefully calibrated support outside the local and migrant communities can make an enormous difference. The organisational problem is possibly the most urgent factor where business can play a constructive role. What is missing is a forum, a platform for matching companies who are willing to provide expertise (and perhaps matching funding) with migrant organisations and local communities.

 

Dear members of M4D Net,

Please find below my contribution to the current e-consultation on the EC’s proposals for enhancing its migration and development policy.

How the various stakeholders i.e. countries of origin, destination, local governments and communities, can best contribute to its implementation

Recognising and acknowledging the role the Diaspora can and already is playing, will enable stakeholders to best understand the role to play. This involves understanding that the Diaspora is not a homogenous group of people. The drivers of engagement are diverse and play out within the context of the host countries just as much as the reasons for becoming and remaining a Diaspora.  Participation of the Diaspora as a stakeholder on the table of engagement and in policy formulation process will enable this process.

Exploiting and enhancing the strengths of the Diaspora as listed below is critical:

•     Self mobilisation around themes, countries, hometowns, professional or alumni groups.

•     Transfer and circulation of skills.

•     Support developmental projects/programmes at micro-macro level.

•     Leveraging on informal networks and knowledge of home country, enabling effective navigation of the unseen.

•     Local yet Global – passionate cost effective consultants.

•     Default provider of social services – gaps in public service provision by governments. This acts as a buffer and a stabilising force in many countries.

•     Higher Appetite for risks- Present in high risk places.

Stakeholders can consider some of the following: 

•     For regional organisations and countries, with support from the international community, to build the capacity to improve access and support evidence based planning. [sending and host countries]

•     Realisation of the role the Diaspora plays in national development - backed by effective Diaspora policies. [sending and host countries]

•     Purposefully harness the huge reserves of untapped Diaspora human capital scattered across the globe. [all key stakeholders in sending countries]

•     Focus on attracting human capital from the Diaspora e.g. Introduction of bold and innovative policies such as allocating a quota of national and strategic positions to the Diaspora. [government to create an enabling environment and incentives to enable it to attract critical Diaspora skills]

•     Build structured engagement based on developmental needs that fit into an overall developmental strategy rather than the adhoc engagement processes. [sending and host countries]

•     Learn and share good practice models. [International and regional community]

•     Link with available networks; data on skilled professionals abroad; links with migrant professionals network. [Host countries with support of the Diaspora]

•     Harness the benefits of migration for both host and sending countries e.g. creating an environment to facilitate a more open and transparent market for remittances. This will move more of the informal money flows to formal routes supporting more of the un-banked members of the community to move into the formal banks opening up benefits to them. Examples are the DFID Send Money Home Programme (click here) and the Use of Diaspora Bonds (click here). [sending and host countries]

•     Support and facilitate the Diaspora in their roles in rebuilding /contributing to countries of origin. (Operational and policy level both sending and receiving countries/regions)

AfricaRecruit has played a pioneering role in the extensive survey and study of the money transfer phenomenon, especially between the major industrial western countries and African countries, and the uses of transferred funds in the destination countries. Survey of over 5,000 Diaspora showed that outside sustenance driven remittances, investment driven remittances are used for setting up and or maintaining business, real estate and stock market investments. Many members of the Diaspora invest in their home countries in other ways, and efforts should be channeled into facilitating these flows. For instance, the private sector could help to create health insurance schemes for extended family in Africa, mortgage packages and investment in overseas stock exchanges. Sending countries should support the private sector to find additional ways-beyond remittances-to channel investment into home countries.

Mainstreaming Diaspora engagement in international development (host countries) and in national planning and delivery (sending countries) will ensure that effective utilisation of the resources in the Diaspora.

 

Dear members of M4D Net,

Please find below my contribution to the current e-consultation on the EC’s proposals for enhancing its migration and development policy.

The involvement of diaspora groups in this e-consultation is welcome. There have been a range of comments much of which I endorse. One key area of interest is the clear statement about the need for the EU’s migration policy to better meet the policy objectives and interests of the European Union (EU), its partner countries and all migrants concerned.

How do we meet those interests via a migrant-centred approach?

There are many in Europe who still question not so much the benefits of migration and development but the volume, type and impact of migration and whether it is in the best interest of Europe. The march across the Sahara towards Europe must be addressed in Europe's best interest and that of migrants. Where there is an overlap - whose interest prevails?

I would argue that the traditional migration and development agenda should be broadened to offer a migrant-centred approach underpinned at all times by what is best for Europe. What is best for Europe may also be what is best for Africa and other developing nations in many cases - though not all. Every effort must go towards political and economic development so as to prevent (where possible) the underlying causes of migration, brain drain and brain waste.

The benefits of migration are well documented. The negative impact on local communities, irregular migration, on racism, socio-economic demands on school places, health and housing especially during times of challenging economic downturn has got to be highlighted and addressed in a positive way that recognizes the needs of the receiving communities. A greater emphasis on the challenges and possible solutions, otherwise, all you have is a really good policy without an enabling environment for its successful implementation. A migrant-centred approach could be strengthened by an in-depth consideration of the political dimension - local, state, national and international. The involvement of migrant groups, research institutes, media and other non-state actors has got to extend beyond the development and implementation of migration and development policy but also to monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment to learn and share best practice and what works.

Stakeholders must be empowered to be effective actors in development. Prevention is better than trying to cope with the negative impact of migration. Where does the brain drain fit into agricultural development? Would circular migration incentive schemes and projects encourage some diaspora to return to the land? How do we address rural-urban migration? 

For Topic 1 - 18th April 2011 - 9th May 2011:

“Taking into account the migrant centred approach described above, explain how the various stakeholders i.e. countries of origin, destination, local governments and communities, can best contribute to its implementation?”

Some items for consideration:

-        Adopt the MDG model and process and agree the targets/goals;

-        provide funding;

-        work with both government and NGOs;

-        have a robust monitoring system;

-        EU-wide advocacy and lobbying of Govts;

-        and the inclusion of a breadth of stakeholders. 

 

Please find below a contribution to the current e-consultation.

Diasporas and the Global Approach to Migration

Within the context of the EC’s Global Approach to Migration, I present in this essay the results of a recent study that I carried out on “The Dynamics of the Egyptian Diaspora: Strengthening Development Linkages” This study is based on a field survey of Egyptian diaspora in Kuwait, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. The study mixes quantitative and qualitative methods to achieve its objectives. A quantitative study was carried out through a structured questionnaire with 323 respondents in the three countries. In addition, 49 guiding in-depth interviews were conducted with Egyptians in these three countries. The objective of this study is to provide an overview on contemporary Egyptian diaspora, examine existing avenues for engaging diasporas in the development of Egypt and to recommend policies and programs to enhance contribution of diasporas to the socio-economic development of Egypt.

The results of the study indicate that the Egyptians abroad maintain strong ties with their home country. This is reflected in the frequent visits to Egypt, remittances to origin, and their willingness to contribute to the development efforts in Egypt. However, most of migrants lack information about the ways in which they can engage in development efforts. Except for remittances, migrants are not aware of the facilities and legislations provided to support their involvement in economic activities. For example, the Egyptian law treat investments by diasporas the same as foreign direct investment and offers incentives for their nationals abroad such as tax deduction but Egyptians abroad are not fully aware of such benefits. Moreover, Egyptians abroad are not fully aware of the investment opportunities in Egypt. 

With respect to Egyptians abroad’s integration in the host societies, the study indicates that Egyptians abroad are fully integrated in the economic activities of the receiving countries. However, their social integration is not aligned with their full economic integration in the host societies. This may attributed, in part, to the legislations in the host countries that ban the foundation of NGOs related to expatriates in the case of the Arab Gulf countries, or due to their strong ties with their Egyptian institutions in the West such as the Egyptian Coptic churches.

The Way Ahead

Since established Egyptian migrants abroad are citizens of two states, Egypt and the country of destination, and in order to boost Egyptian migrants’ involvement in the development effort in their origin, the governments of Egypt and host countries should cooperate in strengthening the development linkages between origin and destination. Egyptian migrants should act as agents for development in their country of origin. The activation and strengthening of development ties should be reinforced through cooperation between the European Commission and the Egyptian government in order to activate the Global Approach to Migration adopted by the European Commission. Linking diasporas to the development efforts in their countries of origin should be integrated in the external dimension of the European Union’s migration policy.

 

Please find below the contribution concerning Topic 1 of the consortium of HelpAge International, UK and Second Breath, Moldova.   

The project “Strengthening community-based support to multigenerational households left behind by migration in Moldova” implemented by consortium partners HelpAge International and Second Breath during July 2009-April 2011 aimed at mitigating the negative impact of migration on family members’ rights in Moldova. The project set up activities focused on three specific areas for:

- Improved awareness of vulnerability of migrants’ families among policy makers and service providers at all levels

- Increased capacity of civil society networks and state authorities to provide effective community-based support to migrants’ families

- Enhanced intergenerational solidarity between older carers and children of migrants’ families

The achievements on all of these three areas are notable from recognition of a newly emerged social category – multigenerational households to increased capacity of NGOs and community networks to conduct community activities to enhance intergenerational solidarity between generations.

The multigenerational household with migrant members is stereotyped as a household with a better financial situation and wellbeing that doesn’t need additional support.  First, the public authorities and society must include multigenerational households as a new social category and recognize vulnerability among them.  This way we will be able to address the specific needs of these households, identified in our project, and help them improve their situation and contribute to development.

The project was very welcomed by the migrant families and mostly importantly demonstrated a great need for its actions as Moldova, being very close to Europe, is mistakenly perceived as a mid-level or well developed county without apparent problems. At the same time the country is facing a number of challenges as a result of the high level of migration and lack of adequate policies to support vulnerable groups. Migration policies mostly focus on the migrants themselves and not those who stay behind. The project demonstrated models of engagement at community level to support this vulnerable group.

Older people play the main role in child care in the situation of high migration level in Moldova (they care for children in 91.2 percent of the cases when both parents migrate and in 35.6 percent of the cases when only one parent is abroad). Their pension is the main source of income, despite of remittances, that represents only 29.7 percent of the total expenditures of the household. Despite these facts, the elderly are excluded from policies and social protection programmes and their major contribution is being neglected. Support from the state in terms of a monthly payment for child care, elaboration of extra-curricular activities like life-skills development, intergenerational transfer of knowledge and handcrafting, communication, including information about rights would support vulnerable older people in their care and consolidate family links.

The academic institutions, international agencies and researchers have focused on the migrant itself and almost never on those left behind, on the situation of families of migrants, on their lives and poverty among older people in Moldova. Moreover, there is no system to record people migrating abroad and the children left behind and no mechanism to monitor the situation of children left without parental care. The project tried to address all these gaps and to encourage the involvement of public authorities at all levels and other stakeholders.

The Diaspora of Moldovans abroad is not clearly formed and structured and their capacity is very low in relation to engagement in specific initiatives linking them to the country of origin, except for cultural ones. Ways to mobilize and consolidate the Moldovan Diaspora must be analysed and identified for a more comprehensive approach on migration issues.    

The project worked through a consortium, national and international organisations linking together. Connecting partners from North to South is extremely timely and extremely important for Moldova that is gradually moving towards EU integration.

The project has resolved many issues of the multigenerational households: helped grandparents to institute tutorship for grandchildren and receive child-care benefits, helped older people get additional social protection material support and free sanatorium tickets. The project helped grandchildren and children get psychological counselling and support of schools in educating the grandchildren. It helped to introduce new activities in school curricular to reduce generation gap and enhance communication (social theatres, discussion clubs, life-skills development activities).

However, the project would like to further address the issue of multigenerational households through:

- more  focused activities with Diaspora

- activities on using remittances for development (small business ,community development, career expos)

- activities to develop life skills of children left behind by migration

- refreshing parenting skills for grandparents

- advocacy work on introducing a new staff member – the psychologist in all schools of Moldova, especially in rural areas and training them in providing professional advise to multigenerational households

- partnering with state institution on creating public services for families of migrants (summer schools, playgrounds, etc.)

- income-generating activities for children and older carers

 

Sincerely,

The team of Mv-175 project: HelpAge International, UK and Second Breath, Moldova

 

Please find below my contribution to topic 1 of the current e-consultation on the EC discussion paper “Migration and Mobility for Development - Towards a migrant-centred approach”

I very much welcome the European Commission’s attempt to broaden its traditional migration and development (M&D) agenda and to apply a migrant-centred approach. Indeed, as my research on the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) has shown (Koppenberg 2010), M&D dialogues and policies remain within a narrow perspective:

The focus in M&D lies on labour migrants who cross international borders in order to work in the countries of destination, and later return temporarily or circularly to their countries of origin, while other forms of migration are largely left out. Labour migrants are regarded as agents of development. They are primarily expected to contribute to the development of their countries of origin, their families, households, and communities at home through financial remittances and productive investments, while reducing unemployment pressures and - at the same time - benefiting the countries of destination by meeting labour shortages. Thus, discussions and policies on M&D are dominated by growth theories, looking at national economic development. The migrants' own human development is often not recognised as a development aim in its own right, but is merely regarded as supporting migrants in exercising their agency to contribute better to the development of their countries of origin, their families, households, and communities at home.

The EC considers in its discussion paper that policy makers should look at M&D at different levels, starting with the perspective of the migrant, his/her family, the migrant’s community, up to the level of the migrant's country of origin and destination. Thereby the human and social dimension of M&D should be strengthened.

However, the EC’s discussion paper is still poor on the first level, that is the perspective of the migrant, and seems to remain in its traditional approach. In order to ensure a real breakup of the current M&D agenda and the implementation of a true migrant-centred approach, I suggest to take the following aspects into account:

  1. Include all forms of migration because the focus on labour migrants withholds an important resource for development: The reality of migration is characterised by complex, mixed, and shifting motives and mixed-migration movements. Migration is diverse and it is often difficult to make clear distinction between different forms. Particularly forced migrants, such as asylum-seekers, refugees and IDPs, whose potential to contribute to development is too often neglected, should be considered as agents for development.

  2. Support migrants’ own development: M&D is an agency-oriented approach towards development which traces development back to the migrants' mobility and his or her capacity and willingness to contribute to development. Therefore, any dialogue and policy on M&D should not see the migrants' human development only in its capacity generating function, but also as the ends of development in itself.

  3. Acknowledge migrants’ own development visions: Studies have shown that migrants’ development visions do not necessarily correspond with the development concepts of national and international actors (Dannecker 2009). Because M&D is based on the agency of migrants and their capacity and willingness to contribute to development, only an approach to M&D that sufficiently considers the development actors' – that is the migrant's – own needs and aspirations can ensure its continuous engagement for the development of others and the achievement of national development goals.

Besides applying a migrant-centred approach to M&D, the EU can also play a major role in promoting a comprehensive and migrant-centred approach. Coming back to my observation that the GFMD discussions on M&D remain within a narrow perspective, the EU could take a leading role in future GFMDs in promoting a migrant-centred approach at global level. The EU could do so firstly, through the European Commission as observer of the GFMD and secondly, through the EU member states as participants of the GFMD.

A comprehensive and migrant-centred approach to M&D that includes all kinds of migrants and that ensures what is in the interest of the actors, namely the migrants, is not only inherent (given that M&D is based on the agency of migrants), it is also in Europe’s interest when striving for a most effective approach leading to the highest possible impact on development.

Mag.a Saskia Koppenberg

References:

DANNECKER, Petra (2009): Migrant Visions of Development. A Gendered Approach. In: Population, Space and Place, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp. 119–132.

KOPPENBERG, Saskia (2010): Putting Migrants and Refugees on the Development Agenda. ÖFSE Forum Nr. 47, Südwind-Verlag: Wien.

 

Dear M4D colleagues,

This is Ding Bagasao, of Ercof Philippines sharing thoughts on the above subject.

It is interesting to know that the EC wishes to develop proposals that could help move forward to a migrant centred approach to migration and development. First of all, it would be enlightening to clarify   the EU's perspective for understanding what it perceives as a "migrant centred approach" given that its interests and policies are different from those of destination countries and those of migrants or migrant advocates. Secondly, studies have shown that EU member countries also have different interests to protect, making an EU policy on migration uniformly complied with by member countries a challenge and a highly debatable issue. For instance, the issue of migrants’ rights has been highly contentious and to date, no major receiving EU country has ratified the UN protocol on the rights of migrants and members of their families. Thus the move to develop proposals for a migrant centred approach, although presenting a vestige of hope, could be problematic.

Yet having said that, let me share some thoughts on how I believe better and more informed decisions could be made by the EU on migration policy. First of all, the threat of terrorism and feared competition and additional burdens on the receiving state as a result of more migration are hindrances towards a healthier and more progressive debate on migration policy. Terrorism is a global problem that exempts no one - whether it is a destination or receiving country. As a rule, people migrate to improve their economic standing and survival, and not to spread terror. Thus, the fear of terrorist attacks could be more of an overreaction, and would be better and properly addressed by improved intelligence services, technology and international collaboration. On the other hand, receiving countries need migrant labor not only for their industries and areas no longer interesting for their own citizens, but likewise to address problems of their aging populations who have to be cared for by the state through pensions and health needs.

However, there seems to be a dearth or even non existence of studies providing accurate measurements of migrants’ contributions to the economies of receiving countries. Aside from paying taxes, both income and VAT from goods or services purchased, they also provide necessary labor in areas shunned by locals. Women workers, especially domestic and household workers relieve the housewife of having to do household chores and even taking care of children, thus giving many women an opportunity to contribute to the family income, self empowerment by following a career that is not otherwise possible if a domestic worker was not around. The first step towards a more informed migration policy would be for such studies to be undertaken and funded by bodies like the EU or an international body.

Secondly it is believed that migration policy should move away from being too political, and veer towards treating migrants not as a commodity of labor but human beings who should be accorded human rights. All discourses regarding migration have always been between governments, or between governments and migrants. There is little or no discourse and interaction between peoples from receiving and sending countries, or at least between local governments.  No offense meant, but the concept of a migrant centred approach might never be achieved if the migration discussion is monopolised between politicians or bureaucrats, whose terms of office are not permanent and whose views and approaches might not necessarily be the same as the citizens who have elected them, many of whose households or businesses are benefitted by migrant labor. Hence, to help ensure that a migrant centred approach is at least approximated, perhaps the EU could encourage more public discussions involving its citizens who could themselves articulate and highlight migrant concerns based on their own personal experience.

Sister city relationships between LGUs from destination and origin countries represent one avenue that is existing and could be encouraged. LGUs from origin countries could help organise group visits not only for tourism purposes, but also to familiarise citizens of receiving countries of local conditions and migrant family needs. There are also many migrant advocates and NGOs that could help facilitate this people to people process or LGU to LGU interaction.  The Hague Process based in the Netherlands has over the years organised forums along the lines of discussing interactions between cities or local governments, since most migrants work in these cities, whose concerns, views and perspectives on migration are vastly different from national governments.

The experience of ERCOF, as member of a transnational consortium and grantee of the JMDI under the Maria for MDG project, has been very enlightening. Starting from an initiative to encourage Filipino diaspora groups based in the Netherlands to empower women cooperatives in six municipalities in Southern Philippines, the outcomes have shown potential. From the words of the women leaders themselves, the project has given them hope to be able to be productive not only within their families but also to help other women empower themselves through entrepreneurship and expanding their new found abilities to lobby and advocate for women empowerment.

This has not only lured local governments to enter memorandums of understanding and agreement to adopt the programs introduced by the JMDI project, but also opened possibilities and awakening initiatives between neighbouring LGUs of forming economic clusters or corridors that promote inter LGU trading and joint ventures on agriculture. The project, though still a work in progress, has provided a model or roadmap for depressed economic communities in origin countries to help improve economic conditions that in the long term could decrease the incentives towards more migration, or making migration a forced option. In the long term, the drain of brains and brawn from agricultural communities could be addressed. We were hoping to share this at the Knowledge Fair scheduled this mid June but unfortunately it was cancelled.

The lessons learned in the Maria experience finds validation in a recent study, entitled The State of Food and Agriculture, 2010-2011, by the Food and Agriculture Office (FAO, a UN body). This evidence-based study posits that “if women had the same access to resources as men, they could increase yields in farms by 20 to 30%. On a national level, this would translate to an increase in output by 2.5 to 4%. It continues to say that “when women control additional income, they spend more of it than men do in food, health, clothing and education for their children.” 

Last  March 22,2011, the Ateneo School of Government, in Quezon City, Philippines,  hosted  a conference in its premises, to enable the women coops to tell their story, exhibit their products, and discuss their experiences with participants from national and local governments, NGOs, financial service providers, local and international development agencies, and diaspora for development advocates. The Maria experience has proven that women can make concrete contributions to economic development, if they are provided equal access to resources as males. The least that could be expected is that the discussions could lead to policy reforms that, in the words of the FAO study, “prioritise the elimination of gender discrimination not only in resources, education, extension and financial services, but also facilitating women participation in flexible, efficient and fair rural labor markets.  “If this can be done in the Philippines, there is no reason receiving countries could not act in the same way.

In any case, the EU through the JMDI has chosen the less travelled but correct path towards evolving a workable Migration and Development policy. It is also a well-studied departure from the traditional discourses centering on remittances and how charges could be lowered.  Although important, remittances are not the only development dimension of migration.  When migration policy goes beyond money and starts dealing with the why’s and how’s of migration and its root causes, then there is hope for the realisation of not only a migrant centered approach but also opens the doors towards a more mature and empowering transnational approach towards human development.

