ILO Statement to the 47th Commission on Population and Development

Global cooperation is crucial for protecting rights and improving migration governance

The Global Migration Group stands ready to support Member States in the development of standards, policies and programmes for maximizing the development benefits of migration.

Statement | 11 April 2014
Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished delegates,

The Global Migration Group (GMG), represented here by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as Chair, welcomes the opportunity to take the floor on behalf of its 16 member entities.

The rights-based approach to international migration, adopted in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), was a landmark in the treatment of migrants and migration in international fora. In the 20 years since Cairo, the demographic and development landscapes have changed significantly. International migration continues to increase in size, scope and complexity. The benefits of migration are more widely shared. However, the need to address migration challenges in a comprehensive manner has also become more apparent. The Declaration of the 2013 High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development represents an important commitment by the international community to improve migration governance, which can enhance development outcomes for all countries concerned as well as the development and human rights of migrants and their families.

Today, migration is at the centre of policy agendas and debates around the world. Increasing human mobility within and across regions is intertwined with other demographic trends that include population ageing in many parts of the world, and youthful and growing populations in many of the poorest countries. As of 2013, there were 232 million international migrants worldwide. Half of these were women, with an increasing number migrating as the principal or single wage earners of their families.

The linkages of migration with the development agenda, including poverty eradication, employment and decent work for all, promotion of equality within and between countries, gender equality and women’s empowerment, health and population dynamics, and education, are real and significant.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The follow-up to the ICPD Programme of Action and the post-2015 development agenda, present important opportunities to integrate migration into global, regional and national development planning. The GMG is working together with a range of partners to support the Open Working Group in considering possible targets on migrants and migration.

The GMG is also engaged with activities in follow-up to the 2013 High-level Dialogue. Here, our work is guided by the eight-point agenda for action of the Secretary-General. These include protecting the human rights of all migrants; reducing the costs of labour migration; eliminating migrant exploitation, including human trafficking; addressing the plight of stranded migrants; improving public perceptions of migrants; strengthening the migration evidence base; and enhancing migration partnerships and cooperation.

We expect migration to continue as an important reality of the 21st century. Multi-stakeholder cooperation at all levels to ensure regular, safe and fair migration, while upholding the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status is crucial to a human rights-based, inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. The GMG looks forward to continuing to support Member States in the development of standards, policies and programmes, and good practice guidance for maximizing the development benefits of migration.

Thank you.