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Migration is Finally in the Mainstream at the UN

Summary of the International Dialogue on Migration in FebruaryWith the adoption of Agenda 2030 (The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) migration has finally been incorporated into mainstream global development policy. Here are some examples of how migration is mentioned in the SDGs and their targets:

  • The situation of migrant workers is highlighted in SDG 8 on economic growth and decent work
  • The issue of trafficking is mentioned in several SDGs–for instance SDG 16 on peaceful societies
  • Among all the targets, SDG 10.7 is the centerpiece for migration in the 2030 Agenda. It calls for “well managed migration policies,” and for the facilitation of orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration. Under Goal 10 there are also policies to reduce inequality within and among countries.

The workshop discussed appropriate tools and mechanisms that will help member states measure progress on migrant-related SDG targets. Panelists asked how can we increase the benefits of migration for the migrants themselves, and for countries of origin and destination, while reducing its economic and human costs? How can we promote and respect the rights of all migrants, regardless of their status?

A High Level Summit in September will be the first time that the global migration crises will be looked at holistically. The goal of the Summit is to create a new set of Global Principles on Refugees and Migrants—the first of their kind. The 2015 flow of migrants to Europe has made the issue of migration “front page news” (though there are similar flows in Asia). The disorganized and very uneven response of European governments to this flow has indicated that governments are unprepared to deal with such massive movements of people. The September meeting is also important because it provides an opportunity for coordinated NGO action.                                       –Jean Quinn DW