-Ding F. Bagasao

President, Ercof Philippines

 

Please find below the ISU’s contribution to the European Commission’s proposals on how to enhance its migration and development policy.

Executive Summary

This submission from the Integration and Support Unit for New Communities (ISU) focuses on a number of issues which we consider are priorities for us as an NGO in terms of supports for our most vulnerable immigrants living in Ireland namely appropriate education supports for unaccompanied youth/young adults and Asylum Seekers and their families living in Direct Provision Centres. 

1. The right of every young migrant to education or an education alternative especially when circumstances and the mainstream system fails them, and the right of all unaccompanied minors to an adequate supportive statutory care service on leaving the Health Service Executive system on reaching 18 years of age where they are introduced into the adult Direct Provision accommodation system. Without an adequate education and supportive, accountable care service the futures of young migrants are very much compromised for future generations.

Unaccompanied minors experience:

- Family separation
- School dropout rates
- Language barriers
- No family supports
- Loss of identity
- Dependency on State benefits
- Trafficking
- Crime

2. The right of individuals and families living in Direct Provision system to have an acceptable, safe  standard of living which includes supports to safeguard their children during the process and having access and opportunities to education, training and employment to sustain the family.

The Integration and Support Unit for New Communities (ISU) as a member of the Edmund Rice Network suggest that these issues are responded to by: 

- Implementing wider educational supports using for example the XLC Project or the Life Centres Model as alternative methods of inclusive education supports for those who fall outside the mainstream education system. Many young migrants may not have had the opportunity to attend formal schooling due to conditions in their home country therefore they find it difficult to function in such formal systems, many do not have English as their first language and therefore struggle to keep up, often parents do not have the language or at times the capacity to communicate their needs to schools on behalf of their child.

- Working with the relevant Departments to acknowledge the value of alternative forms of education which better facilitate the diverse learning styles and aspirations of vulnerable young migrants to meet the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child to Education.

- Requesting an investigation on the suitability of often unregulated accommodation facilities and subsequent systematic failure of the HSE to provide an adequate safe place and ‘duty of care’ system for unaccompanied and vulnerable young migrants. Many are subjected to physical and emotional abuse, are used in the sex industry, forced labour and arranged marriages. Young girls and single women are particularly vulnerable.

- The recommendation that the Irish authorities regularly monitor and review the current Direct Provision centres with a view to providing a more acceptable alternative for those awaiting decision on their Asylum applications. This can only be achieved with the inclusion of service users in any consultation processes and with the support of NGOs operating at grassroots level.

- Particular attention needs to be given to children living in DP as many of their basic Human Rights are violated. The ISU suggests that accommodation for families should not be single room accommodation but rather a suite of adjoining rooms. We would prefer to see this system phased out altogether in favour of managed apartment accommodation where Asylum Seekers can work a fixed amount of hours per week for their upkeep, have control over their own family management and cooking facilities where they have a humane freedom of choice over meals in line with their culture, traditions and religious beliefs. Facilities for young children such as pre-school and play areas would be part of the apartment complexes. After schools facilities could be available for those requiring assistance with language and homework. Education initiatives should be available to adults either on site or within easy reach.


Introduction
 

The Integration and Support Unit for New Communities is a dedicated NGO providing services and supports to Refugees, Asylum Seekers and other migrants and operates under the umbrella of the Edmund Rice International Heritage Centres Ltd. It is a member of the wider Edmund Rice Network.

The Edmund Rice Network is a Global Network with an affiliated grouping of Education Centres, Schools and Non-Profit organisations associated with Christian and Presentation Brothers around the world. The aim of the network is to promote Social Justice through Education and Community Development by pooling resources, expertise and experiences of its constituent parties.

Migration and Development

The human and social dimension of migration needs to be strengthened through the involvement of migrants themselves. In Waterford the Integration and Support Unit for New Communities is an NGO that promotes peer led opportunities and peer learning outcomes. We support migrants to empower themselves to prepare for engagement in political and decision-making arenas through accessing appropriate education and employment opportunities and supports.

Negative aspects of Migration: Many of our clients have experienced forced migration either through civil unrest, epidemiology, famine and drought, or trafficking. They report that the biggest negative factor for them is the Asylum Seeker Direct Provision process where accommodation provided by the Irish authorities is unsuitable for their needs. Experience of this process is that they feel that they are being punished for a situation that is beyond their control and especially for those with children (often parenting alone) there are Human Rights infringements based on the Right of the Child enshrined in Irish Law (such as the Right to be protected from harm, abuse and exploitation and the Right to Play). Human Rights of Migrants in Direct Provision systems needs to  be immediately addressed including the low income payment of €19.10 per adult per week which has remained at the same level for a number of years despite the increasing costs of living.

For children living with their parents in one room accommodation they are sometimes unintentionally exposed to the sexual behaviour of adults therefore it would be more conducive to provide family suites to avoid this situation. Children are sometimes at risk from outsiders entering accommodation where boundaries of trespass are not always adhered to. Parents report that they suffer a loss of identity, tradition and credibility within the family as the Centre Manager makes all the decisions regarding their accommodation, meals and services thereby dissolving the role of father/mother as head of household. This leads to confusion for migrant children which is further compromised in second and third generations of migrants.

Issues of parenting styles have been challenged by the Health Services Executive and Schools. Migrant parents feel that traditions of the community raising the child are not accepted in the Western world which causes complications of working with service providers for the best outcomes for children at risk. The ISU hosted an Immigrant Parenting Seminar to provide immigrant parents with a voice in raising concerns/issues about difficulties of parenting without losing their own cultural identity or traditions, to inform practitioners of the culturally diverse issues emerging through schools and services referrals and to recognise and acknowledge the role that past traumatic experiences have had on migrant families such as separation, war, famine etc.

In response the ISU have developed a Family Support Framework identifying issues at all stages of childhood from 0 – 21 years which focuses on the family as a unit and is working with agencies to deliver age appropriate actions following the parenting seminar. As a result:

- Parents are better informed of legislation regarding child protections,
- They have an increased understanding of the schools role in raising concerns regarding child safety and protections as a “duty of care”,
- Are better informed of childcare services & supports available to them
- Practitioners are more culturally aware and informed of the term ‘parenting’ from the perspective of immigrant parents, and
- They have an increased humanistic understanding of the difficulties/challenges faced by immigrant styles of parenting (particularly for those parenting in Direct Provision Centres).

Impact on Policies and existing services 

If the ISU does not support these parents the results are:

- Poor social integration for parents and children
- Impaired parenting leading to multi-generational transmission
- Issues of safety and trust are compromised
- Parents may develop mental and stress related illnesses
- Loss of emotional management of parent and child
- Miscommunication between parents and service providers
- Disassociation and fragmentation from situations
- Impaired executive function of parents due to cultural competition/conflict or lack of understanding.

To address these issues we need to engage with all the stakeholders in a coordinated way to provide the specialised supports required.

Comments from immigrant parents who participated in the Seminar include:

- “We felt heard today but we hope that this is followed by action”
- “I most enjoyed the workshop part because I had the opportunity to speak up and ask questions”
- “It was a good Seminar, and I am happy that I attended both the presentations and workshop sessions”
- “Thanks to the ISU for this opportunity to meet directly with HSE people, it is exactly what we need”
- “Agency practitioners needed to hear our own story and get to know our culture. I hope it came across well - and hopefully we can all work together for good”
- “The presentations were very informative and an eye opener for most of us in the audience, well done”.

NGOs have a central role to play in coordinating opportunities for interface dialogue between migrants and service providers especially where service providers have little if any experience or expertise in working with culturally diverse groups. However, NGOs working at grass roots level in Ireland receive little if any recognition of the work that they do to aid integration for future generations putting Human Rights and people at the forefront. This is further compounded by the lack of core funding to continue such services. The majority of Irish Aid funding is sent overseas to developing countries yet NGOs are providing services in Ireland to the very same groups who are accessing resettlement programmes here.

Other negative impacts are:

- Social exclusion
- Barriers to integration opportunities & discrimination
- Xenophobia and discrimination stereotyping

Positive aspects of Migration: obviously for those leaving war torn countries they have peace of mind which overrides many of the negative aspects for them. For those who are in Ireland to work there are increased opportunities for them to improve their quality of life and that of their families.

Potential benefits include:

- Increase in income
- Improving skills
- Independence from Social Welfare system
- However, mobility may be restrictive
- Difficulties for working migrants who wish to change employer
- Link between migrants and health (& safety) issues in employment world

All is not perfect in the world for working migrants as we have a lot to do to promote recognition of skills and qualifications, support cooperation between recruitment agencies and the labour market authorities around pre-development work for migrants as many cannot function in the mainstream system without specific additional supports.

Better access to services leads to better possibilities and therefore better quality of life. Through our work with these target groups over the past 5 years it has been highlighted that there are many inequities and barriers to participation for newcomers to Ireland when it comes to employment opportunities (that are not part of the lack economy and open to systematic abuse). In 2009 we developed and delivered pre-development Pilot access to employment programme which was very successful with 89 clients registered for participation.

Despite an increasing need to continue this type of programme it has been increasingly difficult to finance in the current economic climate as Refugees and Migrants are not prioritised in agency development Plans. However, the ISU is committed to continue to respond to the needs of our most marginalised in society by providing them with tangible opportunities towards employment supports.

Client backgrounds:

- High unemployment rates among Refugees and vulnerable migrant target groups compound the level of consistent poverty felt by their dependents.
- Families are separated and displaced from home countries
- English not always first language therefore a barrier to accessing employment and further education/training opportunities
- Inequitable system for accessing education/employment opportunities (often based on the current Status of the client or having the ability to pay to get in).

Environmental circumstances:

- Evidence of social isolation and exclusion
- Marginalisation in the community and wider economy
- Limited education achievements (many are early school leavers or did not have the opportunity to attend formal education at all due to civil unrest during formative years)
- Poor, low/no self-esteem which leaves them with no real expectation for their future and future generations
- Literacy needs in home language as well as English
- Clients vulnerable due to experiences of torture and trauma, no family supports and displacement/resettlement issues
- Exposure to vices and anti-social opportunities (vulnerable to alcohol, drugs, prostitution, trafficking and domestic violence due to lack of finance or access to banking systems).

More needs to be done to acknowledge the role of NGOs as actors for policy change in a domestic setting. 

Kind regards,

Anne Nolan

Dear colleagues, 

 

Please find below the ISU’s contribution to the European Commission’s proposals on how to enhance its migration and development policy.

 

Executive Summary

 

This submission from the Integration and Support Unit for New Communities (ISU) focuses on a number of issues which we consider are priorities for us as an NGO in terms of supports for our most vulnerable immigrants living in Ireland namely appropriate education supports for unaccompanied youth/young adults and Asylum Seekers and their families living in Direct Provision Centres.

 

1.     

The right of every young migrant to education or an education alternative especially when circumstances and the mainstream system fails them, and the right of all unaccompanied minors to an adequate supportive statutory care service on leaving the Health Service Executive system on reaching 18 years of age where they are introduced into the adult Direct Provision accommodation system. Without an adequate education and supportive, accountable care service the futures of young migrants are very much compromised for future generations.

 

Unaccompanied minors experience:

 

·       

Family separation

·       

School dropout rates

·       

Language barriers

·       

No family supports

·       

Loss of identity

·       

Dependency on State benefits

·       

Trafficking

·       

Crime

 

2.     

The right of individuals and families living in Direct Provision system to have an acceptable, safe  standard of living which includes supports to safeguard their children during the process and having access and opportunities to education, training and employment to sustain the family.

 

The Integration and Support Unit for New Communities (ISU) as a member of the Edmund Rice Network suggest that these issues are responded to by: 

 

·       

Implementing wider educational supports using for example the XLC Project or the Life Centres Model as alternative methods of inclusive education supports for those who fall outside the mainstream education system. Many young migrants may not have had the opportunity to attend formal schooling due to conditions in their home country therefore they find it difficult to function in such formal systems, many do not have English as their first language and therefore struggle to keep up, often parents do not have the language or at times the capacity to communicate their needs to schools on behalf of their child.

·       

Working with the relevant Departments to acknowledge the value of alternative forms of education which better facilitate the diverse learning styles and aspirations of vulnerable young migrants to meet the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child to Education.

·       

Requesting an investigation on the suitability of often unregulated accommodation facilities and subsequent systematic failure of the HSE to provide an adequate safe place and ‘duty of care’ system for unaccompanied and vulnerable young migrants. Many are subjected to physical and emotional abuse, are used in the sex industry, forced labour and arranged marriages. Young girls and single women are particularly vulnerable.

·       

The recommendation that the Irish authorities regularly monitor and review the current Direct Provision centres with a view to providing a more acceptable alternative for those awaiting decision on their Asylum applications. This can only be achieved with the inclusion of service users in any consultation processes and with the support of NGOs operating at grassroots level.

·       

Particular attention needs to be given to children living in DP as many of their basic Human Rights are violated. The ISU suggests that accommodation for families should not be single room accommodation but rather a suite of adjoining rooms. We would prefer to see this system phased out altogether in favour of managed apartment accommodation where Asylum Seekers can work a fixed amount of hours per week for their upkeep, have control over their own family management and cooking facilities where they have a humane freedom of choice over meals in line with their culture, traditions and religious beliefs. Facilities for young children such as pre-school and play areas would be part of the apartment complexes. After schools facilities could be available for those requiring assistance with language and homework. Education initiatives should be available to adults either on site or within easy reach.

 

Introduction

 

The Integration and Support Unit for New Communities is a dedicated NGO providing services and supports to Refugees, Asylum Seekers and other migrants and operates under the umbrella of the Edmund Rice International Heritage Centres Ltd. It is a member of the wider Edmund Rice Network.

The Edmund Rice Network is a Global Network with an affiliated grouping of Education Centres, Schools and Non-Profit organisations associated with Christian and Presentation Brothers around the world. The aim of the network is to promote Social Justice through Education and Community Development by pooling resources, expertise and experiences of its constituent parties.

 

Migration and Development

 

The human and social dimension of migration needs to be strengthened through the involvement of migrants themselves. In Waterford the Integration and Support Unit for New Communities is an NGO that promotes peer led opportunities and peer learning outcomes. We support migrants to empower themselves to prepare for engagement in political and decision-making arenas through accessing appropriate education and employment opportunities and supports.

 

Negative aspects of Migration: Many of our clients have experienced forced migration either through civil unrest, epidemiology, famine and drought, or trafficking. They report that the biggest negative factor for them is the Asylum Seeker Direct Provision process where accommodation provided by the Irish authorities is unsuitable for their needs. Experience of this process is that they feel that they are being punished for a situation that is beyond their control and especially for those with children (often parenting alone) there are Human Rights infringements based on the Right of the Child enshrined in Irish Law (such as the Right to be protected from harm, abuse and exploitation and the Right to Play). Human Rights of Migrants in Direct Provision systems needs to  be immediately addressed including the low income payment of €19.10 per adult per week which has remained at the same level for a number of years despite the increasing costs of living.

 

For children living with their parents in one room accommodation they are sometimes unintentionally exposed to the sexual behaviour of adults therefore it would be more conducive to provide family suites to avoid this situation. Children are sometimes at risk from outsiders entering accommodation where boundaries of trespass are not always adhered to. Parents report that they suffer a loss of identity, tradition and credibility within the family as the Centre Manager makes all the decisions regarding their accommodation, meals and services thereby dissolving the role of father/mother as head of household. This leads to confusion for migrant children which is further compromised in second and third generations of migrants.

 

Issues of parenting styles have been challenged by the Health Services Executive and Schools. Migrant parents feel that traditions of the community raising the child are not accepted in the Western world which causes complications of working with service providers for the best outcomes for children at risk. The ISU hosted an Immigrant Parenting Seminar to provide immigrant parents with a voice in raising concerns/issues about difficulties of parenting without losing their own cultural identity or traditions, to inform practitioners of the culturally diverse issues emerging through schools and services referrals and to recognise and acknowledge the role that past traumatic experiences have had on migrant families such as separation, war, famine etc.

 

In response the ISU have developed a Family Support Framework identifying issues at all stages of childhood from 0 – 21 years which focuses on the family as a unit and is working with agencies to deliver age appropriate actions following the parenting seminar. As a result:

 

·       

Parents are better informed of legislation regarding child protections,

·       

They have an increased understanding of the schools role in raising concerns regarding child safety and protections as a “duty of care”,

·       

Are better informed of childcare services & supports available to them

·       

Practitioners are more culturally aware and informed of the term ‘parenting’ from the perspective of immigrant parents, and

·       

They have an increased humanistic understanding of the difficulties/challenges faced by immigrant styles of parenting (particularly for those parenting in Direct Provision Centres).

 

Impact on Policies and existing services

 

If the ISU does not support these parents the results are:

 

·       

Poor social integration for parents and children

·       

Impaired parenting leading to multi-generational transmission

·       

Issues of safety and trust are compromised

·       

Parents may develop mental and stress related illnesses

·       

Loss of emotional management of parent and child

·       

Miscommunication between parents and service providers

·       

Disassociation and fragmentation from situations

·       

Impaired executive function of parents due to cultural competition/conflict or lack of understanding.

 

To address these issues we need to engage with all the stakeholders in a coordinated way to provide the specialised supports required.

 

Comments from immigrant parents who participated in the Seminar include:

 

Ø 

“We felt heard today but we hope that this is followed by action”

Ø 

“I most enjoyed the workshop part because I had the opportunity to speak up and ask questions”

Ø 

“It was a good Seminar, and I am happy that I attended both the presentations and workshop sessions”

Ø 

“Thanks to the ISU for this opportunity to meet directly with HSE people, it is exactly what we need”

Ø 

“Agency practitioners needed to hear our own story and get to know our culture. I hope it came across well and hopefully we can all work together for good”

Ø 

“The presentations were very informative and an eye opener for most of us in the audience, well done”.

 

NGOs have a central role to play in coordinating opportunities for interface dialogue between migrants and service providers especially where service providers have little if any experience or expertise in working with culturally diverse groups. However, NGOs working at grass roots level in Ireland receive little if any recognition of the work that they do to aid integration for future generations putting Human Rights and people at the forefront. This is further compounded by the lack of core funding to continue such services. The majority of Irish Aid funding is sent overseas to developing countries yet NGOs are providing services in Ireland to the very same groups who are accessing resettlement programmes here.

 

Other negative impacts are:

 

·       

Social exclusion

·       

Barriers to integration opportunities & discrimination

·       

Xenophobia and discrimination stereotyping

 

Positive aspects of Migration: obviously for those leaving war torn countries they have peace of mind which overrides many of the negative aspects for them. For those who are in Ireland to work there are increased opportunities for them to improve their quality of life and that of their families.

Potential benefits include:

 

·       

Increase in income

·       

Improving skills

·       

Independence from Social Welfare system

·       

However, mobility may be restrictive

·       

Difficulties for working migrants who wish to change employer

·       

Link between migrants and health (& safety) issues in employment world

 

All is not perfect in the world for working migrants as we have a lot to do to promote recognition of skills and qualifications, support cooperation between recruitment agencies and the labour market authorities around pre-development work for migrants as many cannot function in the mainstream system without specific additional supports.

 

Better access to services leads to better possibilities and therefore better quality of life. Through our work with these target groups over the past 5 years it has been highlighted that there are many inequities and barriers to participation for newcomers to Ireland when it comes to employment opportunities (that are not part of the lack economy and open to systematic abuse). In 2009 we developed and delivered pre-development Pilot access to employment programme which was very successful with 89 clients registered for participation.

 

Despite an increasing need to continue this type of programme it has been increasingly difficult to finance in the current economic climate as Refugees and Migrants are not prioritised in agency development Plans. However, the ISU is committed to continue to respond to the needs of our most marginalised in society by providing them with tangible opportunities towards employment supports.

 

Client backgrounds:

 

Ø 

High unemployment rates among Refugees and vulnerable migrant target groups compound the level of consistent poverty felt by their dependents.

Ø 

Families are separated and displaced from home countries

Ø 

English not always first language therefore a barrier to accessing employment and further education/training opportunities

Ø 

Inequitable system for accessing education/employment opportunities (often based on the current Status of the client or having the ability to pay to get in).

 

Environmental circumstances:

 

Ø 

Evidence of social isolation and exclusion

Ø 

Marginalisation in the community and wider economy

Ø 

Limited education achievements (many are early school leavers or did not have the opportunity to attend formal education at all due to civil unrest during formative years)

Ø 

Poor, low/no self-esteem which leaves them with no real expectation for their future and future generations

Ø 

Literacy needs in home language as well as English

Ø 

Clients vulnerable due to experiences of torture and trauma, no family supports and displacement/resettlement issues

Ø 

Exposure to vices and anti-social opportunities (vulnerable to alcohol, drugs, prostitution, trafficking and domestic violence due to lack of finance or access to banking systems).

 

More needs to be done to acknowledge the role of NGOs as actors for policy change in a domestic setting.

 

Kind regards,

 

Anne Nolan

 

The contribution was prepared through cooperation between the International Agency for Source Country Information (IASCI) and the Center for Sociological, Politological and Psychological Analysis and Investigations (CIVIS) in line with experience gained through their JMDI Project MV-025 DEVINPRO MOLDOVA “Strengthening the link between migration and development through developing and testing replicable migration–related products and services for migrants and their communities.”

