The corporate sector plays a vital role as employer and societal actor with regards to migration issues, but has hitherto been involved too little in the migration debate. Therefore The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration (THP) in the framework of its Business Initiative, organised for the second time a roundtable discussion on ‘Business, Migration and Mobility’ in the Netherlands, in cooperation with the European Commission (EC) and the Dutch Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW).
In addition to representatives from the corporate sector, a number of governmental representatives, in particular from cities, took part in the roundtable discussion in order to facilitate a dialogue between these two important stakeholders in the migration policy field.
In the roundtable report, the main conclusions, ideas and recommendations brought forward by the participants have been summarised.
location: the hague, the netherlands
date: november 2010
The consultation was designed to collect input from representatives of business and cities presenting their perspective on refugee and migration issues in relation to their professional objectives. The facilitators of both groups shared the main findings in plenary sessions to spark off a multidisciplinary debate and to work towards consensus.
Location: Johannesburg, south africa
date: june 2011
On 28-29 June 2011 the first Expert Consultation for business and cities on migration and urbanisation took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Organised by Foundation The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration (THP), the event was the first in a series of some five similar consultations to be held around the world. Toronto and Istanbul are next in line; Asia and Latin America will follow.
The objective of the consultations is to bring two key stakeholders in the refugee and migration domain, big cities and business, together with a view to develop practical answers to migration developments. The outcomes of each consultation will inform the next in the series and will ultimately feed into the The Hague Global Hearing on Refugees and Migration in 2012.
The topic of migration seen from the perspective of business and cities is not new to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where attention has been paid to this nexus over the last ten years. However, THP’s initiative to organise an Expert Consultation in cooperation with CivicAction offered an opportunity for a broad selection of representatives from the region to get an international perspective on migration trends, and to consider these trends in the context of regional issues around migration with THP’s international representatives. The consultation allowed participants to explore the challenges presented by immigration trends and the opportunities for better collaboration between the private sector and the various levels of government.
location, manila, the philippines
date: march 2012
The topic of migration is key in understanding social and economic realities in the Philippines. Many dimensions of the phenomenon are the subject of various national, regional and local initiatives. To address the issue of migration from primarily a business and cities perspective, however, added a new level of engagement. THP’s initiative to organise an Expert Consultation in cooperation with IDEALS and hosted by THP Board Member Doris Magsaysay offered a unique occasion for a broad selection of representatives from local government, the private sector and civil society to exchange best practices, discuss dilemmas and forge new partnerships for practical cooperation. The consultation allowed participants to showcase existing initiatives and to progressively debate the ambiguities of the migration realities ranging from social costs to economic opportunities. An important insight was that migration is not a temporary phase society has to go through, but a persistent feature that will not go away and has to be dealt with in all its aspects.
The topic of migration and refugees in the context of the Istanbul Metropolitan Area has a long history, is complex but also in need of more focused attention. THP’s initiative to organise an Expert Consultation in cooperation with Bilgi University’s Center for Migration Research provided a platform for a select group of representatives working in the field in the presence of international experts and representatives from the national and local government. The event was an illustration of the state of migration and refugee policies in the Turkish context. Reflective of the situation in Turkey was the emphasis on refugee issues and the absence of domestic migrant organizations.
Officials from the Ministry of the Interior (Department of Asylum Affairs) explained how timely the consultation was as preparations for a new legislation on asylum were ongoing. The draft law would open the way to Turkey meeting most of the requirements set by the EU short of the lifting of the geographical limitation to the 1951 Geneva Convention.
To get an international perspective on migration trends, and to consider these trends in the context of regional issues around migration, THP introduced international representatives who highlighted the connection between urban challenges on migration and refugees and the role of the business sector. Discussions explored a number of topics ranging from security considerations to perceptions, irregular migration and the labour market. Against the backdrop of an economy that for a significant part is informal, emphasis was put on the context of urban poverty and the need for protection.
