Development, in the context of migration, has been thought of in the past only as the contribution of remittances (money sent to families at home). This is effective aid to the country from which the migrants come. There has also been a focus on national levels of governments to find the best way to “manage” legal migration and curb “irregular” (undocumented) migration and human trafficking. Increasingly, there has been more consideration given to the contributions of migrants, both in countries of origin and in countries of destination. 

Civil Society, “non-governmental organizations”, have pushed hard to widen the discourse in two other areas: 1) protection of the human rights of migrant workers and 2) above all, attention to people-centered development, particularly in the country of origin so that people have a choice “not to migrate”. People-centered development includes providing education, adequate income and decent work, which ensures people’s wellbeing. The NGO Committee on Migration is working with the President of the General Assembly’s Office to include these and other practical considerations in the agenda of the Informal Thematic Debate on May 19 in New York.

On the two days preceding this May 19 government meeting, the Global Migration Group, led by UNICEF, is considering a civil society symposium. This will give NGOs all over the world a chance to speak about their practical experience of migration. Let us know if you might be interested in attending this symposium. 


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