The below summary has been prepared by the M4D Net Facilitation Team. To read the full contribution, please click here.

‘Maximizing the Development Impact of Migration?Related Financial Flows and Investments: Towards a migrant?centred approach’

‘A Commonality of Purpose’

When personal, private and public elements are harnessed constructively, they can have a simultaneous and profound effect on personal and company bottom?lines, sustainable development and migration management. In a world where migration and demographic trends point towards more migration we are confident that evidence can assist in identifying coordinated measures for making the complete migration cycle more rational and efficient.

The fundamental issue, which must be seen as both a challenge and an opportunity, is that the core migration-related objective of most long?term migrants studied is to build up financial capital during their period of migration, prior to any voluntary permanent return being considered. Evidence shows this pre?condition to be paramount. Migrants do not migrate primarily to maximize their incomes or to remit; they migrate to reach a savings objective.

In turn, and partly because of mistrust in home?based financial systems and governments, this behaviour results in substantial pools of migrant savings accumulating within the host countries. Depending on the period of mass migration and number of households, such capital pools can amount to tens of billions of dollars. It is notable that these savings are in addition to already substantial monies being remitted. While rational from a migrant household (the saver’s) point of view, this behaviour clearly does not serve the maximization of the potential development impact of migration in countries of origin.

Given the above, circular and long?term migrants seem to represent a largely misunderstood potential resource, one that should be of much greater interest to key stakeholders in government, both in countries of origin and destination. This also applies to the financial intermediation industry, which commonly holds a narrow and limiting view of migrants as remitters rather than potential clients.

A migrant?centric approach creates the opportunity and incentive to develop more useful policy frameworks and practical intervention techniques. Actions can be implemented by government, as well as by financial intermediaries, operating in their respective areas of interest. Experience shows that substantive discussion between financial intermediaries and governments is absent. Possibilities inherent in calibrated domestic and international partnerships between the public and the private sector remain practically unexplored.

Our cross-country experience shows it is possible to identify complementary areas between the needs of the countries of origin and countries of migration on the one hand, and the ambitions and potential resources inherent in migrants on the other; that is, a commonality of purpose exists.

To read the full contribution, please click here.

 

Dear colleagues,

Please find below a contribution to the e-consultation on the EC's proposals on how to enhance its migration and development policy.       

INSTITUTIONS, MIGRANTS AND THE NEEDS OF COMMUNITIES

The promotion of a different way to perceive the process of defining development choices regarding the inclusion of the local and migrant communities is an effort which demands a long-term strategy. The ‘controversial’ link between people and the place where they are born, live or have lived constructs a fragile ground, needing a cultivation and mixing of the individual and the collective dimension, real and imagined poverty, the desire to escape and well entrenched roots, distrust and the want to participate.

Potential points of intervention are as numerous as the aspects of the transnational public space where migrants, their families, institutions, NGOs and all other actors operating at the point of departure or arrival. At the macro level, the construction of a framework of internal and international relations can be found which engages institutions and other actors in an open and transparent dialogue while overcoming top-down forms of cooperation, opting instead for a better coordination through regulatory and operational instruments which encourage the implication as actors of migrant communities while foreseeing a coming together of objectives and measurable outputs.

Concretely, the strategy to put this all into practice has to uncover the definition of programmes aimed at investments (big, medium-sized or small) which can answer the needs, in quantitative and qualitative terms, of employment on the ground. Our project has shown which opportunities there are to be seized when working with small investments which stay closer to migrants and certain other target groups, especially the self-employed. The challenge is to equally be able to work with large-scale investments (not necessarily involving migrants) and to be able to integrate both levels, formulating a strategy for economic development that is functional as to the needs and requirements of the people.

This challenge cannot be met without the European Commission attaining a more prominent role in the coordination of member state migration cooperation (and prevention) policy, as well as being able to negotiate with sending countries (notably Morocco) on the setting-up of concrete programmes aimed at [the development of] regions of origin of migrant communities in Europe. From an operational point of view, a style of management aimed at converging local actors is desirable (as was the case with our project MiDéF) together with an active role of mediation from civil society as a control function of third parties. A strong connection between policy and intervention at the local level and the international field represents the precondition for achieving development objectives that answer the needs of local communities.

A detailed picture of the context in which migrant reception takes place reveals that fundamental elements are the availability of accompaniment and facilitation measures concerning the remaining links with the country of origin and the engagement of resources put towards the creation of micro-enterprises in the country of origin. Here, diaspora organisations could play an important role. The ability to ‘orient’ migrants in favour of development is strictly linked to the capacity to overcome distrust towards institutions. It is essential to make this framework of relations transparent and visible also for actors who are usually external to the classic [development] cooperation circuits. This applies in particular to those who are in daily contact with the respective [migrant] community and can offer up different perspectives - not only economic - on mobilising resources.

Discussions, deepening and most certainly listening and cooperative planning, must form the basis for building this new framework. It is indispensable to improve upon the capacity for understanding problems in their original context, especially:

- by sharing a methodology;

- by reinforcing the powers of a network of associations;

- by increasing the capacity and opportunities for interaction between different local actors – in Italy as well as in Morocco.

Elements that we feel are fundamental for developing community associations include:

-        The transcultural approach, meaning the capacity to interact within and outside of the community ranging all the way from the individual to the macro level of society at large, in order to maintain both collective and personal identities.

-        The recognition and proper valuation of migrants’ life and work experience as a measure of achievement linked to the realisation of goals for improvement of a person’s personal position and equally that of the community in terms of positive participation to public life.

-        Entrepreneurial skills in terms of being able to access information on services and opportunities surrounding business setup in order to promote entrepreneurial initiatives among [migrant] beneficiaries. The goal is to launch the message: ‘small investments for big dreams.’ If at the start there are technical skills present (a profession), a desire to be an entrepreneur and the capacity to seize market opportunities, the required investment for creating a small business (by the migrant or someone close to that person) can be a less important obstacle than one would think.

-        Savings and remittances are essential drivers of creating more awareness of economic resources at both the individual and associational level. This conscience also relates to the development model in the context of creating a more efficient engagement with families benefitting [from these resources] in the country of origin.

-        Promotion of the role of women and youth within migrant communities and development dynamics. They form potential assets that have not been validated enough. It is unimaginable to have a participatory model that leaves out the mobilisation of a major part of the people.

-        Reinforcing the capacities of diaspora organisations also means that those who effectively work with the [migrant] communities are supported and appreciated. Indirectly, this also results in making the work of these actors in the receiving society more visible, showing another important dimension to the relationship between migration and development. 

Kind regards,

Kamal Massimiliano Yamine

Responsable méthodologique

Projet MiDéF Mo-054

 

Dear members of M4D Net,

Please find below a short follow-up contribution concerning Topic 2 of the e-consultation.

Brain Drain – Can you suggest ways which the EU might assist those countries affected by brain drain? Would the development of circular migration schemes in sectors which are particularly affected by brain drain help ease the issue?” 

What is needed are:

- Policies that minimize brain drain (i.e. good governance in the labour market and the workplace) have to be backed by good working conditions.

- Efforts concerning health workers. Countries can sign up to the Global code of conduct of ethical recruitment. The report Innovations in Cooperation: A Guidebook on Bilateral Agreements to Address Health Worker Migration, along with a collection of existing bilateral agreements upon which it builds, can be found here.

- Awareness raising and the support of both sending and receiving countries to promote best practices.

Sectors and/or countries where there is a critical shortage of skills would benefit from circular migration as an interim solution to build capacity through models such as institutional linkages, secondments, etc. This would require the support of both host and sending countries linked to development.

Kind regards,

Titilola Banjoko

 

AfricaRecruit

Member of the JMDI

Migrant Advisory Board

 

Dear M4D colleagues,

The earlier contributions on this topic have eloquently described the key issues that need to be addressed on how to implement a migrant-centered approach which I share and endorse. In my view, many of these recommendations have already been amplified many years ago in various conferences, consultations, dialogues, specifically during Global Forum on Migration and Development. So allow me to contribute to the other opinions as briefly as possible.

It is not an issue that there is lack of good and sound recommendations. The bigger issue is how to implement them in a coherent manner. The issues raised in this e-consultation are actually not new. We have discussed them many times before, and there are already many recommendations on how to address them.

It has been said many times in various conferences and fora that a coherent policy to migration and development is very important. The problem is the stakeholders continue to view migration and development from their own interest.  Take for example the conflicting interest of countries of origin and destination. Many studies have already been conducted in the past. While policy makers agree on paper, the implementation is obviously incoherent. By saying stakeholders, we have and we must include migrants in the decision-making process because any top-down program is bound to fail. Experience and lessons learned tell us that any migration-related projects or programs initiated by stakeholders without active involvement of migrants failed because of this.  How can an approach be migrant-centred without active involvement of migrants?

Policy makers continue to talk about migrants but not with them. Migrants or diaspora organizations remain on the sidelines. Their contributions (social and financial) are recognized but policy makers, development agencies, and other stakeholders are still reluctant to involve them as actors and equal partners. They remain subjects of projects and programs.

Walk the talk

Stakeholders must have the resolve to implement the recommendations and the many studies conducted on how to serve the interest of migrants. There are already many recommendations raised in the past conferences, dialogues, consultations, etc. but these fall short of concrete action.

My sincere hope is that we take into account the recommendations raised by diaspora organizations, involve them actively in the process and implementation, and move further than merely conducting consultations or drafting policy. Perhaps this can be the key approach concerning how best to implement a migrant-centered agenda: start implementing.

I commend JMDI for taking extra efforts and innovative approach to meet the needs of diaspora organizations and support them to achieve their goals. However, we all know that this initiative must be sustained since we are not yet there.

 

With best regards,

Leila Rispens-Noel

President and Co-Founder

WIMLER Partnership for Social Progress

 

Social Consequences of Migration

The social consequences of migration need greater attention. The impact on family breakdown, the shattering of family, social and community networks, the absentee father or mother, separated siblings which gives rise to a sense of rejection, abandoned parents in the villages left to the mercy of neighbours in countries with no formal social care for the elderly; all this has a major impact on the social consequences of migration.

It is not just about remittances, it is about a gradual breakdown of a social, traditional community structure with no emerging new one to tackle the consequences. There is increasing abuse of elders and misuse/misapplication of remittances. The EU policy should focus on addressing the root cause of economic migration, at the very least in acknowledgement of the fact that migration due to war, famine or political unrest is much more complex. There are some mothers who have not seen their children in ten years; some men have started new families in the host country abandoning their original family while others manage two sets of families.

Many - though obviously not all - of the migrant young people in the host countries are facing a sense of alienation and identity crises, joining gangs, underachieving in education and as a result this is diverting attention away from the positive impact of migration. A lot of effort must go towards supporting socio-economic development in low income countries to limit the need to migrate. Unless it is a life and death issue, the price that is already being paid for the social consequences of migration may prove to be too high: large numbers of migrant alienated young people.

 

Dr. Victoria Reinhardt and Dr. Valeriu Chicu of JMDI Project Mv-176 “Migrants’ Capacities for the Moldovan System” write:

Dear members of the M4D community,

We welcome the migrant-centered approach of the European Commission to migration and development policy and believe that this approach can be developed to the benefit of all the parties involved. We also believe that it is important to interlink the migration and aid policy of the European Union.

Since we have addressed in our project “Migrants’ Capacities for the Moldovan System” the brain drain in the Moldovan Health System, we would like to share with you our experience and our suggestions with regard to possible ways in which the EU could assist the countries facing this phenomenon.

The concept of our project was based on the knowledge circulation approach, which aims similarly to the circular migration on a three win scenario for migrants, the source countries and the destination countries. The difference is only that it foresees the circulation of knowledge, not of specialists.  The concept of knowledge circulation addresses a target group which cannot be covered by circular migration schemes. This target group is constituted by the elite of the respective Diaspora groups: migrants that are well settled in the destination countries with a high profession status, a very busy agenda, and almost all of them with families and school children.

Before the start of the project no brain flow between the Moldovan Medical Diaspora and the Moldovan Health System could be witnessed. The assumption and also the hope of the project’s team was that if the necessary platform for brain circulation will be created, a process of brain flow will be initiated and put into operation, with the perspective of spillover effects on the Moldovan Medical Diaspora worldwide. The milestones for initiating the brain flow have been the estimation of the strengths and  needs of the Moldovan Health System, the creation of the specific knowledge, its translation both for the sending and the receiving part, its dissemination, the adoption and uptake of the results and finally the evaluation of the whole process. The cooperation between the main actors and the key stakeholders involved has been organized on three levels: institutional cooperation, teaching, research and curriculum development and the development of follow-up research and cooperation projects.

The project has had excellent results on all the three dimensions. Approximately 130 doctors, didactic staff, residents of the SMPhU “Nicolae Testemitanu” have benefited from training courses and workshops in the fields of neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, as well as cardiothoracic, vascular surgery and transplantology. Additionally to that the involvement of migrants in distance learning and in the curriculum development which was not foreseen within this project is envisaged for the near future. A number of cooperation agreements between the host institutions of the Moldovan migrants, the Moldovan medical institutions with the respective profiles and the Moldovan State Medical and Pharmaceutical University have been closed. Numerous project proposals for institutional cooperation have been worked out. Finally 9 common project proposals have been elaborated and 30 ideas for common projects on development, mobility and research have been outlined. 4 project proposals have been developed into applications and two of them have been already accepted for funding.

The project has proven that the knowledge circulation can be initiated and even set into operation in contexts where it could not be witnessed before. The resulted process can be very beneficial for the development of the respective sector of the source country and in the meantime leaves enough room for ownership of the related developments (especially in sectors that are controlled by the state). However in order to support these developments the source countries need to develop an own strategy (including elements for financing or co-financing the resulted projects) and to use it also in their dialogue with the donor community.

The project’s design can be adjusted and applied to any other sector (also in other countries) in the work with the academic diaspora, provided migrants with a high professional status and a personal motivation can be identified and the domestic politics are open to the active involvement of migrants in the development of the respective sector(s).

We believe that this approach can indeed efficiently contribute to the development of the migrants’ source countries. Furthermore it can significantly contribute to the enhancement of knowledge production and the development of research in the EU through the stimulation of transnational knowledge networks and it has a big potential in the process of developing the EU aid policy as a global political instrument.

In the meantime we pledge for opening special windows within existing thematic aid programs in the field of health (but this also applies to other fields) for projects that have been developed and will be implemented jointly by migrants and their counterparts in the countries of origins. This would encourage the sustainable cooperation between migrants and interested institutions from the home country and in the meantime strengthen the link between the migration and the aid policy of the Union.

Dr. Victoria Reinhardt                                                  Dr. Valeriu Chicu

Global and European Studies Institute                        State Medical and Pharmaceutical

University of Leipzig                                                    University “Nicolae Testemitanu”

Germany                                                                      Moldova

 

Elizabeth Thomas-Hope, Professor at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica and a member of the JMDI Migrant Advisory Board, writes:

Dear members of M4D Net,

Please find below a contribution to the European Commission’s e-consultation on migration and development policy.

A Migrant-centred Approach to Migration and Development:

The Family Left Behind

Human rights perspectives on migration have come increasingly to the fore in the global migration debate. The aspect of human development of those persons who are not themselves migrants, but are directly affected by migration, has also come more into focus in recent years. The interest in this section of the population first focused on children left behind by parents who had migrated. This led to greater attention being paid to the entire household of the absent members and what has become labelled as the inter-generational household.

This inter-generational household is not specific to, or necessarily associated with, migration. In many parts of the world households comprised of three generations are quite common, if not the norm. What is more usual with respect to migrant households is what could be termed the “doughnut household”, where the middle generation is missing. These are invariably the core family member - the parents of the minors in the household and, therefore, those with the relative youth and energy to manage young persons appropriately; they are also those with the greatest authority to do so as parents and, knowingly or otherwise, the main role models for the children and young persons in the family.

Migration does not alone create “doughnut households” but it does increase their incidence. Nor should the migration of a parent necessarily disadvantage the other household members. To the contrary, in many cases the households are better off because of the remittances sent by the household members who migrated and were working abroad. In fact, the economic benefits derived from the migration, and the receipt of remittances in many cases, greatly improves the standard of living of the household overall. However, many cases have also been observed where inadequate arrangements are made for the family of migrants, especially for the children of the migrants. If migration’s negative effects on social development are to be minimized and its potential benefits maximized, then the impact of migration on the non-migrant household needs to be included in policies relating to migration and development. This focuses on the sending countries and, in particular, on the less developed countries.

A study supported by a grant from the JMDI, conducted in three vulnerable urban communities in Jamaica, found that virtually all households in the sample had at least one person who had migrated. Similar issues were identified in a JMDI-supported project in Moldova and it is most likely that it occurs in many developing countries. It is, therefore, apparent that this aspect of the migrant-centred approach to intervention at the interface between migration and development is much-needed and widely applicable to migration source countries.

Both studies showed that while some departing migrants had made every effort to ensure that their families were well taken care of in their absence, there were a surprisingly large number of migrants who had not. Arrangements would be expected to include satisfactory guardianship for minors, appropriate accommodation, the regular provision of money for education, and health-related needs.

In more than half the households in the Jamaican study, a member had migrated without the other adults or children in the household even being aware beforehand of the plans to leave. This could be accounted for by the reluctance of persons to disclose their migration intentions in case the plans should not materialise as, for example, if for some reason the person is denied entry at the proposed destination. Additionally, if persons were migrating without legal documentation, they would not wish to give information about their plans.

Further, there was a high incidence of inadequate arrangements being made by migrants prior to departure. In almost two-thirds of the total number of households in the sample, no preparation had been made for individuals or the family left behind. In many cases, older siblings were integrally involved in assisting in the care of younger children. Less than half the households were in receipt of remittances. This could be partially explained by the fact that in the anxiety to take whatever opportunity for migration had presented itself, people would sometimes leave at any cost, whether or not there was the availability of responsible persons with whom to leave the household arrangements, or to be appropriate guardians for their children.

Among the non-migrants, there was found to be a high level of awareness of the existence of social services and assistance, especially in relation to national health provisions for subsidized medication and other benefits, but with very low levels of take up of these facilities.

A Plan of Action

There is much evidence of the need (in developing countries) for programmes that systematically provide information and guidance on the dangers for the migrant in leaving home without proper documentation and arrangements for themselves at the destination country. Guidance and education is especially needed to target populations about the realities of human trafficking, so that people can more readily identify the signs that indicate prospective trafficking. Furthermore, practical guidance is needed for prospective migrants regarding the arrangements to be made for children and the aged for whom they have responsibility.

If strategies for streamlining migration into development are to be migrant-centred, there needs to be capacity building in the relevant countries to assist people in preparing for migration, and for making the appropriate provisions for persons for whom they have responsibility. Such capacity building will require programmes of funding and training of relevant personnel for the provision of the required support to families. Models for the implementation of such capacity-building will have to take into consideration the most efficient means of reaching an optimal target population, and of sustaining the process so that it aims at becoming part of the institutional framework, knowledge system and societal norm.

Kind regards,

Elizabeth Thomas-Hope

Kingston, Jamaica

 

Dear members of the M4D community,

Please find below my contribution to the e-consultation on enhancing EU Migration & Development Policy.

Creating a Development Continuum

The broad EU migration policy overhaul that the European Commission is currently undertaking must lead to a development continuum. Such a continuum refers to a situation in which political action on both migration towards the EU and South-South migration starts from considering the promotion of economic opportunities in third countries (of origin and transit) and of an individual human development that ensures the protection of human rights (see Sen, 1999; Streeten, 1994). Ensuring the protection of human rights on and beyond the doorstep of the European Union is crucial. It is clear that an important part of the current efforts in combining EU migration policy and external relations through training of border guards, setting up of detention centers and financial assistance for the purchase of border surveillance equipment (notably aimed at partner countries under the European Neighbourhood Policy) is lacking a consideration of human and social factors of migration. This contribution urges the Commission to consider the following three concerns.

1) The Research Gap

In its discussion paper, the Commission writes that “the operational aspects of the migration and development agenda can be strengthened.” One of the important questions to be addressed in this context is the EU’s inadequate acknowledgement of results from independent academic research. This ‘research gap’ must be overcome not only by better involving research institutes but also by making sure that ‘evidence based’ policy doesn’t just mean gathering more data. As it stands, the discussion paper focuses on expanding the Commission’s knowledge-base “through promoting [the] use of migration profiles and migration observatories.” Given the current curious situation of significant EU social science research funding and the rarity of its use in solving policy dilemmas, the Commission should first look into existing knowledge on Migration and Development that is synergetic with the protection of migrants’ rights. Secondly, the Commission must consider giving independent social science research and networks active roles in monitoring the impact of EU Migration and Mobility for Development policy ‘on the ground’ in order to guarantee objective and impartial evaluation. Detailed policy recommendations on this issue have been put forward by the CEPS Justice and Home Affairs team (see Carrera and Merlino, 2009).

2) The Usefulness of Setting up EU-wide Networks

Following on the call for the acknowledgement and better use of independent research as a more constructive way of thinking about ‘evidence based’ policy-making, the Commission should equally make sure to consult a wide range of stakeholders on the applicability of policy ideals such as the top-down creation of EU-wide migrant networks. This applies to the example of diaspora engagement. Instead of blindly adopting a methodology for ‘enhancing their involvement,’ the complexity of the policy area should convince the Commission to listen closely to the diversity of needs of the various migrant communities and the role member states can play in engendering links between countries of origin and migrant groups in various parts of Europe.

