Informal Interactive Hearings on International Migration and Development

General Assembly Hall, NLB

Speakers: Mr. H.E. Vuk Jeremić, President of the General Assembly; Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General; Ms. Susan Martin, Georgetown University; Mr. Dennis Sinyolo, Education International; Mr. William Gois, HLD Civil Society Steering Committee, Regional Coordinator Migrant Forum in Asia; Mr. Gibril Faal, HLD Civil Society Steering Committee, Director GK Partners & Chairman African Foundation for Development (AFFORD); Mr. Ambet Yuson, Chairperson of the Council of Global Unions, General Secretary Building and Wood Workers International (BWI); Mr. Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration; Ms. Erin Klett, Projects Manager, Verité; Ms. Ana Avendaño, Director of Immigration and Community Action, AFL-CIO; Mr. Randel K. Johnson, Senior Vice President, US Chamber of Commerce; Ms. Ellene Sana, Executive Director, Center for Migrant Advocacy; Mr. Ignacio Packer, Secretary General Terre des Hommes; Ms. Milka Isinta,Chair of Pan African Network in Defense of Migrants Rights; Mr. Philippe Nanaga, Un Monde Avenir

Attendees: Marli Kasdan, Alyssa Strasser, and Norah L. Crossnohere

Written by Norah L. Crossnohere

Migration is a force driving cultural, economic and political development. In the last decade, the number of people traveling across national boarders with the intention of improving their quality of life increased from 150 million to 214 million people, and the right to migrate is increasingly being viewed as a basic human right.

Upon relocation to host countries, migrants are particularly vulnerable to discrimination. Migrant workers generally receive lower incomes than those born within the host country, and are often coerced into working longer hours, or in unsuitable working conditions. Socially, migrants are often victims of xenophobia, making their experience not only physically but also emotionally challenging.

Advocates of migrant rights stress the importance of creating a binding, concrete, worldwide contract for migration. By distinctly calling for the prohibition of recruitment fees, increased transparency and credibility of licensing for migrant recruitment agencies, and gender sensitive programing, NGOs and other groups are placing pressure on international lawmakers to take a stand on migration related injustices.

While migration is invaluable in its ability to bridge social and economic connections between host and home countries, both lawmakers and civil society note the importance of improving conditions in the home countries of migrants in order to decrease the need for migration. By addressing financial and social issues in home countries, fewer individuals would feel the need to emigrate, therefore decreasing the number of families separated during migration.

Edited By; Wayne Dean Doyle

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