First Expert Consultation for Business and Cities on Migration and Urbanisation, Johannesburg

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.


Regional document

Photo reportage


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2nd Expert Consultation for Business and Cities on Migration and Urbanisation, Toronto

location: Toronto, canada 
date: SEPTEMBER 2011


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.


Regional Document

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3rd Expert Consultation for Business and Cities on Migration and Urbanisation, Manila

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.


regional document

photo reportage

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4th Expert Consultation for Business and Cities on Migration and Urbanisation, Istanbul

location: istanbul, turkey 
date: october 2012


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.


Regional document

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Migrant and Refugee Integration in Global Cities: The Role of Cities and Businesses

Authors: Teressa Juzwiak, Elaine mc gregor, melissa siegel
partner: maastricht graduate school of governance, unu-merit

Publication date: 2014


Migration is a local reality. Cities are places where both migrants and non-migrants interact, be it through working, studying, living, playing or raising their families. This report blazes a trail by linking migrant and refugee integration policies, public-private partnerships and the local level in a comparative discussion. It will serve to fill an important gap in the literature.

The study, initiated by The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration (THP) in partnership with UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance, looks at how businesses and governments in global cities contribute to the economic and social integration of migrant and refugee populations, either through outreach, specialised programs, the provision of services or targeted funding of NGOs; and to what extent these contributions can be deepened or expanded. The study focuses on efforts by the private sector and city governments ‚Äď both separately and in partnership ‚Äď to give these groups greater protection and opportunities in employment markets and communities.

More specifically, this report identifies good practices among the selected cities as well as gaps in intervention by determining whether and how business and cities are currently working together to create opportunities for migrants and refugees to deepen their integration into society. Where there is presently no collaboration between the private and public sectors, the research identifies barriers and opportunities for potential partnerships. To this end, the research draws from eight case studies: Auckland (New Zealand), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Chicago (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Lisbon (Portugal), Nairobi (Kenya), Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and S√£o Paulo (Brazil).

Final Report

The report is accompanied by eight individual case study reports, one per city, which provide further background information and discussion for the interested reader. Click on the respective city below to download the individual case study report:

Buenos Aires
Kuala Lumpur
S√£o Paulo

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Global Hearing 2012


Location: The Hague, The Netherlands

date: june 2012


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)

  • Former UNSG Kofi Annan (text)
  • Enrique Iglesias, SG of the Ibero-American Cooperation Secretariat (text)
  • Gerd Leers, outgoing Netherlands Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Policy (text)
  • Cecilia Malmstr√∂m, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs (text)
  • Peter Schatzer, Chief of Staff, International Organization for Migration (text)
  • Peter Sutherland, UN Special Representative for Migration and Development (text)
  • Mayor Jozias Van Aartsen of the City of The Hague (text)


Reflections on the Global Hearing 2012


View more video reflections on You-Tube.

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Integration and Social Inclusion from a Southern Perspective


Date: October 2004
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Partner: UNHCR Bangkok,  Royal Kingdom of Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Publication date: October 2004


In preparation for the Club of The Hague meeting in November 2004, this seminar was held in Bangkok to discuss the issue of integration and social inclusion with particular emphasis on the perspective of the South. To reach this objective, participants from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe as well as international organizations attended in their personal capacity.
A list of participants is attached as annex 3.

The event was made possible through the invitation of Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn of the University of Chulalongkorn, member of the Club of The Hague, and with the generous support of the UNHCR Bangkok office as well as the Royal Kingdom of Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Advancing the Refugee and Migration Agenda in the Middle East ‚Äď Arab Thought Forum/Working Conference

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 ‚ÄėAdvancing the Refugee and Migration Agenda in the Middle East‚Äô. 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

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Migration between West Africa and the Maghreb: Toward Joint Responses to the Protection Gaps

Regional Workshop

Date: November 2007

Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Partner: NOMRA (Network of Migration Research on Africa)

Publication date: December 2007


One of the challenges of this decade is the migration through, and pressure on, transit countries of the Maghreb by irregular migrants from West Africa and beyond en route to European Union (EU) and Southern African countries. Solutions to these trends must be sought jointly by the countries of origin, transit and destination. The following concise report is intended to provide an overview of discussions and key findings of the regional workshop organised jointly by NOMRA (Network of Migration Research in Africa) and The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration in Lagos, Nigeria on November 2nd and 3rd 2007. By no way exhaustive, it is meant to provide a basis for future work and source of ideas to engage in concrete steps, for all the participants, their organisations and beyond to all stakeholders concerned.

One of the essential objectives of the workshop was to help reinvigorate regional cooperation between ECOWAS, the AMU and the EU as well as individual member states in respect of migration and refugee protection issues. The Declaration of The Hague on the Future of Refugee and Migration Policy (2002), an internationally endorsed roadmap, outlines the relevant background and rationale.

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Maximising the Benefits of Circular Migration for the Netherlands

Authors: Khalid Koser, Frans Bouwen, Antoine Meyer, Veronique Melsert, Alexander Taylor
The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Publication date: December 2007


This report was commissioned by the Department for the Movement of Persons, Migration and Alien Affairs at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where it is intended to provide input into a policy paper being prepared for the Minister on Development Cooperation on ‚ÄėDevelopment and Migration.‚Äô The report is based on a review of existing literature on circular migration; analysis of the effectiveness of existing policies on circular migration elsewhere to draw lessons for the Netherlands; as well as a series of consultations with stakeholders in the Netherlands and international experts in the field.
This report is intended to inform the current debate in the Netherlands on the potential merits of a program of circular migration, to identify the most effective policies; and to explain the challenges of implementation. It does not contain specific or detailed policy proposals; instead it proposes broad guidelines and best practice in circular migration.

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