3) The Discrepancy between Entitlements and Access

The Commission’s emphasis on enhancing effective access to existing (international) legal rights is to be commended and forms an element of the discussion that cannot be underestimated. If anything, the Commission would be well advised to bring this topic to the front of the debate by explicitly linking the achievement of this goal to the accomplishment of a migrant-centered approach to migration. The question of migrant’s rights within Europe might in the near future become openly linked to political action surrounding EU citizenship (see Guild, 2010; 2011). From a Migration and Development standpoint it remains, however, most important to look at the position of the most vulnerable people. In this light, a real added value of an updated Global Approach to Migration could come from seeing a phenomenon like human trafficking clearly in the light of migrants’ rights instead of border control. Today, the situation before or at the EU external borders often prevents migrants from accessing or invoking their rights (such as the right to apply for asylum or access to medical care). Hence, the most effective starting point for protecting vulnerable migrants would seem to be reminding EU and third country governments of their obligations as members of the international community for creating a situation of effective access to existing legal rights for migrants.

Kind regards,

Mathijs van Dijk

 

References 

Carrera, S. and Merlino, M. (2009) 'Undocumented Immigrants and Rights in the EU: Addressing the Gap between Social Science Research and Policy-making in the Stockholm Programme?' in the CEPS 'Liberty and Security in Europe' series available at ceps.eu

Guild, E. (2011) ‘The Court of Justice of the European Union and Citizens of the Union: A Revolution Underway? The Zambrano judgment 8 March 2011’ Centre for Migration Law Radboud University Nijmegen

Guild, E. (2010) 'The European Union after the Treaty of Lisbon: Fundamental Rights and EU Citizenship' CEPS 'Liberty and Security in Europe' Speech given at Global Jean Monnet/European Community Studies Association World Conference 25-26 May, available at ceps.eu

Sen, A. (1999) Development as Freedom Oxford: Oxford University Press

Streeten, P. (1994) ‘Human Development: Means and Ends’ in Human Development Vol. 84 (2) pp. 232-237.

 

Dear members of the M4D network,

Please find below my contribution to topic 2 of the current e-consultation on the EC discussion paper “Migration and Mobility for Development - Towards a migrant-centred approach”

Regarding the question of how a migrant-centred approach to migration and development policy impact key policy areas, I would like to present some thoughts on brain drain.

Talking about brain drain, the European Commission’s discussion paper focuses on important questions such as assisting countries of origin in defining retention strategies and in promoting return and reintegration of qualified migrants. On the EU side circular migration schemes are favoured in order to allow qualified staff to migrate and at the same time to ensure their return in countries of origin. There are, however, two aspects which the paper does not take into account.

1. Firstly, highly skilled migration does not necessarily mean brain drain with all its negative consequences. This is because in some countries (for example Morocco, Libya and Egypt) skilled people might not find adequate employment because of the local labour market and political situation. In these countries unemployment among young and well-educated people creates frustration and social exclusion. Migration is then a possibility for the individual to work in his or her field of expertise and pursue a career. Not to migrate would – to the contrary – lead to a brain waste, meaning not making use of existing capacity.

2. Secondly, although the migration of highly skilled labour might – from a national perspective – may lead to brain drain, from a migrant-centred perspective, labour migration which makes use of  existing capacities, leads to benefits for the individual migrant and thus contributes to his or her personal development. Is migration further combined with social and financial remittances, then it can additionally support the development of the migrant's family and community.

In its attempt to broaden its traditional migration and development agenda so as to address topics which are relevant for a migrant-centred approach, the European Commission refers in the discussion paper not only to brain drain, but also to issues such as mainstreaming, diaspora involvement, remittances, circular migration and migrants' human rights. However, one topic which is crucial for any migration and development policy is missing here, namely: Gender.

It is widely known that women account for almost 50% of international migrants but policies and practices ignore this fact and tend to be silent on gender issues. And so does the Commission's discussion paper. Female migrants are only casually mentioned, namely when it comes to human rights the paper suggests to “address the specific needs of migrant women“.

However, a migrant-centred approach means also to look intensely at the specific situation of women in migration who are often engaged in low skilled, unprotected and poorly-regulated sectors such as domestic work, agriculture, service industries, manufacturing and sex work and are therefore more vulnerable than men to exploitation, abuse and human rights violations. Furthermore, female migrants are major contributors to economic growth and poverty reduction. As senders and recipients of remittances women contribute to development and ensure the welfare of their families. However, their potential to profit from migration and to contribute to development is diminished due to the factors mentioned above and the fact that female migrants in their role as employees are subject of double discrimination: as foreigners and as women. Therefore, it is necessary to adequately include the issue of gender, the protection of migrant women’s rights and also their empowerment in the EU Global Approach to Migration so as to enable them to better profit from migration and to contribute to development.

I once more highlight that the European Commission’s attempt to broaden its traditional migration and development agenda and to apply a migrant-centred approach is welcome. I hope that the comments made by the participants in this e-consultation will truly be considered in the formulation of the paper on migration and development complementing the communication on the EU Global Approach to Migration, thus ensuring a real migrant-centred approach towards migration and development.

Since policies are being made to be implemented, I would like to conclude with an appeal to the European Commission to make funds available to programmes which are specifically dedicated to support the links between migration and development in a way that results in concrete benefits for migrants. As the discussion paper says, the EU has already put in place concrete initiatives. One of them is the EC/UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI). The rationale behind the projects funded by the JMDI is that linking migration and development can create triple wins: for migrants’ countries of origin, for countries of destination, and for migrants themselves. It is a programme which surely can be improved but which has proven to bring concrete benefits to a great many of migrants while contributing to general development and thus is worth it to be continuously funded.

Kind regards,

Mag. Saskia Koppenberg

 

Dear All,

I agree in general with the points raised by Saskia. Congrats on a sound intervention. I would also like to elaborate on the point raised on the human rights issue and how is challenges women migrants. Many women migrant from Sri Lanka e.g. do move out seeking greener pastures as low-skilled domestic workers.  They work in the homes and other private domains of empowered individuals whilst they enter the labour market in near servility. As we speak, the ILO is discussing and subscribing to a new convention on domestic work which is I believe is a window of opportunity for improving the conditions of work in respect of migrant domestic workers as well.

One way of ensuring migrants' rights are respected would be for countries of destination to take the Convention seriously so that migrant workers, (even at the lowest level of entry point into the labour market), enter the labour market, as better equipped, empowered and respected workers which in turn will help them realise their full potential as individuals, as equal partners in providing for their families and as equal partners in development.  The best way to respect the Convention and proposed Recommendation would be to honour the spirit in which it has been developed by the tripartite constituents, even if it may be too premature to articulate it formally in terms of policies, laws and regulations, etc. until such time that the formalities reflect commitment.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide a contribution.

Kind regards,

Shyama Salgado

International Labour Organization

Dear all,

Please find below the contribution of Eunomad (European Network on Migrations and Development, www.eunomad.org) to the consultation. It is in french. More information: http://www.eunomad.org/fr/actualites/actualites-du-reseau/982-reponse-de....

Eunomad
contact@eunomad.org

MIGRATION ET MOBILITÉ EN FAVEUR DU DÉVELOPPEMENT

Eunomad voudrait tout d’abord remercier la Commission Européenne d’avoir permis de lancer une vaste consultation sur l’évolution du volet externe de sa politique migratoire en lien avec la question du développement. La Commission reconnaît dans son document de travail « Migration et Mobilité en faveur du développement » que l’amélioration des synergies positives entre la migration et le développement constitue l’un des piliers de l’approche globale des migrations (ci après « Approche Globale ») et que la contribution du migrant à ce processus en est une composante essentielle.

Nous accueillons positivement les analyses qui sont présentées dans ce document et notamment :
• La reconnaissance de l’intégration sociale et citoyenne des migrants en Europe et la protection des droits des migrants à travers l’entièreté du parcours migratoire comme éléments clefs de la mise en œuvre positive du lien entre migration et développement.
• Une approche centrée sur les migrants nécessite de pouvoir replacer la problématique évoquée dans le contexte plus large du lien entre les migrations internationales et le droit à la mobilité. Il sera également indispensable d’interroger les différentes postures du migrant aujourd’hui en considérant l’intégralité de son parcours migratoire et les multiples dimensions sociales et territoriales de référence qui accompagnent ce parcours .
• Sortir de ce qui semble être un « face à face » Nord - Sud sur les questions migratoires en intégrant les migrations Sud Sud dans l’analyse constitue également un progrès en termes de posture qui permettra aux Etats des pays tiers concernés par l’émigration de participer plus activement à la définition des politiques migratoires, qui restent trop centrées sur les besoins des Etats de l’UE.

D’autres commentaires nous semblent par ailleurs importants:
• La stratégie annuelle 2011-2013 « Coopération avec les pays tiers dans le domaine des migrations et de l’asile » de la Commission rappelle que les « trois piliers » de « l’Approche Globale » en 2005 étaient de faciliter la migration de main d’œuvre, de prévenir et enrayer les migrations clandestines et favoriser le lien migration-développement. Les budgets présentés (pour la période 2011-2013) sont ventilés par axe géographique, priorités thématiques, et mesures spécifiques sans que le détail en soit spécifié. De la clarté doit par ailleurs être apportée à l’évaluation des moyens anciennement affectés à la mise en œuvre de la précédente communication et aux perspectives budgétaires et ratios de répartition qui sont envisagés pour le volet migration développement de la future « Approche Globale ». Les « 3 piliers » mettent en relation des politiques très différentes et le risque qui pèse sur l’instrumentalisation des politiques de développement apparaît comme réel notamment dans le cadre d’accords bi et multi latéraux avec les pays d’origine.
• Le rapport d’évaluation de l’examen mi-parcours du programme thématique a par ailleurs mis en lumière le manque de moyens affectés aux renforcements de capacité de la société civile aux Nord et au Sud et à des actions concrètes au plus près des populations, actions portées notamment par les associations de migrants.
• Les transferts de fonds ne doivent pas occulter la faculté des acteurs de la migration à être des acteurs du changement social et de transformation sociale dans les pays d’origine et d’accueil.
• La compréhension de la migration de travail doit tenir compte des aspects familiaux tant dans les motivations au départ que dans les incidences familiales de cette migration.
• Peu de mesures concrètes, à partir des instruments existants, ont été mises en avant. Il n’est, par exemple, pas fait mention de l’initiative conjointe entre l’UE et le PNUD ou d’échanges de pratiques résultant de projets financés dans le cadre migration développement.

Sur le plan institutionnel, la consultation sur « l’Approche Globale» intervient dans un contexte important qu’il est bon de rappeler. Le traité de Lisbonne, entré en vigueur le 1er décembre 2009, a eu pour effet de rendre juridiquement contraignante la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne. Le programme d’action quinquennal de Stockholm adopté par le Conseil Européen en 2009 et le plan d’action (de Stockholm) adopté par la Commission Européenne en avril 2010 considèrent que les droits fondamentaux tant à l’extérieur et l’intérieur de l’Union sont la pierre angulaire de la légalité du programme législatif en vigueur et à venir de l'UE dans ce domaine. Le Programme et le plan d’action de Stockholm continuent malheureusement à parler de « l'immigration illégale », en préconisant l'adoption de politiques efficaces pour lutter contre elle.
Dans le programme de Stockholm, la Commission européenne a confirmé son souhait d’élaborer des politiques en matière d’immigration et d’asile « dans une perspective à long terme et mettant l’accent sur le respect des droits fondamentaux et de la dignité humaine ». D’autre part la Commission a affirmé dans ce même document « qu’elle s’efforcera d’atteindre un niveau uniforme de droits et d’obligations pour les immigrants légaux comparable à celui dont jouissent les citoyens européens ».

1. INTÉGRER LA DIVERSITÉ DES PARCOURS MIGRATOIRES ET DES FACTEURS DE LA MOBILITÉ

Nous sommes à la 3ème phase de la mondialisation des migrations. Toutes les régions du monde sont aujourd’hui concernées par le départ, le transit et l’accueil de populations de plus en plus mobiles, aux profils de plus en plus diversifiés. Les nouvelles tendances et le contexte politique qui affectent ces dynamiques migratoires sont de plusieurs ordres :
• Le développement et la permanence de réseaux des diasporas qui résultent de l’installation de migrants d’un même pays dans un ou plusieurs d’accueil.
• Le durcissement des politiques migratoires au niveau des pays de l’OCDE et de l’UE a pour conséquence le développement d’une perception négative par les opinions européennes voire d’une criminalisation des migrants. La nécessité de faire connaître et reconnaître les impacts positifs de ces migrations tant pour les pays d’accueil que d’origine reste cruciale.
• Le changement démographique constituera un autre enjeu fondamental pour les pays de l’UE. Le vieillissement démographique au cours des 15 prochaines années devrait se traduire par un déclin de la population des actifs dans un contexte de demande accrue de biens et services et, à l’horizon 2030, l’immigration sera le seul facteur de croissance de la population.
• La circulation comme mode de vie. Parmi les tendances qui se sont dessinées, les migrations pendulaires, d’allers et retours, l’installation dans la mobilité comme mode de vie attire ceux qui veulent vivre « ici et là-bas » quand le statut et les activités économiques le permettent (double nationalités, titres de long séjour, visas à entrée multiple).

2. METTRE EN VALEUR ET APPUYER LA CONTRIBUTION DES DIASPORAS

La gouvernance multilatérale en matière de migration et développement et l’UE ont reconnu le rôle important que jouent les diasporas sur le développement des pays d’origine. L’approfondissement de la dynamique migration /développement dans le cadre de la révision de « l’Approche globale » est une opportunité pour étudier les modalités d’une meilleure participation des diasporas au développement « ici et là-bas » tout en ne limitant pas cet examen à la seule question des transferts de fonds.
La contribution des diasporas prend de multiples formes, intellectuelle, culturelle, économique et sociale. On parle de « transferts sociaux » qui sont définis comme « des idées, pratiques, états d’esprit, visions du monde, valeurs, attitudes, normes de comportement et capital social (connaissances, expériences, expertise) » que les diasporas véhiculent et transfèrent consciemment et inconsciemment des pays d’accueil aux pays d’origine et inversement. Le réseau EUNOMAD qui regroupe des praticiens de la relation migration/développement a mis en lumière les nombreuses pratiques économiques et sociales des diasporas pour que ces plus values soient reconnues à leur juste mesure.

Le travail avec les diasporas nécessite une reconnaissance officielle de leur rôle dans les pays d’origine et de destination. La mise en place de cellules d’appui aux diasporas dans les pays de départ et d’accueil doit être encouragée et renforcée. Il est tout aussi important que toutes les leçons soient tirées des programmes de transferts de compétences de l’OIM (MIDA) ou du PNUD (TOKTEN).
D’autre part, la mise en place de mécanismes de portabilité des droits sociaux ou de prestations de pension entre pays de destination et pays d’origine est un point essentiel de formalisation et de prise en compte des besoins des acteurs de la diaspora. Or la plupart des accords en matière de sécurité sociale au plan bilatéral ou multilatéral ne couvrent que 20 à 25 % des migrants internationaux.

2.1. RENFORCER LES CAPACITES ET LA MISE EN RESEAU
• L’expérience du réseau Eunomad qui a répertorié plus de 150 pratiques européennes portées par les associations de migrants et diasporas montre comment le renforcement de capacités doit constituer une partie importante des politiques d’appui qu’il s’agisse de la création d’associations, de gestion de projet, de collecte de fonds, de planification ou d’évaluation
• Par ailleurs, il est essentiel de permettre de favoriser un meilleur accès aux financements de l’UE. Les contraintes liées à cet accès sont encore trop importantes. Il convient plutôt de permettre la mise en place de dispositifs destinés à financer des montants adaptés aux capacités de gestion de la majorité des associations de migrants. La collaboration et les partenariats avec les autorités locales constituent une bonne pratique et porte d’entrée. L’initiative conjointe PNUD/UE est un autre dispositif financier visant à contribuer au dialogue migration –développement émanant de la société civile et des autorités locales. Ce dispositif prévoit utilement un co-portage de l’action entre une organisation du pays d’accueil et une du pays d’origine et permet aux associations de migrants d’exprimer les différentes facettes et valeurs ajoutées liées à leur parcours migratoire.
• Les diasporas sont avant tout fortes en compétences, passeuses de solidarité, mobilisatrices de partenaires pour les territoires d’origine, ambassadrices de ces territoires auprès des populations du territoire d’accueil et vecteurs de changement social sur ces deux espaces. Ce sont les capacités sociales et économiques des diasporas qui sont au cœur de la relation migration-développement et pas uniquement la question des transferts de fonds.

2.2 UN ENVIRONNEMENT PROPICE A LA VALORISATION DES CONTRIBUTIONS VOLONTAIRES DES MIGRANTS EN FAVEUR DU DEVELOPPEMENT
Quand on parle de transferts de fonds, il nous faut considérer trois types de transaction : transferts financiers individuels envoyés pour soutenir la famille restée au pays, les sommes d’argent envoyées pour financer les investissements à petite échelle dans des entreprises, et le soutien individuel ou collectif à des projets de développement. La répartition entre ces différentes affectations est très différente selon les pays et le type de migration. Ainsi seul 1,4 % des transferts des Sénégalais vont à l’investissement productif alors que 10,4 % des transferts des Burkinabès y sont affectés .
Il apparaît important tout d’abord de travailler à réduire les frais liés aux envois de fonds mais en tenant compte des véritables attentes des migrants quant à ces envois de fonds à savoir la rapidité, l’accessibilité et la sécurité.
La Banque Mondiale, dans un récent rapport intitulé «Démultiplier l'impact des migrations pour l'Afrique : Envois de fonds, renforcement des compétences et investissements » , encourage les gouvernements des pays d’origine et de destination à élargir le marché des prestataires opérant dans les transferts de fonds. Les bureaux de poste, les coopératives de crédit, les banques et les institutions financières opérant en milieu rural ou les organismes spécialisés en microfinance ont de grands réseaux offrant une occasion unique d'élargir le marché des transferts de fonds et d’améliorer l'accès aux services financiers dans les régions rurales. Les développements de la téléphonie indiquent que l’avenir est à la dématérialisation complète de ces transferts.
Eunomad a recensé plusieurs expériences riches d’enseignements sur l’investissement productif (société individuelle sur l’énergie solaire, société actionnariale sur les transports, société coopérative d’import export) Ces expériences sont disponibles dans le guide des pratiques européennes : http://www.eunomad.org/fr/ressources/publications/892-publication-eunoma...

Recommandations
- La mise en place de système de garantie pour les investissements productifs constitue un outil important pour faciliter les investissements productifs issus des diasporas. En effet, les migrants porteurs de projets économiques n’accèdent généralement pas aux dispositifs financiers car d’un côté les banques européennes ne financent pas une activité en Afrique et de l’autre parce que le demandeur n’est pas sur place et qu’il apparaît risqué de le financer.
- Faciliter la circulation de l’information entre les communautés migrantes et leurs pays d’origine sur les investissements productifs et les dispositifs d’appui disponibles localement, notamment en matière d’accompagnement et financement des projets.
- Uniformiser les règles d’accès aux crédits entre les banques des pays d’origine et celles de destination : permettre à des non résidents d’y souscrire.
- Pour autant, tout migrant n’est pas entrepreneur. Ces derniers sont rares et manquent de mécanismes d’appui suffisamment souples pour leurs entreprises. Ces dispositifs se heurtent souvent à la difficile articulation avec les dispositifs d’appui à l’entreprenariat mis en place par l’Etat d’origine et les autorités locales. faciliter des modes d’intervention dans ce domaine est important
- La mise en place dans le cadre de la stratégie conjointe UE-AFRIQUE d’un Institut sur les Transferts de Fonds constitue une opportunité pour réfléchir de manière plus approfondie aux mécanismes à mettre en place pour soutenir les processus de transferts de fonds. L’information et l’implication des diasporas sur les pratiques innovantes dans ce domaine est nécessaire.

3. FUITE DES CERVEAUX
De nombreuses études ont permis d’attirer l’attention sur les entraves au développement que représente la fuite des cerveaux. La perte de travailleurs ayant suivi leur parcours éducatif dans le pays d’origine est avant tout une perte en capital humain ainsi qu’une une limitation au développement et à la croissance du pays d’origine. Elle constitue par ailleurs un gaspillage des compétences (brain waste) dans les pays de destination. Les études menées notamment par la Banque mondiale montrent les problèmes d’employabilité rencontrés par ce type de migration dans les pays de destination. Au « brain drain », s’est ajouté le « care drain » qui affecte les professions médicales et services de santé. Il apparaît clairement que c’est l’Afrique et les pays à faible revenu qui sont les plus affectés par la fuite des cerveaux, la perte peut atteindre de 10 à 30% du groupe possédant un niveau de formation supérieure dans des pays comme le Ghana ou le Malawi.

