Call for Civil Society actors to share their experience in supporting City Leadership in Managing Migration For Development
Please note that the e-discussion has now been closed. The consolidated reply of this e-discussion has been integrated into a report prepared based on the results of the e-discussion in addition to two consolidation processes, which is accessible here. The first consolidation process took place in New York on 19th July, 2019 and was led by the Global Consortium on Migration together with the JMDI, UNITAR and support and funding from KNOMAD of the World Bank. This meeting saw the participation of around 40 civil society actors and international organisations active in the migration and development field. This event also served to launch the second round of consultations- the online global consultation, or e-discussion, hosted by the JMDI via this platform. It was live from 26th July until 16th September 2016 where a further 17 civil society actors across the globe also shared their insight and good practices. Finally, a third event was held in Quezon City, Philippines on 13 September 2016 with 22 participants from 11 Philippine-based civil society organizations including trade union and migrant families’ group. This was conducted by the Migrant Forum in Asia and JMDI in partnership with the University of the Philippines.
The Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), together with the Global Coalition on Migration, KNOMAD of the World Bank and UNITAR, launched this global online consultation on the Role of Civil Society in supporting City Leadership in Implementing Migration Policies. Building on the Civil Society Consultation session that took place on 19th July 2016 in New York, this consultation served to bring the voices and experiences of civil society to the upcoming Third Global Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development to be hosted by Quezon City, Philippines from 29-30th September, 2016.
The Annual Mayoral Fora on Mobility, Migration and Development brings together mayors, city leaders and other local and regional authorities to foster knowledge, share good practices and strategise on how to work collectively to harness the potential of migration for local development. Civil society actors are key partners that work together with cities to achieve this, acting across the entire spectrum of migration governance from service provision to ensuring social inclusion. Indeed, JMDI experience showed that development can be fostered most effectively when local authorities, civil society and migrants and the community itself work together to achieve a common purpose. This consultation served to highlight the long-standing experience of civil society in supporting cities and will enrich the knowledge and dialogue of the Mayoral Forum.
Migration is mainly an urban phenomenon. While more than half of the world’s population already live in urban areas, projections show that there might be an additional 2.5 billion urban residents by 2050. Furthermore, some 60% of the total 14.4 million refugees, and 80% of the 38 million internally displaced persons are thought to live in urban areas. Indeed, in a global context of increasing decentralization, urbanization and human mobility, the recent migration and refugee crisis and current political agendas, migration matters have never been so important or reconciled so closely with development at the local level. This can be reflected by the fact that the Habitat III process for sustainable urban development has already recognized how ‘inclusive planning for rapid urbanization, migration and displacement – through improved rights and protection for migrants and refugees, access to adequate services, opportunities and space and regulation that create an enabling environment – can maximize the skills, resources and creativity of migrants and refugees that drive sustainable development”. Indeed, de facto or de jure, local and regional authorities and Civil Society are at the forefront of managing migration as first responders to service provision and ensuring social cohesion at the local level.
Yet while many cities and their supporting networks of civil society are thriving in this role and showing innovative ways to foster development and growth, others may lack the political will, capacities, support, competencies and fiscal or human resources to do so. And, while dialogue, policies and praxis continue to be debated and managed at the national and international levels, leaving no seat at the table for local actors, the full potential of cities and civil society to take up this is hindered.
It is within this context that the JMDI, KNOMAD of the World Bank, UNITAR, IOM, the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) have been the driving forces behind the Annual Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development. This platform therefore provides a space for local actors to mutually learn and support each other as they take on the challenges and opportunities that migration brings for the benefit of their entire communities. Moreover, the Forum serves to give strength to and promote the voice and role of local actors in managing migration for development within key international dialogues such as the Global Forum on Migration and Development.
Building on the outcomes of the first two Mayoral Fora, the Third Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development focused on two thematic areas: 1. the role of diaspora in furthering development in communities of origin and destination; and the inclusion and protection of migrants and refugees in vulnerable situations within urban centres. For further information, please consult the dedicated page here.
Together with the Global Coalition on Migration, the Forum partners encouraged all civil society actors to share their expertise and contribute to these efforts by responding to all or any pertinent questions outlined below.
Proposed Questions for discussion
1. How can civil society support cities to ensure the inclusion and the protection of vulnerable migrants and refugees for enhanced resilience and development? What good practices and lessons learned exist?
2. What is the role of civil society in supporting local and regional authorities to reach out and engage with diaspora? For example, in order to foster their support in integration, social protection, promoting labour rights and fostering knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship and investment for local development? Please provide examples.
3. How can civil society and cities work together to combat xenophobia, violence and ensure social cohesion? What good practices and lessons learned exist? Please provide examples.
4. Both cities and civil society actors tend to be side-lined from national and international policy- making pertaining to migration and refugee protection, despite the fact that such policies often have an impact at the local level. This can be due to a lack of support, voice and consultation at national level, as well as a lack competencies, means and/or political will. What obstacles to collaboration have you encountered through your work? How can cities and civil society work together to overcome these? Please provide examples.
5. What are the key success factors to ensuring a trusting and functional multi-stakeholder partnership among civil society actors and cities in their efforts to work together to harness the development potential of migration? What obstacles can hinder such partnerships? How can these be overcome? Please provide examples.
6. These past few years, we have numerous incidences of countries experiencing conflict or natural disasters where migrants living, working, studying, traveling or transiting in these countries have been disproportionately affected. What is the role of civil society in preparing for and responding to the needs of migrants in countries experiencing crises? Give examples of how civil society helped in saving lives, protecting migrants’ rights and dignity and alleviating their suffering especially at the height of these crises.
Thank you and please do not hesitate to share and encourage your colleagues, contacts and networks to also contribute.