On 4-5 June 2012 The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration welcomed more than 200 participants to its Global Hearing on Refugees and Migration at the Peace Palace in The Hague, to discuss pressing issues in refugee and migration policy.
They came from over 60 different states and from all continents. National, regional and local government, business, the private sector, trade unions, cities, international organizations, NGOs, civil society, faith groups, academia, and the media were all represented. In plenary sessions and working groups, the participants identified challenges, discussed innovative solutions, and considered the full range of relevant actors and perspectives, focusing on five key themes:
– the impact of future demographic changes related to labour migration and refugees;
– political and social changes;
– the impact of the global economy;
– the urbanisation of displaced people; and
– the impact of environmental and climate change on human mobility.
The discussions encompassed internal and international migration and included asylum seekers, refugees, and internally displaced persons. Participants confirmed the belief that among a proliferation of seminars, conferences, and events on migration and related issues, The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration maintained and reinforced its unique value at this meeting. It engaged stakeholders who rarely speak directly to one another; it deliberately went beyond traditional boundaries in considering the full range of people on the move around the world; it included voices from the North and South and provided a unique forum for honest and frank exchange which gives The Hague Process the legitimacy to propose an updated agenda on migration and refugees.
Messages to the Global Hearing
The Hague Process received the following messages to the Global Hearing 2012:
HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (video)
Location: Amman, Jordan Partner: the Arab Thought Forum
Publication date: April 2005
This summary is made to report on an interactive 3-day working conference entitled ‘Advancing the Refugee and Migration Agenda in the Middle East’. The working conference took place in Hotel Le Meridien Amman, Jordan on Saturday 23rd, Sunday 24th and Monday 25th April 2005. We wanted to make this working conference different from many by making use of a specific working method which we used successfully during The Hague Process so far. The personal experience, wisdom and ideas of all participants were used to arrive at valuable recommendations which we hope will pave the way for new responses to the refugee and migration issue in the Middle East region within a global context.
The issues we concentrated on were three major themes:
1. Refugees in the Middle East;
2. Migration from the Middle East to Europe;
3. Potential of The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration as catalyst for change
Input to the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development
authors: Frans Bouwen, Khalid Koser, Antoine Meyer, Yulia Poskakukhina, Aimee Rindoks, Auke Witkamp
language editors: Ian Curry-Sumner, Philip Rudge Partner: Western Union
Publication date: September 2008
The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration composed this document as input to the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development, held in Manila in October 2008.
The document has two main sections:
1. Inclusive Processes – Coherent Policies: The need to include local governments and to consider the links between migration and health
2. A Compilation of Reflections on the 2008 GFMD Roundtable Themes
The document also includes action points on:
– How to create inclusive policy processes, particularly including local governments
– Coherent policies on migration, development and health
– Strengthening policy relevance of research on migration, development and health
15 years of intergovernmental recommendations and conclusions
authors: Wies Maas, Khalid Koser Partner: Western Union
Publication date: july 2010
The purpose of this review is to present a comprehensive overview and analysis of the conclusions and recommendations of the six major intergovernmental initiatives on international migration in the last two decades – the International Conference on Population and Development, the Global Commission on International Migration, the UN High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, and three meetings of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. It pays particular attention to the role of civil society and non-state actors, both in providing input into these initiatives and also being included in their output.
The review is intended to serve as a mapping exercise and provide a monitoring tool for national policy makers and the international community; provide a tool for non-governmental stakeholders in international migration, such as civil society organizations, businesses, local governments and international policy makers, by identifying areas of consensus where there is potential for further cooperation with national governments, as well as gaps that need to be filled; and draw conclusions on next steps towards developing international cooperation that take into account both the human rights and human development of refugees, migrants and societies at large
Ten key migration themes that recur across the six initiatives are identified, and the conclusions and recommendations are categorized by these themes. The themes are: Root causes; Labour Migration; Human Rights and Protection; Migration and Development; Circular, Temporary and Return Migration and Reintegration; Irregular Migration; Social Cohesion and Integration; Gender; Governance and Cooperation; and: Evidence, Research and Data.