Certaines options peuvent être encouragées pour limiter l’impact de la fuite des cerveaux :
• Il s’agit tout d’abord d’examiner comment compenser les pertes en capital humain provoquées par le « brain drain ». Des initiatives initiées par l’OIM et le PNUD comme TOKTEN ou MIDA ont permis de mettre en place des programmes de migration circulaire permettant le transfert de compétences techniques par des réseaux d’expatriés de la diaspora vers les pays d’origine. La circulation de compétences doit devenir un objectif important des programmes de migration circulaire mis en place par l’UE.
• Il faut également reconnaître que l’autre effet pervers de la fuite des cerveaux est le « brain waste » provoqué par la non reconnaissance de certains diplômes par les Etats membres de l’UE. Les membres d’Eunomad constatent chaque jour cette déperdition de compétences au sein du monde associatif migrant où il n’est pas rare de voir des personnes hautement qualifiées surinvestir les dites associations par manque de reconnaissance de leurs compétences sur le marché du travail.
• Dans le cadre de la stratégie conjointe UE-AFRIQUE, le plan 2011-2013 prévoit de concentrer une partie des efforts du programme « Migration, Mobilité et Emploi » dans l’investissement dans la formation supérieure en Afrique et ce à travers l’octroi de bourses dans le cadre du Programme Nyerere, le lancement de l'Université Panafricaine, un réseau d’institutions africaines de recherche et d’enseignement supérieur et l’harmonisation des programmes d’enseignement supérieur en Afrique et « tuning » . Il est essentiel que ces initiatives puissent permettre la solidification de pôles de compétences au sein de l’Union Africaine.

REGARD SUR UNE PRATIQUE
Le projet SEEDA (Supporting Entrepreneurs and Entreprise) développé par AFFORD au Royaume-Uni vise à mobiliser la diaspora et d’autres partenaires pour appuyer la création de petites et moyennes entreprises au Ghana et Sierra Leone ; l’apport de ce projet est centré sur le transfert de compétences ; SEEDA mobilise 70 personnes ressources pour des missions de conseil et de formation et de l’appui à distance. Ces prestations ont été valorisées à hauteur de 120.000 Livres sterlings. Cf. Expérience p38 du Guide des pratiques eunomad

4. LA FAMILLE ET LE GENRE : DES COMPOSANTES ESSENTIELLES MAIS PAS ASSEZ RECONNUES DU PARCOURS MIGRATOIRE

La nouvelle économie de la migration de travail soutient que la décision de migrer n’est pas prise exclusivement par l’individu mais aussi par le groupe familial. Or, les politiques migratoires y compris celles de l’UE n’ont cessé de viser les individus plutôt que les familles. Il est nécessaire d’intégrer de nouvelles perspectives d’analyses fondées sur la famille et sur le genre.
Au niveau de l’UE, le regroupement familial est couvert par la directive 2003/86. Cette directive fait l’objet d’un rapport de la Commission européenne en 2008 concernant sa mise en application et a mis en lumière plusieurs problèmes généraux de mauvaise transposition ou d’application erronée de la directive notamment en matière d’obtention de visas, d’octroi de titre de séjour autonome, de prise en compte de l’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant. Par ailleurs, le rapport indiquait en outre que les effets de la directive sur l’harmonisation des règles de regroupement familial demeurent limités.

Recommandations sur la famille
• Le droit de toute personne au respect de sa vie de famille constitue un droit fondamental garanti par les instruments internationaux de protection des droits de l’homme, par la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe et par la charte européenne des droits fondamentaux
• La Commission a annoncé son intention de lancer en 2011 une consultation, sous la forme d'un livre vert, sur l'avenir du régime de regroupement familial. Cette réflexion doit inclure la question des droits fondamentaux des familles dans le cadre du regroupement familial en y incluant la portabilité des droits sociaux
• La Commission doit utiliser le cadre des partenariats sur la migration, la mobilité et l’emploi de la stratégie conjointe UE-AFRIQUE 2011-2013 pour que la question de la famille restée dans le pays d’origine du migrant soit partie des débats.
• L’UE doit favoriser le financement de projets de recherche sur la gestion familiale de la migration dans le cadre de la mise en oeuvre du programme thématique « Coopération avec les pays tiers dans le domaine de la migration et l’asile » pour la période 2011-2013.

Nous ne pouvons pas étudier la question des migrations sans reconnaître que la migration féminine en est une composante essentielle. Près d’un tiers des personnes qui migrent dans le monde se dirige vers l’Europe et, parmi ces dernières, 49.6% sont des femmes. Pendant de nombreuses années, les femmes migrantes ont été essentiellement vues comme des épouses rejoignant les travailleurs migrants alors que la réalité de la migration féminine révélait des trajectoires plus complexes : Les femmes émigrent de manière de plus en plus autonome, à la recherche d’un emploi et souvent comme chefs de famille et pas seulement pour rejoindre leur conjoint sur le territoire d’accueil.

Recommandations sur le genre :
• L’UE intègre, dans la réflexion migration-développement, le plan d’action 2010-2015 afin de promouvoir l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes dans les pays en développement. Ce plan d’action entend contribuer à la réalisation des OMD et des objectifs de la Convention des nations Unies sur l’élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l’égard des femmes
• L’UE traite de l’égalité des genres dans le cadre du dialogue migration et développement conduit entre l’UE et les pays en développement (ceci est déjà le cas pour le dialogue UE-AFRIQUE).

5. DROITS DES MIGRANTS, DIVERSITÉ ET INTÉGRATION AU CŒUR DE LA MIGRATION ET DU DÉVELOPPEMENT

Le respect des droits des migrants reste le volet faible de la Communication « Migration et Développement » et plus largement de l’Approche Globale. Pourtant Les atteintes aux droits des migrants sont nombreuses aux frontières de l’Europe et dans les pays-tiers.

Par ailleurs, la question de l’intégration des migrants dans les pays de destination reste à réaliser.
Comme le rappelle le récent rapport de Thorbjørn Jagland Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe « Vivre Ensemble, Conjuguer diversité et liberté dans l’Europe du XXIème Siècle » : « la diversité est la destinée de l’Europe et elle est là pour durer » Elle façonne l'avenir de l'Europe dans un monde qui évolue rapidement, et qui continuera de le faire. La réalisation de l’intégration des ressortissants des pays tiers est aujourd’hui fortement entravée par les excès du débat public dans beaucoup d’Etats membres sur les questions d’immigration et notamment à l’endroit des travailleurs dits irréguliers. La frontière entre les discours politiques, les stéréotypes et les stigmatisations est ténue, facilitant la montée des populismes en Europe.
Au moment où une nouvelle communication sur l’intégration est en voie d’élaboration, l’approche migration et développement se doit d’intégrer un certain nombre de principes qui sont partie prenante d’une approche basée sur les droits, le respect de la diversité et la promotion de la cohésion sociale au sein de l’UE.

Dans l’Union européenne, l’égalité de traitement des ressortissants des pays tiers, constitue à la fois une obligation, en vertu du principe général de respect des droits fondamentaux, et un engagement politique depuis le Conseil de Tampere en 1999. L’UE doit réaffirmer son engagement envers les droits fondamentaux dans l’ensemble des dimensions externes des politiques d’asile et d’immigration.
• L’UE doit assurer la pleine mise en œuvre et se conformer aux dispositions contenues dans les instruments internationaux de protection des droits de l’Homme, les recommandations du Conseil de l’Europe concernant la protection des travailleurs migrants et les conventions de l’OIT. L’UE et ses Etats membres doivent signer, ratifier et mettre en œuvre la Convention Internationale des Nations Unies pour la protection des droits des travailleurs migrants et de leur famille.
• L’UE possède une législation en matière de non-discrimination (directives 200/43 et 2000/78) ; Cette protection doit être appliquée à toutes les personnes résidant sur son territoire. Il est dans ce cadre nécessaire que l’UE abroge l’exemption qui figure dans la directive 2000/43 (article 3.2) et qui prévoit une dérogation inacceptable au principe de non-discrimination autorisant toute différence de traitement fondée sur la nationalité et le statut juridique du ressortissant du pays tiers.

Malgré les avancées de l’Europe sociale et les principes d’inclusion active qui guident la stratégie 2020, des barrières continuent à empêcher les ressortissants des pays tiers résidents de courte ou longue durée de participer au marché du travail des états membres, condition essentielle de l’intégration. Ces barrières ont été relevées et identifiées par de nombreux rapports de l’Agence Européenne des Droits Fondamentaux et du Groupe consultatif de haut niveau de l'UE sur l'inclusion sociale des minorités ethniques sur le marché du travail mis en place en 2007 par l’ancien Commissaire en charge de l’Emploi et de l’Egalité des Chances ,Vladimir Spidla. Les barrières à l’employabilité affectent en spirale les autres aspects de la vie des ressortissants des pays tiers sur le territoire de l’UE qu’il s’agisse de l’accès au logement, aux soins de santés par exemple.
Il est impératif comme relevé par la stratégie 2020 que les migrants soient considérés comme partie intégrante des enjeux et défis qui sont ceux de l’Europe en matière de croissance et d’inclusion sociale. Des indicateurs socio-économiques doivent mesurer la situation et la progression des politiques d’intégration des ressortissants des pays tiers.

Le changement des attitudes et des comportements, ainsi que la reconnaissance, comme mentionné dans les Principes Communs de Base en matière d’Intégration adoptés par le Conseil en 2004, de l’intégration - comme un processus dynamique d’acceptation mutuelle entre majorité et minorité- sont au cœur des enjeux dont il est question.

La question de la visibilité de la contribution des migrants aux sociétés d’accueil notamment dans les parcours d’intégration doit être incluse dans les échanges sur la relation migration-développement.
Dans les pays d’accueil, les associations de migrants contribuent déjà et très fortement aux parcours d’intégration des communautés. Il convient avant tout de soutenir ces efforts. Par ailleurs, les projets multilatéraux promus par la société civile des migrants dans le cadre du co-développement sont porteurs de potentiel pour construire un nouvel espace de dialogue d’échanges pour l’Europe dans ses relations avec les pays tiers. Le rôle de « facilitateurs » que peuvent jouer les migrants est essentiel pour le développement et les partenariats entre pays d’accueil et pays d’origine.
Les futures perspectives financières 2014-2020 et le suivi qui sera donné au programme thématique « coopération avec les pays tiers dans le domaine des migrations et l’asile » doivent renforcer la place des ANE et le soutien de capacités permettant une meilleure participation des agents de la société civile du nord et du sud à la réflexion migration et développement. Par ailleurs des liens de cohérence doivent être établis entre les modes de dialogue consultatif société civile en matière de développement gérés par la DG Devco et le Forum Intégration de la société civile géré par la DG Affaires intérieures et le Comité Economique et Social.

6. COHÉRENCE DES POLITIQUES ET INTÉGRATION DANS LES AUTRES POLITIQUES
L’UE s’est engagée à consolider les contours de sa politique en matière de migration et de développement en examinant comment promouvoir les atouts potentiels que la migration peut offrir pour le développement. Les questions migratoires doivent effectivement être incluses dans les politiques de développement mais de façon positive et audacieuse.
Une politique de migration -développement ne peut se concevoir en fonction de sa capacité à freiner les migrations au détriment des critères de développement objectifs tels qu’il sont définis par le Consensus Européen en Matière de développement et précisés par le Plan d’action de l’UE en matière d’OMD adopté en 2010. Une telle approche ne que peut nuire à l’atteinte des objectifs de développement que l’UE se fixe.

La nouvelle « Approche Globale » en construction constitue une opportunité pour développer un modèle de migration plaçant la mobilité et les droits socio-économiques du migrant au cœur du processus. L’UE doit devenir un promoteur de standards dans ce domaine. Le lien de la migration et du développement avec la reconnaissance du droit à la mobilité, l’égalité de traitement, la non discrimination, d’intégration et de cohésion sociale doivent être partie de la cohérence des politiques.

Le statut de « migrant » ne correspond en réalité qu’à un temps très bref entre deux statuts d’habitant de territoire, lieu d’expression citoyenne. Ainsi la cohérence des politiques nécessite que des modalités d’appui aux expressions citoyennes des migrants sur leur territoire de vie soient présentes dans le cadre politique.

La globalisation des migrations nécessite en conclusion une nouvelle donne et de nouveaux mécanismes de gestion des migrations. Il convient donc de « lever les barrières » plutôt que de les fermer car le développement et la migration fonctionnent de pair loin d’être une alternative l’un à l’autre.
Il nous faut faire de la migration un instrument du développement sans substituer le développement à la migration.

Eunomad - Mai 2011

The French Permanent Representation to the European Union writes:

Chers membres du réseau M4D,

Vous trouverez ci-dessous la contribution française sur la migration et le développement. En vous en souhaitant bonne réception.

Contribution française

relative à la nouvelle communication de la Commission européenne

sur « Migration et développement »

1- L’approche globale repose sur trois piliers qui doivent être mis en œuvre de façon équilibrée, conformément aux dispositions du Pacte européen sur l’immigration et l’asile adopté en octobre 2008 : promotion de la migration légale, lutte contre l’immigration irrégulière, lien migration et développement.

De nombreuses initiatives ont été prises dans le domaine l’organisation de la migration légale et de la lutte contre l’immigration irrégulière. Dans sa communication sur la migration du 4 mai 2011, la Commission européenne a présenté de nouvelles orientations en la matière.

La promotion des synergies entre migration et développement et, de façon plus générale, la coopération entre les pays d’origine, de transit et de destination, sont des éléments essentiels de la politique migratoire conduite par l’Union européenne et ses Etats membres, comme en témoignent le partenariat UE-Afrique ou le processus de Rabat - Paris. Ce troisième volet de l’approche globale fait l’objet d’un consensus entre Etats membres et  dans la plupart des pays tiers concernés. Dans ce cadre, la France salue le travail de la Commission européenne réalisé au cours de ces cinq dernières années sur la thématique « Migration et développement » et souhaite la poursuite de ces orientations pour la période 2012-2017.

2 - Pour accroître l'efficacité de l'aide européenne, la France estime nécessaire de :

 

  • Promouvoir la cohérence des financements communautaires avec les priorités thématiques et géographiques définies par les Etats membres lors de l’élaboration des programmes de financement et des programmes JAI pluriannuels (cf. les réflexions en cours sur les fonds JAI post-2013) ;

 

  • S'appuyer sur la volonté des Etats d'origine à définir et mettre en œuvre une politique de migration et développement, par exemple dans le cadre du partenariat UE-Afrique et du plan d’action agréé lors de la Conférence de Paris (Processus de Paris – Rabat) en novembre 2008 ;

 

  • Définir un cadre d'intervention transversal qui met en avant le lien migration-développement, qui tient compte du profil migratoire des pays et pourrait être pris en compte dans les approches thématiques et géographiques afin d’intégrer dans  chaque programme de développement la question de l’impact sur la migration (exode rural, fuite des cerveaux, employabilité sur place…), notamment dans les programmes financés par l'Instrument européen de voisinage et de partenariat (IEVP) ;

 

  • Systématiser les évaluations et capitaliser l'expérience acquise quelle soit positive ou négative, certains projets peinent parfois à démontrer leur valeur ajoutée, comme le montre par exemple  l’Observatoire ACP ou le CIGEM….

 

En ce qui concerne les instruments financiers, la France recommande en particulier :

 

  • D’éviter les effets de dispersion, de clarifier les circuits d'aide européenne et de rationaliser les procédures : supprimer les risques de duplication et/ou de concurrence entre les projets financés au niveau de partenariats bilatéraux et ceux conduits au niveau de la Commission européenne. A ce titre, l’Institut africain pour les transferts est un exemple intéressant.

 

  • De renforcer la partie « Migration et développement » du programme thématique « Asile et migration » en privilégiant des actions de coopération concrètes, notamment sur le volet concernant les diasporas.

 

3 - Compte tenu de ces perspectives, la France souhaite qu'une attention particulière soit portée au rôle des diasporas :

 

Les diasporas marquent aujourd'hui leur volonté d'agir en faveur du développement économique et social de leur pays d'origine. Elles jouent un rôle crucial, en tant que partenaire du développement du pays d’origine. La connaissance des sociétés dont elles sont issues, ainsi que de celles qui les accueillent, leur capital financier et intellectuel, voire politique, sont un gage de succès dans les actions qu'elles entreprennent.

Afin de mieux mobiliser la diaspora sur des enjeux de développement durable des pays d'origine et de  réalisation des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement (OMD), la France estime qu'il est important de:

  • Etablir un cadre de partenariat avec les Etats d'origine pour créer un espace de dialogue entre les diasporas et les gouvernements des pays d’origine et de destination. Ce cadre devrait permettre d’échanger sur les intentions et les actions de coopération, de stimuler la création des jumelages, de promouvoir les partenariats et d’ intégrer la diaspora dans la planification du développement de leur pays d’origine et dans la mise en œuvre de la politique ;

 

  • Mieux connaître les phénomènes migratoires et notamment la migration circulaire, afin de la favoriser ;


  • Identifier les diasporas les plus actives  afin de  leur réserver un soutien prioritaire (cf. les projets de soutien à la diaspora arménienne dans le cadre du Partenariat pour la mobilité avec l’Arménie) ;

 

  • Renforcer les capacités des associations de migrants (par exemple à travers un plan de facilitation des investissements), pour qu'elles deviennent des acteurs majeurs du développement solidaire (appui aux organisations issues des migrations) ;

 

  • Etudier des systèmes de financement qui assurent la pérennisation des projets de façon à ce que les acteurs de la société civile ne soient pas contraints à s’adpater à des procédures sans cesse redéfinies;

 

4 - Les transferts de fonds des migrants contribuent au  développement des pays d’origine. Pour conforter ce rôle, il est nécessaire de développer de nouvelles initiatives pour réduire les coûts de transfert (via un travail avec les banques centrales des pays récipiendaires, par exemple) et de proposer de nouveaux produits financiers pour que les transferts d'argent deviennent des leviers de croissance dans les pays d'émigration.

En particulier, la France rappelle qu’il est nécessaire :

  • D’identifier et de valoriser les bonnes pratiques et les réformes en cours visant à adapter les cadres réglementaires pour favoriser les transferts, à accroître la concurrence, à améliorer la sécurité et l’égalité de traitement des consommateurs ;

 

  • De formuler de recommandations destinées à faciliter l’accès des populations aux services bancaires et financiers de base ;


  • De proposer et de distribuer de nouveaux produits financiers, adaptés aux besoins des migrants et contribuant au financement de dépenses d’investissement  (financement d’entreprises locales, de projets d’infrastructures, d’investissements socialement responsables …) ;

 

  • D’appuyer les partenariats renforcés entre les systèmes financiers du Nord et du Sud ;

 

  • De développer l’éducation financière des populations, en lien avec les associations de migrants et les associations villageoises ;

 

  • D’identifier les avantages attendus de la diffusion des technologies émergentes (paiement par internet, par téléphone mobile, localement ou au niveau  international) et des adaptations que l’usage de celles-ci peuvent requérir, notamment au plan réglementaire et technique (réseau de téléphonie).

 

Cordialement,

Jacques de Granrut
secrétariat Affaires intérieures
Représentation permanente
de la France auprès de l'Union européenne
place de Louvain, 14
B - 1000 Bruxelles
tel:   (32)2 229 83 33
fax : (32)2 229 82 03
jacques.de-granrut@diplomatie.gouv.fr

 

Mai Dizon-Anonuevo, of Atikha, Giordana Francia of CISP and Charito Basa of FWC write:

Dear colleagues,

Please find below a contribution to the e-consultation on enhancing EU Migration & Development Policy.

In implementing the EC-UN JMDI funded project on “Maximizing the Gains and Minimizing the Social Cost of Migration in the Philippines”, Atikha, an NGO based in the Philippines, Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (CISP) an NGO based in Italy and Filipino Women’s Council (FWC), a migrant women’s organization in Italy would like to share the following insights, lessons learned and recommendations that can be useful to the discussion on the EC’s policy on migration and development. 

1. Active Involvement of Migrants, Migrant Families, Migrant Organizations and NGOs

One of the most effective interventions we developed in the project is the training of migrant leaders in Italy in conducting seminars on financial literacy and addressing family issues that drain their resources. We realized that because the migrants are not financial experts, they are more effective because they are able to conduct the financial literacy at the level that could be understood by the migrants.  They are also more effective because they are aware of the needs, capacities and limitations of the target audience; and the trust and confidence was easy to establish, which rendered the flow of the seminars very smooth.  The modules that were developed addressed not only financial issues but also family issues that drain their resources. 

This intervention was also effective because the financial literacy seminar was also conducted to the families in the Philippines to enjoin their active participation to combat dependency and direct migrant resources towards more productive initiative.  To reach them in their numbers, various stakeholders working with migrant families were given training of trainers on financial literacy. 

In addition, migrants and migrant organizations, migrant families, migrant NGOs should not only be the subject of research and data gathering but should be involved in the research from planning to analysis and formulation of recommendation.  The learning experience from the research conducted remains with them long after the research institutions are done and gone.  They are the ones active in advocacy works for the implementation of recommendations since their lives are the ones greatly affected by migration. 

-        The EU should strengthen the role of the migrants' organizations, civil society and NGOs as bridges between communities, institutions and countries of origin and destination.

-        The EU should promote initiatives to upgrade the labour skills and capacities of migrants through qualified training and support for migrants, including migrant entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

2. Capacity building of stakeholders from country of origin and destination in having a migration and development perspective

Increase in understanding of migration and development among stakeholders involved in migration and development, both at the country of origin and destination is necessary if we want to enjoin their active participation. Not only national government agencies but also local government and embassies are critical in the implementation of migration and development initiatives. We had to conduct series of migration and development fora, meetings and consultations with local government, regional government and national government agencies, embassies, consulates in our advocacy in integrating migration in development planning and in creating concrete social and economic programs on migration and development. Consequently, the various stakeholders became more involved in the design of pertinent actions and services.

EU should continue to provide the forum for migration and development advocacy to the various stakeholders. There should be information and education especially pertaining to the welfare of migrant workers and in promoting productive use of remittances.   

It should also enjoin the EU entities in the countries of origin like the donor agencies and especially the embassies in migration and development discourses.   Majority of embassies see migration still from the lens of security and not migration and development. There are very few embassies that have migration and development initiatives. Migrant organizations and NGOs should be tapped to lead this initiative.

The links between the development assistance of EU and member countries with migration and development initiatives should be explored.

3. Establishing Migration corridors and Twinning Approach

One of the strengths of the JMDI initiative is the twin approach where the stakeholders from county of destination and country or province or city of origin are both involved in the intervention. This approach would have significant impact if migration corridors were involved in initiative. In our project – Rome, Italy and Batangas, Philippines were identified as significant migration corridors since about 40,000 Filipino migrants from Batangas are working in Italy. Partnerships are forged between migrant organizations, NGOs and also local government units on both sides of the corridor.  A Memorandum of Agreement between the Province of Batangas and Province of Rome is currently being discussed between the two local governments. The Partnership being discussed is from study mission to explore further cooperation, to social and economic programs both in Rome and in Batangas.

EU should help identify migration corridors and assist in forging multi-stakeholder migration and development partnerships. Such partnerships should craft social and economic programs from pre-departure, on-site to return phase.  It should also assist in developing sustainable migration and development initiatives that would create jobs in the country of origin.  

4. Establishing Migrants/ Migration Resource Centers and Mainstreaming Interventions in Local Government 

It is important to ensure that migration will contribute to the long-term development of destination and origin countries the mainstreaming of intervention in the local governments. One of these interventions is the setting up of Migrants /Migration Resource Centers, which address both economic and social services needs by the Local Government, Migrant Organizations/NGOs in areas with high concentration of migrants.    We were able to help set these up and there are more local government units interested to replicate the initiative.  However, such requires capacity building for the local government and other stakeholders in setting up and in implementing programs and services for migrants and families left behind.

EU should support capacity building for local government and other stakeholders from both sides of the corridor.

5. School based program in addressing the social cost of migration- second generation migrants and the children left behind

The children of migrants – both those left behind and the second generation migrants in destination countries, are one of the most vulnerable groups that suffer from the social cost of migration . Aware that the schools play a significant role in the lives of the children, we have developed a school-based program in addressing the social cost of migration.  A teachers training program was designed and currently being implemented by partner schools to create a special program for the children of migrants. We are also working with the Department of Education in the Philippines and developed teaching materials to integrate migration issues in the curriculum. These interventions are effective in reaching the children left behind who are prospective second generation migrants.

EU should integrate the schools and education system in discussing migration issues such as brain drain, migration realities, social cost of migration, trafficking and safe migration.  Children should have a balance view of migration both the benefits and the cost of migration.  Migration should not be seen by the children/ youth as the only option towards development.

Pre-departure orientation should also be provided to children in migration.  Schools in destination countries should also be sensitized on the issue of children of migrants and develop programs to address these concerns.

6. Sustaining, Replicating and Up-scaling Good Practices

The EC-UN JMDI has provided a venue for developing quite a number of good practices. However, the funding for these projects is limited to 18 months. Although with such limited resources, the various partner organizations have been able to leverage their resources and achieved much – their initiatives need to be sustained, replicated and up-scaled. Otherwise the resources poured towards these initiatives will not be maximized .

EC should consider these good practices and develop a mechanism for sustaining, replicating, up-scaling and mainstreaming the various good practices so that more migrants, families and communities can benefit from their experiences.

Kind regards, 

Mai Dizon-Anonuevo, Atikha        Giordana Francia, CISP           Charito Basa, FWC

 

Dear members of M4D Net,

Please find below a contribution to the current e-consultation.

Introduction

Concerning the overall objective of reaching an “enhanced external dimension of the EU's migration policies, to better meet the policy objectives and interests of the European Union (EU), its partner countries and all migrants”, it has emerged from the joint experience of the Organização das Mulheres de Cabo Verde (OMCV) and the international NGO Persone Come Noi (PCN) that a key role is played at the stakeholder level itself and only a rooted, trusted and well known network of actors can actually reach the necessary involvement of the beneficiaries, in terms of critical mass, to determine a real change in regional impact of migration policies. On the contrary, highly skilled actors without strong links with the population would fail to conquer the needed trust.

It means that various interests and different commitments can actually facilitate or, on the contrary, impede to consider any positive aspects of the migration processes for both countries of origin and those of destination. Not to anticipate the content of the final recommendations within this essay, just think about what is clearly shown by the results of the project enquiries: in our specific case (Cape Verde), a lack of regulation over Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) legislation is a critical point concerning the adoption of migration centered development policies. In order to effectively add value to the remittances flows, it is mandatory to clarify the gray zones that surround remittances in the Country, for the best involvement of the remittances receivers themselves into the development path, both envisaged by the people interviewed and supported by project activities and partners.

So, how to read our essay over the lessons learned and potentialities of further and deeper intervention of the EC at this level, which is published at he very end of the forum? Since project partners’ observations only relates to one specific country of origin (and the conditions may be very different in other countries), it has been agreed to propose a “teaching case study”, hoping not just to lead to an open discussion, but to stimulate think tanks structured around the final considerations, recommendations and open questions. In fact, it is hoped that a stronger coordination amongst international and national institutions could lead to the effective participation of those local authorities and organizations that could better foster the proposed approach, in order to enhance the impact of future initiatives attempting to turn the Migration and Development dimension of the EU migration policy into practice.

Background information

In the course of our previous joint experiences (OMCV-PCN), the focus of the activities was put on the immediate improvement of our beneficiaries life conditions (Cape Verdean women, often left alone and with children, with little or no formal education and no assets). The only incomes that such beneficiaries had often were those based upon the remittances (linked with the Diaspora) and, in such cases, remittances were considered an asset to facilitate their access to micro- or small loans (only if banked, those amounts could have been used as solid guarantee). With more then 2.000 loans activated by OMCV every year, supported by the technical assistance and funds matching of PCN NGO, in the past few years, the picture became much clearer and the historical background (preconditions), which played a unique role as better explained in the conclusions chapter, consolidated the partnership and brought to the redaction of JMDI project C-312 “Remesas para el desarrollo”.

Issues addressed

Such a proposal contained three main objectives, which reflected OMCV-PCN three main pillars of intervention, based upon experience and observation of consistent problems:

-       Remittances do not contribute to the country development (Hypothesis 1: they could gain much more value by being channeled to Development programs without ignoring that these funds are needed for consumption mostly).

-       Cape Verdean migrants to European Countries often keep a private approach to incomes and remittances, i.e. they support their relatives in a one-to-one (to relative at home) or one-to-many (to family left behind) relationship (Hypothesis 2 they could be involved into domestic development projects, through the activation of partnerships with relevant organized civil society, in a many-to-many approach, addressing hometowns’ durable development).

-       Illegal migration represent a total loss of resources, both for countries of departure and those of arrival (lose-lose approach): in the first ones, they support illegal and illicit organizations, put migrants lives in danger and exploit ignorance of the laws in order to take advantage of the most desperate ones – inter alia; in the second ones, they require enormous amounts of energy to face a growing tendency, with both social and economic fallouts (Hypothesis 3 information plays a key role in countries of origin of the migrant communities and often its positive impact can mitigate the negative aspects of illegal migration).

Facts

Since such hypothesis led to an inclusive and participatory project (by switching each problem into a challenge), all along its implementation they were found to be supported by evidence, so that, at the time being, project partners can formulate a few arguments based upon statistical observation and analysis.

Please, notice that the morphology and population of the country (Cape Verde) imposed a certain cut to the study upon which this essay has been compiled: the enquiry was conducted in Cape Verde, on the main island (where 50% of Cape Verdean population lives), and in Italy, country of residence of EU project partners (even if most of the Diaspora preferred Portugal as final destination). Nevertheless, the samples of the study firmly indicated the appropriateness of the decision to include the spread and wide range of beneficiaries and stakeholders in Cape Verde (on one side), and Cape Verdean Diaspora in Italy (on the other), since it implied both a broad visibility for project actions (outputs) and a very high grade of representativeness of the data (sample and findings wise).

As for Hypothesis 1 (Migrants communities could play a key role, boosting national development, if their remittances could gain added value), according to project study statistics:

-       Almost 70% of the total amount of remittances entering Cape Verde are not channeled through the official financial system (banks) and therefore not taken into consideration by official data reports (Cape Verdean GDP structure and IFAD 2010 differ from project data over money transfer, interviewed beneficiaries declared only 1/3 of the amounts reaches them through banks), since they are not banked, statistically they are not accounted.

-       Most of the remittances are sent each quarter/semester (very little percentage on a monthly or annual basis); whereas about 10% of it is invested and about 90% of it is used for consumptions. For the first ones, the project offered a lower interest rate on the matching funds, and for the second ones, it highlighted that even if consumptions expenses are not simultaneous, the amounts not immediately spent are still not saved into bank accounts, therefore some part of the money sent for consumption could be temporarily used by MFI for loans to natural (small/micro) investors (instead of pushing new or weak entrepreneurs on the market) and gradually reimbursed, including a better interest rate, to reward such practice and to solicit savings at the MFI level (adding value both at national and at receivers levels).

-       Trust is a key word for any choice.

Concerning Hypothesis 2 (migrants could be involved into decentralized cooperation projects - domestic development projects, through the activation of partnerships with relevant organized civil society, in a many-to-many approach, addressing hometown/home country durable development), the findings of the study highlighted that:

-       About 1/3 of the migrants reached were willing to return to their home countries to invest their capitals (pensions), even after 20 years of residence and regular work abroad, therefore enormous amounts of resources could reach the Countries of departure with unpredictable positive spill-over effects.

-       Referring to investments, about 2/3 of the interviewees prefer direct control (entrepreneurs) or indirect control (through accredited MFI), but dislike to drop their savings into Cape Verdean bank accounts (for they have no control), therefore migrants choice of an MFI is strictly based upon proximity and relationships (no new ad hoc actors could play such role), since the impact of the investment should be perceptible.

-       Assuming only half of the amount of migrants’ savings that they declared would be invested in Cape Verde, it would still be enough to refund the present project. However, the IMF legal framework is lacking appropriate regulations (IMF themselves may not propose to collect and directly manage savings), therefore the migrants will to support their people back home, through their daily efforts, is not enough to make it happen.

Finally, Hypothesis 3 (information plays a key role in countries of origin of the migrant communities and often its positive impact can mitigate the negative aspects of illegal migration). Even if Project C-312, approved by the EC-UN JMDI  implied the involvement of all diplomatic institutions in a knowledge sharing attempt to standardize and improve the quality of the access to information about legal migration in EU, the information given was somehow poor or lacking appropriate prescriptions, therefore local project partners’ operators emphasized the role of project CAMPO in every municipality of Santiago island, in order to be able to update migrants at least about the conditions in Portugal and Spain.

Recommendations 

Since the project’s main aim was not the pure growth of Cape Verdean GDP, through a mechanical inclusion of the remittances in the official financial sector, but the improvement of the beneficiaries life conditions (two factors which do not necessarily grow at the same pace). Adding value to the external remittances assumed a different meaning throughout project implementation. On the one side, the project aimed at rewarding the will to invest in such funds (those not used for consumption purposes), and no the other side, it aims at managing temporarily the remitted amounts for consumptions, but not immediately spent, being such option allowed by the local legal framework (de jure it is possible), even if it is still not regulated (de facto it is complicated or could be ambiguously managed). This lack of regulations leads to three main problems: free interpretations may bring to positions very far away from a national standard; the public sector is reluctant to take actions in absence of specific norms; the trust of the beneficiaries/stakeholders may be reduced the participation for its effects not being predictable.

Since in Cape Verde an IMF legal framework is actually available, a lobbying action should be initiated with a double sided impact on Cape Verdean parliamentary activities: bottom up, from the most credited MFI of the Country, and top down, from the EC itself, through the consistent procedures. Such lobbies and pressure groups should ensure that at least two aspects are being granted: IMF collection and management of migrants’ savings/remittances and equal guarantees for both bank and MFI deposits. The importance of eliminating such gap is double: not only it would envisage a stronger cooperation based upon the North-South migrations, but also it would allow Cape Verdeans to exploit their centuries long experiences of migrations, in order to better meet the needs of the Africans fleeing the continent (south-south migrations).

Definitely, NGOs are free to inform migrants and aspiring migrants about the rules to a correct migration, therefore legal and controlled, but it seemed not to be the best moment, since the promotion of a legal migration was often perceived as a promotion of the migration process itself, which is not, since legal migrations are firmly regulated, therefore it would be envisaged that in the near future EU countries may cooperate with international donors such as UNDP and the Commission in order to mitigate the dark sides of migration, through the access to the most appropriate information.

Conclusions

First, even now, after project completion, we still work on those pillars, assuming that the wide participation and the positive results obtained will boost the commitment and support to the next initiatives, whereas along with a strong legal intervention, at least the first two pillars were validated, since in order to be able to work on the third one, a broaden consensus is needed and the project partners, at this level, can only solicit the EC to seek and obtain it from its networks of member and partner countries at the diplomatic level.

Second, it is clear from our experience, that migrant rights are far from being ensured, neither in Italy, nor in Cape Verde, as shown by the difficult access to migration related information at the beneficiaries’ level. From our side, we are not arguing over a matter of morality, nor ethics, we want to focus on the direct relations between the lack of information and the cost (human and economic ones) of the clandestine migration, since it is proved not only from a logical point of view (cause –effect relations), but it is based upon sound evidence (more than 700 Cape Verdean families involved in Santiago – CV – and 150 migrant families involved in Italy).

Finally, Cape Verde is recognized to be the country with the highest migration of the world: more than 60% Cape Verdeans live abroad (IFAD 2010), but nowadays it is also paying the fee for being a country of destination for South-South illegal migration (Senegal, Mali, Niger) and again it is both a social and economic cost. The trend of the micro loans and credit requests shows that those Cape Verdeans in need, who want to invest their skills, are shifting towards handicraft sector instead of the usual construction or itinerant trading, since these two sectors are nowadays crowded with clandestine migrants who accept lower wages and desperate living conditions. So, third, the same set of problems that N-S migration is causing to migrants living in Italy (Europe) is now affecting other migrants living in Cape Verde (global South), and it envisages that the same approach to N-S migration processes should be applied to S-S migrations as well (i.e. not considering countries of origin vs countries of destination, but all countries as both of origin and destination).

Questions 

Being the project completed with success and the data gathered analysed, still three main questions are open for in depth further analysis and action:

-        Is there a specific institution in the EU capable to influence member and partner countries to manage in a standardized way pensions contributions, i.e. giving the chance to migrants who want to return/invest in their Country of origin, to withdraw the quotas of amounts deposited, accordingly with the pension system percentages, even after only 10-20 years?

-        Would it be possible for EU institutions to promote correct, updated and harmonized information, at the migrant communities’ level, about national policies to enter EU member Countries?

-        At which level EU institutions may interact with national governments in order to obtain that MFI in the member states could collect and manage migrants’ savings and remittances, assuring that the deposited amounts are guaranteed as strongly as in the formal sector?

On behalf of PCN and OMCV.

Kind regards,

Davide C. Lamberti

 

Chers membres du réseau M4D,

Veuillez trouver ci-dessous une contribution à la consultation électronique aux propositions de la CE sur la manière de renforcer sa politique de migration et de développement.

1) Fuite des cerveaux:

En abordant cette question je voudrais appliquer davantage le problème sur mon pays que connais le mieux tout en essayant parfois de faire des rapprochements avec les autres pays africains. La fuite des cerveaux au Burundi est relativement récente par rapport aux autres pays, d'après les informations recueillies lorsque nous sommes arrivés en Europe. La fuite des cerveaux a sérieusement frappé le Burundi avec la guerre de 1993. Il est toutefois à signaler l'année 1972, quand des tristes événements au Burundi, qui ont privé au pays, le retour au pays natal des brillants universitaires qui étaient encore aux études en Europe ou ailleurs.

Avec la fuite des cerveaux, le Burundi a souffert dans tous les domaines mais d'une façon criante dans le domaine de l'éducation (surtout des professeurs d'université) et la santé (surtout des docteurs). Au niveau de l'éducation, si je connais personnellement un dizaine de professeurs d'université engagés dans des pays limistrophes, c'est déjà beaucoup pour un petit pays  comme le Burundi. Certes les autorités se sont très conscientes du problème mais l'urgence pour l'instant pour un pays-post conflictuel, c'est le "pain" de la population d'abord. "Primum vivere deinde philosophari". Et "ventre affamé n'a point d'oreilles". Maintenant, sans aide extérieur le Burundi seul ne pourrait  y remédier dans l'immédiat. Pour l'Union européenne, la solution au problème ne serait pas très compliquée.

- En voici quelques pistes pour le Burundi: 

a) L'Union européenne pourrait s'inspirer de la Suède le pays où je vie, qui a amorcé une politique d’incitation au retour volontaire (aux détenteurs des papiers de séjour). La Suède a décidé d'inciter les Barundi à démarrer des projets de développement au Burundi. C'est-à-dire, selon les capacités de chacun, avec l'assistance d’une maison spécialisée dans le domaine choisi, on te permet le premier voyage d'étude payé par la Suède avant de commencer, aux frais de la Suède. Il y eut évidemment des candidats. C'est qu'en Suède le permis de séjour octroyé pour des raisons humanitaires n'interdit pas au détenteur de retourner au Burundi.

b) Comme il existe ainsi des cas de manifestation volontaire pour le retour aux pays natal, l'Union européenne pourrait faire même un pas supplémentaire, en finançant des stages pour des Barundi désirant un emploi dans des usines européennes implantées au Burundi. 

c) Le financement pour le retour des cerveaux au Burundi est une action qui pourrait rapidement porter ses fruits. En effet, en attendant souvent des natifs formés, les étrangers ont souvent des contrats de travail à durée limitée. Par là, les cerveaux burundais ne demanderaient qu'à être sollicités pour servir leur pays. L'Union Européenne ferait ainsi des efforts pour leur assurer le confort matériel au Burundi que leur  propose le ‘monde extérieur’ et la sécurité au Burundi (leur garde).

Le développement des mécanismes de migrations circulaires dans des secteurs particulièrement touchés pourraient effectivement alléger ce problème. Nous avons au Burundi le cas de l’OIM-Afrique-Programme MIDA; un programme "en réponse à une demande croissante de développement des capacités institutionnelles afin de faciliter le transfert des compétences et resources humaines vitales de la disapora africaine" vers le Burundi. Seulement les envoyés du MIDA au Burundi partent avec des moyens limités. C'est le cas au Maroc sous l'impulsion de la diaspora marocaine en Italie dotée d'un projet visant à promouvoir le lien entre les migrants et leurs communautés d'origine, ainsi que qu'à encourager la migration circulaire et le retour des migrants qualifiés. Voilà des exemples que l'Union européenne devrait davantage soutenir et orienter dans les autres pays.

2) Droits des migrants:

Incontestablement les droits des migrants pourraient être appuyés et appliqués davantage. Le texte ne manque pas et son application est d'actualité avec " le printemps arabe" qui a drainé beaucoup des réfugiés sur les côtés sud européens. Il est grand temps de faire valoir la Convention européennes des droits de l'homme, vieille de plus de cinquante ans. Il est vrai que certains pays sont à l'avant garde de la protection des droits de l'homme. La Suède dispose par exemple d'une Fondation pour les droits de l'homme qui a même des initiatives en Afrique. Certes des dérapages des particuliers ne manquent pas. L'application de la  Convention européenne des droits de l'homme passe par sa vulgarisation. A quant par exemple une conférence internationale sur la Convention européenne des droits de l'homme ? J'avais intervenu dans ce sens lors des cérémonies de clôture du Forum sur "Migration for Development" en décembre 2008 à Bruxelles dans une conférence où j'ai eu l'honneur d'être invité.

L’Union européenne pourrait financer plusieurs ateliers pour la vulgarisation de la Convention européenne des droits de l'homme tel que celui qui s'est tenu il y a quelques mois au Maroc. Le concours des professeurs des universités tel que le professeur-chercheur Antoine Delblond qui a épluché ce texte de la Convention, serait très profitable. D'autres actions à mener, c’est notamment l'appui finnancier aux avocats qui travaillent d'une facon bénévole pour l'aide des "sans papiers". Il arrive parfois que les "sans papiers," non contents du travail accompli par l'avocat payé par le pays d'accueil, se tournent à ces avocats bénévoles.

3) Les conséquences sociales

De quelle manière les conséquences sociales de la migration pourraient-elles être traitées? C'est en tenant compte du principe de la dualité en traitant ces conséquences, c'est à dire en tenant compte du pays d'origine et du pays de destination d'acueil simultanément.

Cordialement,

Louis Ruzoviyo

Diaspora africaine en Suède.

