Will the International Organization for #Migration ( #IOM ) move closer (in)to the United Nations system?

Banki 1On September 19, the United Nations (UN) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) might sign a new relationship agreement. There are several scenarios regarding the content of this agreement, ranging from the IOM becoming a “UN-related organization” such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or the World Trade Organization (WTO) up to full inclusion into the UN system as a specialized agency such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Obviously, the International Labour Organization (ILO) is already an UN agency with a long-established profile on the labor-related aspects of migration, and the future mandate of and relationship between the two organizations would be, let’s say, interesting to observe. The driving force behind this development seems to be Continue reading

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Looking beyond ‘the refugee crisis’, can migrants be the new agents of democracy?

Stefan Rother, Freiburg University

This article is part of the Democracy Futures series, a joint global initiative with the Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century.

Over the last few decades, the focus on migration has widened beyond a narrow preoccupation with integration – a positive development. However, while issues of migration and development, migration and securitisation, migration and climate change, and migration and gender are all relevant, something is conspicuously absent from the debate – the relationship between migration and the spread of democracy. Continue reading

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Migrants on #InternationalWomensDay : Stop gender-based violence –and its xenophobic instrumentalisation #IWD2016

InternationalWomensDay-portraitToday is International Women’ Day and in the light of the current political situation, the rights of migrant and refugee women receive particular attention. Several migrant organisations have issued statements today, addressing issues such as labor exploitation, subhuman wages and violence against women as well as calls for equal rights and empowerment. Some statements also distance themselves from what I would call the “false friends of women’s rights” that have been particularly vocal after the “Cologne attacks”, but actually use the “protection of our women” as a justification for Xenophobia and Islamophobia. Here is a collection of statements:

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Global #migration and #refugee governance outlook 2016

GFMD Bangladesh“2016 has well become THE migrant year”, stated Peter Sutherland, UN Secretary Generals’ Special Representative for International Migration, in a recent webinar. Obviously, migration has been brought to the top of the international agenda for some time now, but this year will see a number of high-level events addressing the issue. This post will provide an overview – without neglecting the agency of migrants and their organizations themselves and their upcoming events. Continue reading

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On International #MigrantsDay : No progress on UN Convention, #IamaMigrant Candlelight Vigil

migrants day 2015 candlelight IOMToday is International Migrants Day, marking the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the “International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families” by the General Assembly of the United Nations. But even with major campaigns initated by migrant civil society, the year leading up to the anniversary has seen only one further ratification by Madagascar. This brings the total number of parties to a mere 48, with no major receiving country in sight. As in the past years, I have compiled some resources and activities surrounding International Migrants Day: Continue reading

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#European #Migration Forum 2016: Call for applications open

European Migration Forum logoThe European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) have launched the call for applications to participate in the 2nd meeting of the European Migration Forum, which will take place on 6-7 April 2016 in Brussels. The goal of the forum is to serve as “platform for dialogue between civil society and the European institutions on issues relating to migration, asylum and the integration of third-country nationals”. The first meeting under this name was held in January 2015, but it is not a completely new process, but rather Continue reading

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The Outlaw Ocean: Reports on modern-day #slavery at sea

sea slavery 4 New York Times Reporter Ian Urbina has contacted me to bring attention to his investigative research on the work of seafarers globally and the human rights and labor abuses they face on the high seas. As recent reports in particular from Southeast Asia have highlighted, many of these victims of abuse are migrant workers. The series of reports by Urbina runs under the title “The Outlaw Ocean” and can be found at the links below: Continue reading

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