Human Mobility Programme
“In order to identify areas in which international cooperation is needed, global migration governance needs to have a knowledge capacity that can engage analytically with developments in migration in terms of both the issue, and its wider political and institutional context. However, at the moment none of the major institutions working on migration have significant capacity in this area.”
In A. Betts, Global Migration Governance (Oxford U., January 2011)
Global human mobility, or international migration, though not a new phenomenon per se has garnered greater political attention since the mid-1980s. This is due to a combination of factors including: the rising (absolute) numbers of migrants, the context in which they integrate in destination countries, the greater evidence of "mixed" migration flows, the circularity of flows and their connection with other transnational movements, and the recognition of the development potential that migrants bring both in destination and origin countries.
HUMAN MOBILITY PROGRAMME
UNITAR actively supports governments and other migration stakeholders in the field of global human mobility since the late 1990s, spearheading the International Migration Policy Programme (IMP) (1998 to 2003), and acting in the Secretariat of the Global Commission on International Migration (2004-2005). Member of the Global Migration Group (GMG) since 2007, UNITAR is widely credited for having led the Group's revitalization during its chairmanship in 2009.
Building on this leadership role in coordinating dialogue and training on international migration, in the field and within the United Nations, UNITAR established its Human Mobility Programme (HMP) in November 2011.
HMP’s role is to coordinate, develop, update and deliver capacity development activities through on-line and face to face instruction to government officials at national, regional and municipal levels.
HMP activities focus on the following three areas:
In 1950, 309 million people in the developing world lived in cities; by 2030, 3.9 billion will. As migration policy permeates governance considerations in all countries, so too has the increased recognition of the fundamental role played by local and regional authorities in responding to the key migration challenges: integration (“social cohesion”); reintegration; access to basic services; education; health; mobilizing diaspora groups; etc.
UNITAR’s Learning Platform on Human Mobility
In 2012, UNITAR and the Government of Flanders partnered to develop the first global platform dedicated to training local and regional authorities on migration and human mobility through a blended learning approach. The Learning Platform on Human Mobility is dedicated to providing capacity development on all aspects of mobility, designed specifically for local and regional authorities.
In drawing from the expertise of community leaders, academics, civil society representatives, policy makers and international organization experts, the Learning Platform borrows from methodologies employed by UNITAR’s Decentralized Cooperation Programme, which has been working with local authorities building sustainable urban growth since 2002. One such methodology, known as “CityShare” relies on the one hand, on effective exchange by capitalizing on areas of complementarity amongst participants and buttressed by professional facilitation, and on the other, on active operational (institutional) support and follow-up in the context of twinning projects.
A first Expert Meeting to validate the orientation of the Platform and its course curriculum (2012-2015) took place in Antwerp on 9-10 July 2012. (The outcome document of the Expert Meeting, PDF, 118.5 KB)
The Learning Platform covers:
• Social cohesion & adapting to change
The first LPHM Course took place in April 2013 (virtual segment) followed by the face2face segment in Antwerp on 15 – 16 May 2013. It focused on “Addressing public perceptions of migrants, mastering communication strategies and partnering with the media,” and was facilitated by an international team of senior professionals: Prof. Dr. Han B. Entzinger, Professor of Migration and Integration Studies at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam; Ms. Amy Selwyn, Managing Director at Storytegic; Dr. Colleen Thouez of the School of International Service (American University) and UNITAR; and Ms. Anna Platonova, Migration and Development Specialist at IOM. Participants representing regional, municipal and local governments and media will attended from: Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium; Plock, Mazovia, Poland; Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; and Diourbel, Senegal. (The Action Items and Summary of the Course, PDF, 239 KB)
On 21-22 October 2013, the LPHM organized an Expert Meeting on “Understanding the Underlying Philosophies and Psychological Causes of Extremism” together with the Government of Flanders and the City of Antwerp. Government officials, law enforcement officials, experts on the Internet and its usages, community leaders, and academics gathered to discuss the challenges that municipalities face with respect to radicalization. The Meeting drew out a number of practical suggestions directed towards local government. (The Highlights of the Meeting).
The following LPHM Event taking place in 2013 is:
- Course on "Fostering Economic Development and Migrant Entrepreneurship", 3-4 December, Brussels
The Learning Platform on Human Mobility also unfolds at a time when the City of Antwerp inaugurates the historically significant Red Star Line Museum on 28 September 2013.
Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development
On 4 October 2013, the Mayor of Barcelona, Mr. Xavier Trias i Vidal de Llobatera, announced that his city will launch the first Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development in 2014. This Mayoral Forum will provide an excellent high-level complement to the LPHM's work. In gathering 20-30 mayors from around the world, the Forum will serve to: catalyse policy leaders in cities and regions around the key challenges and opportunities of mobility and development; shape a vision for what is required to carry a “mobility and development” agenda forward for cities and regions; and channel global visibility on the role played by sub-national government in this field.
The Mayor of Barcelona made the announcement during a side-event entitled On Local Government: Taking the Migration and Development Agenda Forward, which took place at the United Nation Headquarters in New York during the UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. This meeting was the first convening of Local Governments on the subject of Migration and Development at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Cities of Athens, Barcelona, Cuenca and New York gathered to provide concrete examples of how their cities are responding to the challenges of migration and illustrated the central role played by Local Government.
