Realize the Potential of Migrants and Migration in the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, says the Global Migration Group

from Global Migration Group
Published on 25 Sep 2013

As the United Nations General Assembly today hosts a high-level event to debate the Millennium Development Goals, the Global Migration Group (GMG) calls for migration to be a key part of the post-2015 global UN development agenda. The GMG is the principal inter-agency mechanism on migration bringing together the heads of 15 United Nations agencies and the International Organization for Migration.

The GMG notes that with one out of seven people on the planet either an internal or international migrant, migration is now central to the global population dynamics and is a key enabler for human development.

There are an estimated 232 million international migrants who send home some USD 400 billion in remittances to their families and communities in developing countries, representing more than three times the level of official development assistance.

Migrants play an important role as development actors by stimulating economic growth, job creation, investment, technology and knowledge transfers.

But migrants are not only development actors. They are first and foremost human beings and it is their development that should be the primary consideration.

Development outcomes and protection of the rights of migrants go hand in hand. Human rights abuse, xenophobia, violence, labour exploitation, and limiting skilled migrants to low-skilled jobs undermines their potential socio-economic and cultural contribution to both host countries and countries of origin.

As world leaders at the United Nations debate the future of global development, the GMG therefore argues that a new development agenda will not be complete without considering migration and its consequences.

The GMG believes that migration should be part and parcel of a new global partnership for inclusive development – similar to trade and transfer of technology – which would bring together all relevant stakeholders, such as governments, international organizations, the private sector, migrants, employers’ and workers’ organizations, migrant diaspora associations and civil society.

Migration should be incorporated into targets and indicators where it is directly relevant to the achievement of post-2015 UN Development Agenda development goals, in areas such as poverty reduction, health and gender issues.

For example, achieving the global goal of poverty reduction could be assisted significantly by lowering the cost of sending remittances and reducing migrants’ costs, such as those related to recruitment.

Progress towards the goal on productive employment and decent work for all could be made through improvements to migrants’ working conditions, wages, skills formation, and social protection.

The human rights of migrants should also be addressed through measurable indicators such as their and their children’s access to health care, education and social security, and the extent to which they suffer discrimination in the workplace and in society.

The GMG aims to promote all relevant international and regional instruments and norms relating to migration and seeks more coherent, comprehensive and coordinated approaches to maximize the benefits and address the challenges of migration. The Group is currently chaired by the International Organization for Migration (IOM.)

The GMG has today published a position paper calling for migration to be a key part of the post-2015 global development agenda. To read the position paper and to find out more about the GMG, please visit the GMG website at: