Strengthening partnerships and cooperation on international migration.

Author:Borje, Eva Akerman
 
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There is an increasing need for governments and other development actors to plan for, and act upon, the opportunities and challenges that migration brings. Through the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development we should, therefore, call for improved policy coherence between migration and development through the integration of migration into the post-2015 development agenda, an improvement in multilateral coordination through the Global Migration Group (GMG) and a commitment to continued inter-govern-mental cooperation in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

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Migration forms a natural part of the human condition. It is one of mankind's oldest strategies for reducing poverty and, on an individual level, has proven to be one of the most direct and effective ways of improving one's well-being. The 2009 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report highlighted how people migrating from low-income countries to higher income countries on average could gain a 15-fold increase in income, a doubling of the education enrolment rate and a 16-fold reduction in child mortality.

Migration also affects many more than the nearly one billion, or one seventh of the world's population, who are migrants today, whether as internal migrants (740 million) or international migrants (214 million). Both of these groups bring benefits to societies' development--most directly through the hundreds of billions of dollars remitted each year, and through filling the needs of the labour market, encouraging trade and investment between countries as well as transferring skills and ideas between urban and rural areas and across countries. While in no way amounting to the benefits, migration also brings about challenges. Large out-migration from some countries or communities with limited human resources may exacerbate an already dire situation in specific sectors or sub-sectors, e.g., within health care or education. Some migrants end up in extremely vulnerable situations, whether as victims of trafficking, through smuggling or in abusive and exploitative working conditions. Countries of destination can also face challenges of integration and in handling irregular migration.

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These linkages suggest an increasing need for governments and other development actors to plan for, and act upon, the opportunities and challenges that migration brings. This points towards the importance of closer intergovernmental cooperation, enhanced multilateral coordination and improved policy coherence...

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