 

Chers membres du réseau M4D,

Veuillez trouver ci-dessous une contribution à la consultation électronique aux propositions de la CE sur la manière de renforcer sa politique de migration et de développement. Vous trouveriez des informations supplémentaires sur notre site-web www.eunomad.org. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter sur contact@eunomad.org.

MIGRATION ET MOBILITÉ EN FAVEUR DU DÉVELOPPEMENT

Eunomad voudrait tout d’abord remercier la Commission Européenne d’avoir permis de lancer une vaste consultation sur l’évolution du volet externe de sa politique migratoire en lien avec la question du développement. La Commission reconnaît dans son document de travail « Migration et Mobilité en faveur du développement » que l’amélioration des synergies positives entre la migration et le développement constitue l’un des piliers de l’approche globale des migrations (ci après « Approche Globale ») et que la de la contribution migrant à ce processus en est une composante essentielle.

Nous accueillons positivement les analyses qui sont présentées dans ce document et notamment :

• La reconnaissance de l’intégration sociale et citoyenne des migrants en Europe et la protection des droits des migrants à travers l’entièreté du parcours migratoire comme éléments clefs de la mise en œuvre positive du lien entre migration et développement.

• Une approche centrée sur les migrants nécessite de pouvoir replacer la problématique évoquée dans le contexte plus large du lien entre les migrations internationales et le droit à la mobilité. Il sera également indispensable d’interroger les différentes postures du migrant aujourd’hui en considérant l’intégralité de son parcours migratoire et les multiples dimensions sociales et territoriales de référence qui accompagnent ce parcours.

• Sortir de ce qui semble être un « face à face » Nord - Sud sur les questions migratoires en intégrant les migrations Sud Sud dans l’analyse constitue également un progrès en termes de posture qui permettra aux Etats des pays tiers concernés par l’émigration de participer plus activement à la définition des politiques migratoires, qui restent trop centrées sur les besoins des Etats de l’UE.

D’autres commentaires nous semblent par ailleurs importants:

• La stratégie annuelle 2011-2013 « Coopération avec les pays tiers dans le domaine des migrations et de l’asile » de la Commission rappelle que les « trois piliers » de « l’Approche Globale » en 2005 étaient de faciliter la migration de main d’œuvre, de prévenir et enrayer les migrations clandestines et favoriser le lien migration-développement. Les budgets présentés (pour la période 2011-2013) sont ventilés par axe géographique, priorités thématiques, et mesures spécifiques sans que le détail en soit spécifié. De la clarté doit par ailleurs être apportée à l’évaluation des moyens anciennement affectés à la mise en œuvre de la précédente communication et aux perspectives budgétaires et ratios de répartition qui sont envisagés pour le volet migration développement de la future « Approche Globale ». Les « 3 piliers » mettent en relation des politiques très différentes et le risque qui pèse sur l’instrumentalisation des politiques de développement apparaît comme réel notamment dans le cadre d’accords bi et multi latéraux avec les pays d’origine.

• Le rapport d’évaluation de l’examen mi-parcours du programme thématique a par ailleurs mis en lumière le manque de moyens affectés aux renforcements de capacité de la société civile aux Nord et au Sud et à des actions concrètes au plus près des populations, actions portées notamment par les associations de migrants.

• Les transferts de fonds ne doivent pas occulter la faculté des acteurs de la migration à être des acteurs du changement social et de transformation sociale dans les pays d’origine et d’accueil.

• La compréhension de la migration de travail doit tenir compte des aspects familiaux tant dans les motivations au départ que dans les incidences familiales de cette migration.

• Peu de mesures concrètes, à partir des instruments existants, ont été mises en avant. Il n’est, par exemple, pas fait mention de l’initiative conjointe entre l’UE et le PNUD ou d’échanges de pratiques résultant de projets financés dans le cadre migration développement.

Sur le plan institutionnel, la consultation sur « l’Approche Globale» intervient dans un contexte important qu’il soit bon de rappeler. Le traité de Lisbonne, entré en vigueur le 1er décembre 2009, a eu pour effet de rendre juridiquement contraignante la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne. Le programme d’action quinquennal de Stockholm adopté par le Conseil Européen en 2009 et le plan d’action (de Stockholm) adopté par la Commission Européenne en avril 2010 considèrent que les droits fondamentaux tant à l’extérieur et l’intérieur de l’Union sont la pierre angulaire de la légalité du programme législatif en vigueur et à venir de l'UE dans ce domaine. Le Programme et le plan d’action de Stockholm continuent malheureusement à parler de « l'immigration illégale », en préconisant l'adoption de politiques efficaces pour lutter contre elle.

Dans le programme de Stockholm, la Commission européenne a confirmé son souhait d’élaborer des politiques en matière d’immigration et d’asile « dans une perspective à long terme et mettant l’accent sur le respect des droits fondamentaux et de la dignité humaine ». D’autre part la Commission a affirmé dans ce même document « qu’elle s’efforcera d’atteindre un niveau uniforme de droits et d’obligations pour les immigrants légaux comparable à celui dont jouissent les citoyens européens ».

1. INTÉGRER LA DIVERSITÉ DES PARCOURS MIGRATOIRES ET DES FACTEURS DE LA MOBILITÉ

Nous sommes à la 3ème phase de la mondialisation des migrations. Toutes les régions du monde sont aujourd’hui concernées par le départ, le transit et l’accueil de populations de plus en plus mobiles, aux profils de plus en plus diversifiés. Les nouvelles tendances et le contexte politique qui affectent ces dynamiques migratoires sont de plusieurs ordres :

• Le développement et la permanence de réseaux des diasporas qui résultent de l’installation de migrants d’un même pays dans un ou plusieurs d’accueil.

• Le durcissement des politiques migratoires au niveau des pays de l’OCDE et de l’UE a pour conséquence le développement d’une perception négative par les opinions européennes voire d’une criminalisation des migrants. La nécessité de faire connaître et reconnaître les impacts positifs de ces migrations tant pour les pays d’accueil que d’origine reste cruciale.

• Le changement démographique constituera un autre enjeu fondamental pour les pays de l’UE. Le vieillissement démographique au cours des 15 prochaines années devrait se traduire par un déclin de la population des actifs dans un contexte de demande accrue de biens et services et, à l’horizon 2030, l’immigration sera le seul facteur de croissance de la population.

• La circulation comme mode de vie. Parmi les tendances qui se sont dessinées, les migrations pendulaires, d’allers et retours, l’installation dans la mobilité comme mode de vie attire ceux qui veulent vivre « ici et là-bas » quand le statut et les activités économiques le permettent (double nationalités, titres de long séjour, visas à entrée multiple).

2. METTRE EN VALEUR ET APPUYER LA CONTRIBUTION DES DIASPORAS

La gouvernance multilatérale en matière de migration et développement et l’UE ont reconnu le rôle important que jouent les diasporas sur le développement des pays d’origine. L’approfondissement de la dynamique migration /développement dans le cadre de la révision de « l’Approche globale » est une opportunité pour étudier les modalités d’une meilleure participation des diasporas au développement « ici et là-bas » tout en ne limitant pas cet examen à la seule question des transferts de fonds.

La contribution des diasporas prend de multiples formes, intellectuelle, culturelle, économique et sociale. On parle de « transferts sociaux » qui sont définis comme « des idées, pratiques, états d’esprit, visions du monde, valeurs, attitudes, normes de comportement et capital social (connaissances, expériences, expertise) » que les diasporas véhiculent et transfèrent consciemment et inconsciemment des pays d’accueil aux pays d’origine et inversement. Le réseau EUNOMAD qui regroupe des praticiens de la relation migration/développement a mis en lumière les nombreuses pratiques économiques et sociales des diasporas pour que ces plus values soient reconnues à leur juste mesure.

Le travail avec les diasporas nécessite une reconnaissance officielle de leur rôle dans les pays d’origine et de destination. La mise en place de cellules d’appui aux diasporas dans les pays de départ et d’accueil doit être encouragée et renforcée. Il est tout aussi important que toutes les leçons soient tirées des programmes de transferts de compétences de l’OIM (MIDA) ou du PNUD (TOKTEN).
D’autre part, la mise en place de mécanismes de portabilité des droits sociaux ou de prestations de pension entre pays de destination et pays d’origine est un point essentiel de formalisation et de prise en compte des besoins des acteurs de la diaspora. Or la plupart des accords en matière de sécurité sociale au plan bilatéral ou multilatéral ne couvrent que 20 à 25 % des migrants internationaux.

2.1. RENFORCER LES CAPACITES ET LA MISE EN RESEAU

• L’expérience du réseau Eunomad qui a répertorié plus de 150 pratiques européennes portées par les associations de migrants et diasporas montre comment le renforcement de capacités doit constituer une partie importante des politiques d’appui qu’il s’agisse de la création d’associations, de gestion de projet, de collecte de fonds, de planification ou d’évaluation

• Par ailleurs, il est essentiel de permettre de favoriser un meilleur accès aux financements de l’UE. Les contraintes liées à cet accès sont encore trop importantes. Il convient plutôt de permettre la mise en place de dispositifs destinés à financer des montants adaptés aux capacités de gestion de la majorité des associations de migrants. La collaboration et les partenariats avec les autorités locales constituent une bonne pratique et porte d’entrée. L’initiative conjointe PNUD/UE est un autre dispositif financier visant à contribuer au dialogue migration –développement émanant de la société civile et des autorités locales. Ce dispositif prévoit utilement un co-portage de l’action entre une organisation du pays d’accueil et une du pays d’origine et permet aux associations de migrants d’exprimer les différentes facettes et valeurs ajoutées liées à leur parcours migratoire.

• Les diasporas sont avant tout fortes en compétences, passeuses de solidarité, mobilisatrices de partenaires pour les territoires d’origine, ambassadrices de ces territoires auprès des populations du territoire d’accueil et vecteurs de changement social sur ces deux espaces. Ce sont les capacités sociales et économiques des diasporas qui sont au cœur de la relation migration-développement et pas uniquement la question des transferts de fonds.

2.2 UN ENVIRONNEMENT PROPICE A LA VALORISATION DES CONTRIBUTIONS VOLONTAIRES DES MIGRANTS EN FAVEUR DU DEVELOPPEMENT

Quand on parle de transferts de fonds, il nous faut considérer trois types de transaction : transferts financiers individuels envoyés pour soutenir la famille restée au pays, les sommes d’argent envoyées pour financer les investissements à petite échelle dans des entreprises, et le soutien individuel ou collectif à des projets de développement. La répartition entre ces différentes affectations est très différente selon les pays et le type de migration. Ainsi seul 1,4 % des transferts des Sénégalais vont à l’investissement productif alors que 10,4 % des transferts des Burkinabès y sont affectés.

Il apparaît important tout d’abord de travailler à réduire les frais liés aux envois de fonds mais en tenant compte des véritables attentes des migrants quant à ces envois de fonds à savoir la rapidité, l’accessibilité et la sécurité.

La Banque Mondiale, dans un récent rapport intitulé «Démultiplier l'impact des migrations pour l'Afrique : Envois de fonds, renforcement des compétences et investissements », encourage les gouvernements des pays d’origine et de destination à élargir le marché des prestataires opérant dans les transferts de fonds. Les bureaux de poste, les coopératives de crédit, les banques et les institutions financières opérant en milieu rural ou les organismes spécialisés en microfinance ont de grands réseaux offrant une occasion unique d'élargir le marché des transferts de fonds et d’améliorer l'accès aux services financiers dans les régions rurales. Les développements de la téléphonie indiquent que l’avenir est à la dématérialisation complète de ces transferts.

Eunomad a recensé plusieurs expériences riches d’enseignements sur l’investissement productif (société individuelle sur l’énergie solaire, société actionnariale sur les transports, société coopérative d’import export) Ces expériences sont disponibles dans le guide des pratiques européennes : http://www.eunomad.org/fr/ressources/publications/892-publication-eunoma...

Recommandations

- La mise en place de système de garantie pour les investissements productifs constitue un outil important pour faciliter les investissements productifs issus des diasporas. En effet, les migrants porteurs de projets économiques n’accèdent généralement pas aux dispositifs financiers car d’un côté les banques européennes ne financent pas une activité en Afrique et de l’autre parce que le demandeur n’est pas sur place et qu’il apparaît risqué de le financer.

- Faciliter la circulation de l’information entre les communautés migrantes et leurs pays d’origine sur les investissements productifs et les dispositifs d’appui disponibles localement, notamment en matière d’accompagnement et financement des projets.

- Uniformiser les règles d’accès aux crédits entre les banques des pays d’origine et celles de destination : permettre à des non résidents d’y souscrire.

- Pour autant, tout migrant n’est pas entrepreneur. Ces derniers sont rares et manquent de mécanismes d’appui suffisamment souples pour leurs entreprises. Ces dispositifs se heurtent souvent à la difficile articulation avec les dispositifs d’appui à l’entreprenariat mis en place par l’Etat d’origine et les autorités locales. Faciliter des modes d’intervention dans ce domaine est important

- La mise en place dans le cadre de la stratégie conjointe UE-AFRIQUE d’un Institut sur les Transferts de Fonds constitue une opportunité pour réfléchir de manière plus approfondie aux mécanismes à mettre en place pour soutenir les processus de transferts de fonds. L’information et l’implication des diasporas sur les pratiques innovantes dans ce domaine est nécessaire.

3. FUITE DES CERVEAUX

De nombreuses études ont permis d’attirer l’attention sur les entraves au développement que représente la fuite des cerveaux. La perte de travailleurs ayant suivi leur parcours éducatif dans le pays d’origine est avant tout une perte en capital humain ainsi qu’une une limitation au développement et à la croissance du pays d’origine. Elle constitue par ailleurs un gaspillage des compétences (brain waste) dans les pays de destination. Les études menées notamment par la Banque mondiale montrent les problèmes d’employabilité rencontrés par ce type de migration dans les pays de destination. Au « brain drain », s’est ajouté le « care drain » qui affecte les professions médicales et services de santé. Il apparaît clairement que c’est l’Afrique et les pays à faible revenu qui sont les plus affectés par la fuite des cerveaux, la perte peut atteindre de 10 à 30% du groupe possédant un niveau de formation supérieure dans des pays comme le Ghana ou le Malawi.

Certaines options peuvent être encouragées pour limiter l’impact de la fuite des cerveaux :

• Il s’agit tout d’abord d’examiner comment compenser les pertes en capital humain provoquées par le « brain drain ». Des initiatives initiées par l’OIM et le PNUD comme TOKTEN ou MIDA ont permis de mettre en place des programmes de migration circulaire permettant le transfert de compétences techniques par des réseaux d’expatriés de la diaspora vers les pays d’origine. La circulation de compétences doit devenir un objectif important des programmes de migration circulaire mis en place par l’UE.

• Il faut également reconnaître que l’autre effet pervers de la fuite des cerveaux est le « brain waste » provoqué par le non reconnaissance de certains diplômes par les Etats membres de l’UE. Les membres d’Eunomad constatent chaque jour cette déperdition de compétences au sein du monde associatif migrant où il n’est pas rare de voir des personnes hautement qualifiées surinvestir les dites associations par manque de reconnaissance de leurs compétences sur le marché du travail.

• Dans le cadre de la stratégie conjointe UE-AFRIQUE, le plan 2011-2013 prévoit de concentrer une partie des efforts du programme « Migration, Mobilité et Emploi » dans l’investissement dans la formation supérieure en Afrique et ce à travers l’octroi de bourses dans le cadre du Programme Nyerere, le lancement de l'Université Panafricaine, un réseau d’institutions africaines de recherche et d’enseignement supérieur et l’harmonisation des programmes d’enseignement supérieur en Afrique et « tuning » . Il est essentiel que ces initiatives puissent permettre la solidification de pôles de compétences au sein de l’Union Africaine.

REGARD SUR UNE PRATIQUE

Le projet SEEDA (Supporting Entrepreneurs and Entreprise) développé par AFFORD au Royaume-Uni vise à mobiliser la diaspora et d’autres partenaires pour appuyer la création de petites et moyennes entreprises au Ghana et Sierra Leone ; l’apport de ce projet est centré sur le transfert de compétences ; SEEDA mobilise 70 personnes ressources pour des missions de conseil et de formation et de l’appui à distance. Ces prestations ont été valorisées à hauteur de 120.000 Livres sterlings.

4. LA FAMILLE ET LE GENRE : DES COMPOSANTES ESSENTIELLES MAIS PAS ASSEZ RECONNUES DU PARCOURS MIGRATOIRE

La nouvelle économie de la migration de travail soutient que la décision de migrer n’est pas prise exclusivement par l’individu mais aussi par le groupe familial. Or, les politiques migratoires y compris celles de l’UE n’ont cessé de viser les individus plutôt que les familles. Il est nécessaire d’intégrer de nouvelles perspectives d’analyses fondées sur la famille et sur le genre.

Au niveau de l’UE, le regroupement familial est couvert par la directive 2003/86. Cette directive fait l’objet d’un rapport de la Commission européenne en 2008 concernant sa mise en application et a mis en lumière plusieurs problèmes généraux de mauvaise transposition ou d’application erronée de la directive notamment en matière d’obtention de visas, d’octroi de titre de séjour autonome, de prise en compte de l’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant. Par ailleurs, le rapport indiquait en outre que les effets de la directive sur l’harmonisation des règles de regroupement familial demeurent limités.

Recommandations sur la famille

• Le droit de toute personne au respect de sa vie de famille constitue un droit fondamental garanti par les instruments internationaux de protection des droits de l’homme, par la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe et par la charte européenne des droits fondamentaux

• La Commission a annoncé son intention de lancer en 2011 une consultation, sous la forme d'un livre vert, sur l'avenir du régime de regroupement familial. Cette réflexion doit inclure la question des droits fondamentaux des familles dans le cadre du regroupement familial en y incluant la portabilité des droits sociaux

• La Commission doit utiliser le cadre des partenariats sur la migration, la mobilité et l’emploi de la stratégie conjointe UE-AFRIQUE 2011-2013 pour que la question de la famille restée dans le pays d’origine du migrant soit partie des débats.

• L’UE doit favoriser le financement de projets de recherche sur la gestion familiale de la migration dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre du programme thématique « Coopération avec les pays tiers dans le domaine de la migration et l’asile » pour la période 2011-2013.

Nous ne pouvons pas étudier la question des migrations sans reconnaître que la migration féminine en est une composante essentielle. Près d’un tiers des personnes qui migrent dans le monde se dirige vers l’Europe et, parmi ces dernières, 49.6% sont des femmes. Pendant de nombreuses années, les femmes migrantes ont été essentiellement vues comme des épouses rejoignant les travailleurs migrants alors que la réalité de la migration féminine révélait des trajectoires plus complexes : Les femmes émigrent de manière de plus en plus autonome, à la recherche d’un emploi et souvent comme chefs de famille et pas seulement pour rejoindre leur conjoint sur le territoire d’accueil.

Recommandations sur le genre :

• L’UE intègre, dans la réflexion migration-développement, le plan d’action 2010-2015 afin de promouvoir l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes dans les pays en développement. Ce plan d’action entend contribuer à la réalisation des OMD et des objectifs de la Convention des nations Unies sur l’élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l’égard des femmes

• L’UE traite de l’égalité des genres dans le cadre du dialogue migration et développement conduit entre l’UE et les pays en développement (ceci est déjà le cas pour le dialogue UE-AFRIQUE).

5. DROITS DES MIGRANTS, DIVERSITÉ ET INTÉGRATION AU CŒUR DE LA MIGRATION ET DU DÉVELOPPEMENT

Le respect des droits des migrants reste le volet faible de la Communication « Migration et Développement » et plus largement de l’Approche Globale. Pourtant Les atteintes aux droits des migrants sont nombreuses aux frontières de l’Europe et dans les pays-tiers.

Par ailleurs, la question de l’intégration des migrants dans les pays de destination reste à réaliser.
Comme le rappelle le récent rapport de Thorbjørn Jagland Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe « Vivre Ensemble, Conjuguer diversité et liberté dans l’Europe du XXIème Siècle » : « la diversité est la destinée de l’Europe et elle est là pour durer » Elle façonne l'avenir de l'Europe dans un monde qui évolue rapidement, et qui continuera de le faire. La réalisation de l’intégration des ressortissants des pays tiers est aujourd’hui fortement entravée par les excès du débat public dans beaucoup d’Etats membres sur les questions d’immigration et notamment à l’endroit des travailleurs dits irréguliers. La frontière entre les discours politiques, les stéréotypes et les stigmatisations est ténue, facilitant la montée des populismes en Europe.

Au moment où une nouvelle communication sur l’intégration est en voie d’élaboration, l’approche migration et développement se doit d’intégrer un certain nombre de principes qui sont partie prenante d’une approche basée sur les droits, le respect de la diversité et la promotion de la cohésion sociale au sein de l’UE.

Dans l’Union européenne, l’égalité de traitement des ressortissants des pays tiers, constitue à la fois une obligation, en vertu du principe général de respect des droits fondamentaux, et un engagement politique depuis le Conseil de Tampere en 1999. L’UE doit réaffirmer son engagement envers les droits fondamentaux dans l’ensemble des dimensions externes des politiques d’asile et d’immigration.

