The importance of the 2013 HLD for the Special Session of the General Assembly on the ICPD beyond 2014 and the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, was recently underscored in the resolution “New Trends in Migration: Demographic Aspects,” adopted by the Fourty-sixth Session of the Commission on Population and Development.30 The resolution makes provision for a broad range of elements related to migration and development and calls upon the GMG and other stakeholders, within their respective mandates, to strengthen their collaboration and cooperation in the area of international migration; adopt coherent, comprehensive and coordinated approaches; and include migration issues in their contributions to the preparation of the post-2015 development agenda.
The HLCP–GMG agencies presented in this book agree that the 2013 HLD is an opportunity to improve policies and work at the local, national, regional and global levels on migration and development, while keeping migrants at the centre of the debate. The HLD should promote the human and labour rights of all migrants, the protection of the most vulnerable, and the human development potential of migration in the context of global preparations for a post-2015 development agenda.31
In their recommendations for the HLD, the HLCP–GMG agencies argue that a rights- based approach to migration and development, in line with international human rights law and relevant standards, makes good governance sense. Improved development outcomes for migrants and countries of origin and destination, as well as greater policy coherence, rest on the respect for and adherence to legal and normative frameworks relevant to international migrants. Particularly in the current global financial and economic climate, appropriately crafted labour migration policies that place migrants and their rights at the centre can go a long way towards mitigating the negative economic and social impacts on migrant workers. Rights-based policies formulated through sound evidence and inclusive discussion among all stakeholders can also strengthen public awareness about migration and its development benefits and reduce the incidence of xenophobia and abuse of migrants.
The Recommendations and Outcomes on migration endorsed by the CEB identify the following five priority areas in the context of the 2013 High-level Dialogue.32
(a) Advancing the human rights and Human development aspects of migration. The HLD should place the human rights of all migrants high on the agenda of policymakers and reaffirm the relevance of migration to human development, in destination and origin countries. Select actions: (i) Promote the ratification of all core international human rights and labour rights instruments and their effective implementation with respect to migrants, taking account of age, gender, family considerations and specific vulnerabilities. (ii) Call for national action to promote awareness of migration realities and to combat xenophobia and discrimination against migrants. (iii) Implement existing frameworks to ensure access to social protection and social services by migrants, regardless of their migration status.
(b) Strengthening the knowledge and evidence base. The HLD should promote evidence-based policymaking on migration and thus greater investment in data, research, needs assessments, evaluations and capacity development with respect to migration and its impacts on and outcomes for individuals and societies. Select actions: (i) Aim for more systematic and nuanced data collection and analysis on migration (ii) Conduct more standardized and rigorous assessments and evaluations of the impact of migration and development initiatives. (iii) Promote institutions and initiatives to further research and capacity in the area of migration, with a focus on South–South migration.
(c) Mainstreaming migration into national development policies and plans and into the post-2015 UN development agenda. The HLD should call on countries of origin and destination to continue or initiate the mainstreaming of migration into national development strategies, poverty reduction strategies, and sectoral policies and plans. As a matter of priority, the HLD should ensure that migration receives due attention in the post-2015 UN development agenda. Select actions: (i) Create greater coherence amongst policies on migration, development, employment, labour market, social protection, health, gender and education, with a special focus on low-skilled migrant workers and the recognition of qualifications. (ii) Recognize the role of migration in enabling development in the context of the post-2015 UN development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, as a cross-cutting issue and potentially in its own right. (iii) Achieve a reduction in the upfront costs of migration and in the transfer costs and transaction times of remittances, as well as broaden the geographical coverage of reliable financial services to rural areas.
(d) Improving inter-State and multi-stakeholder engagement and cooperation. The HLD should reaffirm commitment to existing cooperation mechanisms; strengthen their impact; and strive for greater involvement of stakeholders at all levels, including non-governmental partners. Select actions: (i) Strengthen the Global Migration Group, particularly at field level, and utilize its collective expertise in supporting States and other stakeholders in the effective implementation of internationally agreed development goals and legal obligations as they relate to migration, as well as recommendations of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. (ii) Support the Global Forum on Migration and Development and regional mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation on migration. (iii) Consider establishing a Permanent Forum on Migration and Development to bring the perspectives of migrants and larger civil society to national policy processes and global debates on migration.
(e) Trends to watch. The HLD should highlight critical issues, trends and dynamics that – while not necessarily new in and of themselves – will shape migration globally and locally and, in particular, the migration–development nexus. The HLD should underline the need for data and research, capacity development and proactive policy approaches in these areas. Select issues: (i) The situation of stranded migrants and migrants caught in crises in their destination or transit countries. (ii) The linkages between migration, environmental degradation and climate change. (iii) The impact of migration on urbanization and the needs and vulnerabilities of urban migrants. (iv) The increasing relevance of regional mobility and South–South migration.