The side-event was a joint effort by UNITAR, the World Bank’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), and the Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), which is administered by UNDP and implemented in partnership with IOM, ILO, UN Women, UNHCR and UNFPA, in addition to the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration. (The outcome document of the side-event)
Working through UNITAR’s CIFAL Network
Moreover, UNITAR is working through its well established global network of local training centres (CIFAL) to incorporate migration training for municipal and regional governmental authorities. The CIFAL Centres is a network of training facilities delivering capacity development to municipal and regional authorities on all aspects of “access to basic services” and global challenges met through local governance solutions.
In 2008 in Atlanta (United States), at a meeting gathering all 11 CIFAL Centres, the majority identified migration issues as a priority for the years to come. Mayors of many of cities in which CIFAL Centres are housed, and who act as formal governing representatives of their respective centre, have also placed emphasis on the need to provide capacity development to support local authorities in this field.
In that context, UNITAR and the CIFAL Centre located in Jeju, South Korea, have organized through 2012 a series of workshops on combatting human trafficking for local and regional authorities in South Asia. Most countries in the region have developed National Action Plans to counter human trafficking; but taking this fight from concepts to action is where UNITAR is focusing its attention.
Funded by the Korea International Development Agency (KOICA), the intensive 2-week June workshop incorporated one week of learning from top experts on human security, prevention, protection and prosecution strategies, and on the US State Department TIP Report, in addition to a week-long study visit, such as to the Demilitarized Zone, and active peer-to-peer learning. Read More.
A prior workshop in March 2012 for the same target beneficiaries focused on protection issues. Immediate results included:
- Networking with a purpose: A woman working with a Philippino NGO acquiring answers to the case of a trafficked boy likely to also be a refugee, when she was put in touch during the training with UNHCR and IOM staff who could help.
- Building a base of collaborators: A mayor of a town in India friended fellow participants on Facebook almost immediately following the meeting, stating during the training, that she felt supported and less isolated in her plight to counter human trafficking in her city.
- Providing an opportunity to seek emotional strength: An Indonesian participant broke down and was consoled by her peers, as she described the death of a young victim of trafficking who had contracted HIV/AIDS.
- Articulating needs and developing spin-off trainings: A Pakistani jurist requested CIFAL Jeju to organize trainings on trafficking for paralegals to address the misconceptions and errors in the judiciary process when prosecuting traffickers.
- Proving global knowledge and inputs: As the UN convened a special panel in the General Assembly on human trafficking weeks after the workshop (on 3 April 2012), participants were given access to information to follow international debates on the topic and to stay connected with trends outside their region.
The training courses delivered through the CIFAL Centres will also work where relevant with regional training centres, such as IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Moshi, Tanzania, IOM Centre for Migration Research and Training in South Korea, and the ACP Observatory on Migration in Brussels, Belgium.
At United Nations Headquarters, in New York, UNITAR hosted the Migration and Development Seminar Series (2006-2012). Since the first General Assembly High Level Dialogue (HLD) on Migration and Development in 2006, the Series served to inform, educate and advance policy thinking and dialogue on migration-related topics among New York’s diplomatic community. It built a repository of knowledge relevant to the themes of the second HLD in October 2013, and supported the work of the inter-governmental Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) process. The Series, a central meeting place for hundreds of policy makers, practitioners, academics and members of civil society annually at UN Headquarters, was organized with IOM and UNFPA, with the support of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Regionalizing such dialogues supports overarching trends towards a greater investment by regional financial institutions and regional organizations in this field. On demand, UNITAR’s Human Mobility Programme will seek to expand to other key locations including regional commissions, working closely within the Global Migration Group (GMG) context, and regional migration cooperation mechanisms, notably regional consultative processes (RCPs) and inter-regional fora (IRFs).
UNITAR is building a comprehensive catalogue of e-Learning courses on migration & mobility to supplement UNITAR’s e-Learning catalogue, one of the most diverse and accessible e-learning outlets offered by the UN. UNITAR’s migration courses will incorporate the highly successful approach adopted by the annual “International Migration Law” course implemented for 250 delegates at the UN since 2007.
In addition, UNITAR will pursue its implementation of the “Delivering as One” Initiative in the area of capacity development on migration. The Institute has been exploring the establishment of a two-way interactive platform for the GMG partners to meet training requests and to offer training services. This platform would be modeled on the UN CC:Learn platform hosted by UNITAR and membered by 22 agencies, which supports country-driven climate change learning.
UNITAR acts as focal point on capacity development within the Global Migration Group (GMG) with IOM and within the World Bank’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD). UNITAR plays a central role in coordinating the inventory of training activities, and in spearheading reflective work on changes in adult education and their impact on capacity development activities in the field of migration and development.
On 15 November, UNITAR initiated the first discussion between migration practitioners and researchers, and experts in learning from American University and New York University at IOM Offices. This first workshop in a series funded by the World Bank, served to foster a better understanding of how to educate adult learners in the 21st Century. The Workshop focused on: forms of knowledge, pedagogical tools, strengthened needs assessments, and technology-enhanced learning.
A second workshop will take place in Geneva in early March 2014. It is open to KNOMAD and GMG constituents, interested government representatives, and pre-selected training experts. (The Programme and Information Note of the Worskhop)
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