• L’UE doit assurer la pleine mise en œuvre et se conformer aux dispositions contenues dans les instruments internationaux de protection des droits de l’Homme, les recommandations du Conseil de l’Europe concernant la protection des travailleurs migrants et les conventions de l’OIT. L’UE et ses Etats membres doivent signer, ratifier et mettre en œuvre la Convention Internationale des Nations Unies pour la protection des droits des travailleurs migrants et de leur famille.

• L’UE possède une législation en matière de non-discrimination (directives 200/43 et 2000/78) ; Cette protection doit être appliquée à toutes les personnes résidant sur son territoire. Il est dans ce cadre nécessaire que l’UE abroge l’exemption qui figure dans la directive 2000/43 (article 3.2) et qui prévoit une dérogation inacceptable au principe de non-discrimination autorisant toute différence de traitement fondée sur la nationalité et le statut juridique du ressortissant du pays tiers.

Malgré les avancées de l’Europe sociale et les principes d’inclusion active qui guident la stratégie 2020, des barrières continuent à empêcher les ressortissants des pays tiers résidents de courte ou longue durée de participer au marché du travail des états membres, condition essentielle de l’intégration. Ces barrières ont été relevées et identifiées par de nombreux rapports de l’Agence Européenne des Droits Fondamentaux et du Groupe consultatif de haut niveau de l'UE sur l'inclusion sociale des minorités ethniques sur le marché du travail mis en place en 2007 par l’ancien Commissaire en charge de l’Emploi et de l’Egalité des Chances ,Vladimir Spidla. Les barrières à l’employabilité affectent en spirale les autres aspects de la vie des ressortissants des pays tiers sur le territoire de l’UE qu’il s’agisse de l’accès au logement, aux soins de santés par exemple.

Il est impératif comme relevé par la stratégie 2020 que les migrants soient considérés comme partie intégrante des enjeux et défis qui sont ceux de l’Europe en matière de croissance et d’inclusion sociale. Des indicateurs socio-économiques doivent mesurer la situation et la progression des politiques d’intégration des ressortissants des pays tiers.

Le changement des attitudes et des comportements, ainsi que la reconnaissance, comme mentionné dans les Principes Communs de Base en matière d’Intégration adoptés par le Conseil en 2004, de l’intégration - comme un processus dynamique d’acceptation mutuelle entre majorité et minorité- sont au cœur des enjeux dont il est question. La question de la visibilité de la contribution des migrants aux sociétés d’accueil notamment dans les parcours d’intégration doit être incluse dans les échanges sur la relation migration-développement.

Dans les pays d’accueil, les associations de migrants contribuent déjà et très fortement aux parcours d’intégration des communautés. Il convient avant tout de soutenir ces efforts. Par ailleurs, les projets multilatéraux promus par la société civile des migrants dans le cadre du co-développement sont porteurs de potentiel pour construire un nouvel espace de dialogue d’échanges pour l’Europe dans ses relations avec les pays tiers. Le rôle de « facilitateurs » que peuvent jouer les migrants est essentiel pour le développement et les partenariats entre pays d’accueil et pays d’origine.

Les futures perspectives financières 2014-2020 et le suivi qui sera donné au programme thématique « coopération avec les pays tiers dans le domaine des migrations et l’asile » doivent renforcer la place des ANE et le soutien de capacités permettant une meilleure participation des agents de la société civile du nord et du sud à la réflexion migration et développement. Par ailleurs des liens de cohérence doivent être établis entre les modes de dialogue consultatif société civile en matière de développement gérés par la DG Devco et le Forum Intégration de la société civile géré par la DG Affaires intérieures et le Comité Economique et Social.

6. COHÉRENCE DES POLITIQUES ET INTÉGRATION DANS LES AUTRES POLITIQUES

L’UE s’est engagée à consolider les contours de sa politique en matière de migration et de développement en examinant comment promouvoir les atouts potentiels que la migration peut offrir pour le développement. Les questions migratoires doivent effectivement être incluses dans les politiques de développement mais de façon positive et audacieuse.

Une politique de migration -développement ne peut se concevoir en fonction de sa capacité à freiner les migrations au détriment des critères de développement objectifs tels qu’il sont définis par le Consensus Européen en Matière de développement et précisés par le Plan d’action de l’UE en matière d’OMD adopté en 2010. Une telle approche ne que peut nuire à l’atteinte des objectifs de développement que l’UE se fixe.

La nouvelle « Approche Globale » en construction constitue une opportunité pour développer un modèle de migration plaçant la mobilité et les droits socio-économiques du migrant au cœur du processus. L’UE doit devenir un promoteur de standards dans ce domaine. Le lien de la migration et du développement avec la reconnaissance du droit à la mobilité, l’égalité de traitement, la non discrimination, d’intégration et de cohésion sociale doivent être partie de la cohérence des politiques.

Le statut de « migrant » ne correspond en réalité qu’à un temps très bref entre deux statuts d’habitant de territoire, lieu d’expression citoyenne. Ainsi la cohérence des politiques nécessite que des modalités d’appui aux expressions citoyennes des migrants sur leur territoire de vie soient présentes dans le cadre politique.

La globalisation des migrations nécessite en conclusion une nouvelle donne et de nouveaux mécanismes de gestion des migrations. Il convient donc de « lever les barrières » plutôt que de les fermer car le développement et la migration fonctionnent de pair loin d’être une alternative l’un à l’autre.
Il nous faut faire de la migration un instrument du développement sans substituer le développement à la migration.

Cordialement,

Eunomad - Mai 2011

Sameh Fawzy, Chairman of Citizens for Development (CFD), Egypt

Dear members of the M4D community,

Please find below a contribution to the e-consultation on enhancing EU Migration & Development Policy.

 

Development in Shadow

Issues needing support from migrant communities

By Sameh Fawzy

Chairman of Citizens for Development

Political Analyst and researcher

 

The project titled “Sustainability in Development Projects: Joint Egyptian-Cypriot Initiative” introduced a multi-dimensional approach to development in Egypt. Implemented by Egyptian non-governmental organization Citizens for Development (CFD) and a Cypriot partner, Middle East Development, Dialogue and Solidarity (MEEDS), the project combined between different elements that helped the target group to learn skills from migrant Arab community in Cyprus, while introducing their own experiences gained in the field, and adapting learned methods to their reality and open horizons for partnership.

 

The project included different components; training workshops, publications, website and local skills-transfer workshops. The overall results were satisfactory and there some lessons can be underlined and shared in a broader sense.

NGOs participated in the project have been chosen after search and consultation. They are 15 NGOs from different governorates (districts) in the Southern part of Egypt, better known as Upper Egypt. The criteria are clear. They should introduce in their work the main concept of civic work, through reflecting diversity in composition and work. Inclusion of men and women, Muslims and Christians, youth and middle generation in governance and activities are among the criteria strictly followed in choosing partner NGOs. The rational was clear; sustainable development cannot be built if people are not fully aware of main concepts such as diversity, equity and gender. After three training workshops conducted by trainers from MEEDS, NGOs went back and held workshops for their local communities to transfer learned experiences and skills. Not surprisingly, they included in their work around 75 NGOs also reflecting a sense of diversity and equity. The local workshops were highly inclusive in a country facing challenges in sustaining citizenship and religious tolerance.

 NGOs participating in the project not only reflected diversity in composition and work but also dealt with the sustainability in development from a critical perspective. It is not enough to educate people new ideas and techniques in development, but it is essential to help them transfer the experience learned to their local communities with language and methods understood at local level. In Egypt, we have been exposed for decades to new concepts, sometimes seen irrelevant to the local understanding of development, so it is indispensible for development workers to “localize” concepts to be closer to people at grassroots level. During the training workshops, followed by local workshops in Upper Egypt governorates, concepts such as sustainability, strategic thinking, stake-holder assessment, accountability, planning were introduced with broad understanding with development challenges at local level, using examples from local communities in Upper Egypt.

In all development projects there are various publications. In this project CFD tried to be different in its approach. We have multiple publications. First; there are four books assessed four development projects. Second; there were another four books which included in a critical journalistic sense the main development challenges in Upper Egypt such as socio-economic problems facing women, and other marginalized communities, religious intolerance, the lack of infrastructure, etc. Third; there were two other publications one is about the migration to Gulf countries and its impact on development particularly in Upper Egypt, and the second is a joint publication between Citizens for Development (CFD) and Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex University in UK about gender and participation in both Arabic and English languages. Fourth; there is a newsletter that covers the news of the project in particular and Migration for Development Initiative in general, along with stories and investigative reports on development challenges. The publications introduced sustainability in a comprehensive manner.

 

The topics tackled in books are various such as the relationship between development and human rights, people participation and sustainable development, Islamic and Christian faith-based development experiences, brain-drain and development horizons, etc. In these series of publications, authors introduced critical assessment of development projects, stimulated communities to holistically think about development in its correlations with politics, culture, religion, and also history. All the publications have almost the same style; simple language, address the main issues without using sophisticated terminology, and using local examples. It is worth noting that these publications enjoyed distribution, media coverage and wide discussion, especially in the final seminar of the project where more than 70 persons from NGOs in Upper and Northern Egypt involved in critical debate with the authors of the books, who generally belong to middle generation and one of them is 23 year-old young female researcher. The lesson learned from this experience is that publications should tilt towards development documentation, language simplicity, localizing concepts, and help people not to deal with development as a separate issue, but as a concept that has linkages with socio-political surrounding environment and not distant from issues used to be introduced separately such as human rights, religious tolerance, negative social practices, etc.

 

The website, launched at the beginning of the project, introduced another avenue for NGOs to share development experiences. Gradually, it becomes a space for NGOs to share stories and build networks. The website follows the same path, which is based on introducing development in a holistic manner. It includes stories from street, articles especially on Upper Egypt development challenges and after January 25th revolution it covers issues related to development after regime change in Egypt, and the aftermaths of this unpredicted massive political change on development, the issue which is not adequately addressed.

 

The issue of sustainability is the corner-stone of the project. After the January 25th revolution, the project opened a wide discussion on its website and at a final seminar about the aftermaths of the revolution on the future of sustainable development. I would like to share some important ideas raised during discussions

 

1- Sustainable development requires good projects in terms of ideas, strategies, techniques and evaluation tools.

 

2- Sustainable development in a country witnessing rapid radical political changes can only be happened if there is a political will, and a nation-wide approach towards development. NGOs can do successful development initiatives, but the society as a whole cannot move on development path unless there are vibrant macro development policies. This is a matter of advocacy, and migrant communities can help NGOs in the south.

 

3- Sustainable development is a holistic approach. In our experience, a lot of concepts introduced to society separately such as gender, governance, participation, etc. Now, it is a must to rethink of the whole development paradigm. In a politically changing society, people see things overlapped. As such, development approaches should help people look at politics, economics and social progress combined on the basis of development state. If people look at development from a comprehensive approach, we can ensure more popular involvement in development activities.

 

4- Sustainable development is better introduced with another concept “society empowerment”. It is important to stimulate and energize potential capabilities in local communities including traditional social capital forms, spiritual power, etc.

 

The migrant communities are expected to help their countries of origin in their massive transformation towards democracy and sustainable development. We have received unceasing visits from Egyptian migrants after the revolution offering help and expressing their desire to participate in the country development. However, the main emphasis is still on politics and economic development, while other aspects of sustainable development are not adequately addressed such as social policies, building local communities, enhancing local participation, empowerment of marginalized groups, problem-solving methods at the community level, etc.

 

In a country facing radical political changes, the main focus is on democracy and economic growth. Although these issues are important, they can lead to unbalanced economic development if not articulated with sustainable approaches in development that take into account social policies. The project starts with this broad understanding of development, and the recent political developments in Egypt prove the difficulty of disentangling the macro political level from civil society initiatives and what happened since the revolution indicate that social issues don’t have considerable attention. In Egypt and to some extent Tunisia I do expect from “Migration and Development Initiative” to focus more on socio-cultural issues, and the role of women, child rights, and poverty in its relation to migration. In this regard, migrant communities can contribute to the socio-economic progress in the country of origin not only through their participation in business and politics but also by means of their interest in a broad development approach.

 

Kind regards,

Sameh Fawzy

United Nations Team, Brussels

Migration and Mobility for Development:

Contribution of the UN Team in Brussels to the EC discussion paper

The United Nations team in Brussels1 welcomes the consultation initiated by the European Commission on Migration and Mobility for Development. The UN particularly appreciates a core proposal in the discussion paper for a shift in the focus of EU policy towards a migrant-centred approach, within the framework of a Global Approach to Migration. This is in line with the human development paradigm spearheaded by the United Nations, which maintains that every individual has the right to live the life he or she chooses. Human mobility has significant proven potential to enhance the human development of individuals and communities when supported by appropriate policy frameworks.2 In this submission, the UN team in Brussels seeks to highlight critical policy considerations for the effective application of a rights-based perspective to migration and mobility for development.

 

1. The Human Rights Based Approach

The UN would welcome a Global Approach to Migration driven by human rights-based approach based on the economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. This recognizes migrants as rights holders as well as contributors to the socio-economic wellbeing of societies of origin and destination. It promotes respect of human and labour rights and the principle of equality of treatment, as articulated in international human rights instruments and international labour standards. Basing EU migration and development policy on UN standards provides the EU with an internationally-agreed basis for its interactions with third countries and serves to reinforce these frameworks.

 

Migrant rights go beyond immediate labour concerns to include the range of economic, social and legal rights related, for example, to access to housing, health services including lifesaving treatment, education, employment opportunities, legal and social protection including the right to work in condition of freedom, equality in treatment and security, to organize and join trade unions, safety conditions in the workplace, social protection benefits, equal pay for a work of equal value, the right not to be discriminated etc. In elaborating a strategic approach to migration and development, all these interrelated rights should be addressed.

 

This approach requires that migrants be aware of and fully empowered and able to claim those rights, and the relevant duty-bearing institutions in countries of origin, transit and destination are capable and ready to meet their obligations. The EU could usefully promote the ratification and effective implementation of international standards including with regard to social security rights (with the principle of equality of treatment in social security as human right), labour rights, and gender. EU policy could specifically invoke CEDAW for its comprehensive definition of discrimination against women and violence and General Recommendation 27 on Women Migrants. The EU could support capacity building initiatives for the practical application of international standards, but also for example in the elaboration of bilateral and multilateral social security agreements.

 

Apart from the intrinsic value of rights for migrants, portability of rights is essential to facilitate mobility and enhance the development potential of migration on countries of origin and destination. The EU can usefully support activities aimed at institutional strengthening and enhancement of social security systems in third countries (eg. for the improved financial governance of social security institutions) and support trade union bilateral agreements in support of migrant workers’ rights.

 

Considering the EU core values on human rights and principles of free movement of people, the EU could also envisage more effective approaches to address violations of human rights of migrants within EU borders. Travel restrictions for people living with HIV are a case in point, persisting in some parts of the Union despite numerous EU resolutions calling for their abolition.

 

2. Mainstreaming migration and policy coherence for development

The UN welcomes the focus on mainstreaming migration into development policies. This lies at the heart of the EU’s policy coherence for development and offers a major opportunity to enhance the EU contribution to its goal of poverty eradication. Mainstreaming requires consistency with a variety of other relevant policy areas including: labour market policies, vocational and skills training and education, youth employment strategies, job search assistance as well as social security legislation and agreements guaranteeing portability of rights. It also requires mainstreaming into urban development policy and planning, where local authorities play a central role. It is, moreover, vital to link labour, migration and trafficking laws to ensure these are mutually-supportive, and give the same gender-sensitive messages. Such mainstreaming needs to be supported by qualitative and quantitative sex-disaggregated data that can help inform policies.

 

Mainstreaming requires a broad participation and partnership among relevant actors. National governments are only part of the picture. In addition to the migrants themselves, labour administrations, provincial/state and municipal/city governments, private sector businesses, not-for-profit institutions such as universities and foundations, and civil society structures in communities of origin, transit and destination are all important. Targeted efforts may be required to support their capacities and participation.

 

3. Tailored approaches

Contribution to development cannot be disassociated from the protection of migrant workers. Providing pre-departure information and training, as well as provision of specialized consular services and legal counseling can empower migrants at all stages of the migration experience. Regulating and supervising recruitment practices can help ensure that potential migrants do not become victims of abusive recruitment agencies and trafficking organizations. The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families is a key international instrument in promoting and protecting the rights of migrant workers and their families. It is worth noting that to date no EU member state has signed or ratified the convention.3 A big step towards a migrant centred approach to EU migration and development policy would be one which encourages member states to ratify the convention.

A migrant-centered approach also implies that specific needs of groups are taken into account, with tailor-made actions to guarantee their basic human, social and labour rights.

 

Children are one such group. Globally, there are c. 35 million international migrants aged 10 to 24, 17 % of the total migrant population.4 Children on the move are often discriminated against and excluded from legal protection and access to social services and support. Specific and differentiated policy responses are needed to respond to child migrants over three dimensions: (i) children on the move – where protection and services are often lacking for child migrants; (ii) children left behind in countries of origin - since there can be severe negative consequences for children and society of growing up without the support of parents who have migrated; and (iii) children in countries of destination in the EU (eg the arbitrary detention and deportation of migrant children, the deprivation of their rights to education and health care, the lack of integration policies and restrictive family reunification practices). Additionally, bilateral agreements signed with countries of origin on issues such as circular migration, repatriation and joint border controls need to take into account a child- and adolescent perspective.

 

Other particularly vulnerable groups include undocumented migrants especially those living with HIV. Basic human rights, such as the right to health and basic lifesaving treatments, need to be guaranteed to those people, regardless of legal status.

 

For too many people, migration is undertaken under duress, often because of conflict, human rights violations, natural or manmade disasters. Refugees and IDPs constitute a significant proportion of people living outside their country of origin, or displaced within it. Forced displacement means loss of housing, land and property, jobs, physical assets, social networks and resources and changes family roles. Too often, displacement results in food insecurity, difficult access to education and health due to lack of documentation, and social marginalization. Together, these conditions push the displaced into a cycle of vulnerability.

 

A coherent approach to migration and development must therefore address the human development needs of IDPs and refugees. If influxes of refugees are addressed in the correct manner, refugees and the international assistance which their presence usually attracts, can contribute to local development. The international community needs to make development assistance available to refugee-populated areas, and encourage situations in which refugees and displaced people become part of the development debate and responses. This requires supporting forced migrants to move towards self-reliance, finding livelihoods that contribute to the local economy and communities. Integrating refugee or returnee programmes into national development plans is important to bring gains to refugees/returnees and local populations and maximize their collective opportunities as agents of development.

 

4. A gender sensitive approach

A growing percentage of migrant workers are women, migrating without their families and as the primary income earners. Women now represent half of all international migrant workers5 and contribute substantially to the social and economic development of both countries of origin and countries of destination. It is thus crucial to mainstream not just migration into development planning but also gender concerns in migration, with a gender equality and woman’s empowerment approach to policy and programmes included at all stages. CEDAW General Recommendation 27 on Women Migrants highlights specific measures to be adopted to promote and protect the rights of migrant women throughout the migration process. The EU Global Approach to Migration could include provisions for gender sensitivity training/awareness raising for policy makers, state and non-state service providers, law enforcers and the public. It could also include non-legal preventive measures e.g. community awareness raising on the costs and benefits of migration for males and females, and information on how to use legal challenges for migration, to help protect and promote the rights of migrant women throughout the migration process. Inclusion in EU policy of initiatives that render women and girls less susceptible to forced migration is crucial. At the heart of this complex area lies women’s economic and social empowerment including access to assets; the protection and promotion of their rights; and preventive security measures.

5. Diaspora and remittances

Diaspora communities are a recognized actual and potential source of innovation, and socio-economic or even political change for their countries of origin. They have a proven contribution to the MDGs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 (hunger, poverty, health, education and equality) and MDG 8 (global partnership) largely through the transfer of their remittances to their families and communities in the country of origin. The EU could usefully support country programmes that specifically target the diaspora communities to take back not only their financial capital but also their knowledge, skills and ideas. The EU can for example, help strengthen the capacities and resources of public institutions to provide skill certification in priority areas and social dialogue with relevant stakeholders, including diaspora representatives. The EU can also foster partnerships among countries of origin, transit and destination.

 

In order to improve remittance transfer systems, especially for the rural population in communities of origin, some countries have encouraged partnerships between banks and microcredit institutions, sometimes specifically targeting vulnerable groups and women. These should be encouraged, particularly to reach remote areas. Similarly, fiscal and monetary policies can be useful instruments to incentivize the productive use of remittances e.g. through favourable tax systems and attractive interest rates offered to migrants who invest back home.

 

6. Best practice

A significant contribution of the EU to the migration and development debate has been through its joint effort with the United Nations through the EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI). A key element of the JMDI has been to facilitate a vibrant knowledge network – M4D Net. This enables an ever growing global community (currently 2,010) of migration and development practitioners (from civil society, diaspora groups, government, academia and international organizations) to exchange knowledge and experience relating to migration and development issues. . Sustaining such knowledge platforms that permit daily sharing of practice and partnership, is an important element of moving policy forward.

 

7. Conclusion

For many people around the globe, the perception of the EU and its Member States is to a major extent determined by EU migration policy and how it is implemented. An EU migration and development policy that responds to the real needs and rights of migrants and leads the way in best practice of making migration work for the human development of all, offers the EU the opportunity to demonstrate to the world the values upon which the European Union was built.