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1 Some Challenges to Policy Formulation Regarding Migrant Integration Seminar on Migrant Integration in Receiving Countries San Jose, 23-24 June, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Some Challenges to Policy Formulation Regarding Migrant Integration Seminar on Migrant Integration in Receiving Countries San Jose, 23-24 June, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Some Challenges to Policy Formulation Regarding Migrant Integration Seminar on Migrant Integration in Receiving Countries San Jose, June, 2005 Jorge Peraza-Breedy

2 2 Determining the Goals of Integration Integration policies are an essential part of a comprehensive migration management system, and they are designed to: –Allow migrants to realize their personal, economic and social potentials; –Ensure that the human rights of migrants are protected; –Reduce levels of alienation and marginalization, and thereby contribute to national development and security; –Help establish and maintain social cohesion and harmony.

3 3 In search of a model? Policy approaches by States hosting migrants have varied and evolved significantly over time. Prevailing approaches to integration have been mainly developed in the traditional countries of immigration and Western high-income countries. Integration could be promoted from different angles and perspectives depending on the context, therefore, there is no single model for best practices.

4 4 Continuum of Integration Goals Monocultural Less adjustment by society Uniform values and practices Multicultural More adjustment by society Diverse values and practices Assimilation Multiculturalism Two-way Integration

5 5 Some Variables Influencing the Definition of Integration Policies Perceptions of governments and host countries–different groups of influence among them National identity and cultural diversity Social stability and welfare of residents Socio-economic, cultural and political character of host societies Migrants characteristics and origins

6 6 Risks of Inadequate Policies Migration could be perceived as a threat when cultural differences between migrants and the host society are negatively veiled. This type of perception could develop into a climate of fear, discrimination, and potential violence between migrants and the host society.

7 7 The Role of the Country of Origin - Diaspora More than ever, the migrants’ ties to their countries of origin are promoted, mainly facilitated by new communication technologies. Members of the diaspora, particularly from the second and third generation, are expected to maintain cultural and economic (i.e. remittances) ties with their places of origin. The diaspora organizes more effectively in multicultural environments where they could practice their traditions and religion.

8 8 Measuring Integration Measuring the level of integration of migrant populations is fundamental for host countries in order to build social cohesion and determine assistance policies. The integration of migrants with legal residence and long term permanence in the country has been traditionally favored. Since integration is a process, it should be measured considering the dimension of time, which also helps determining the validity of integration policies.

9 9 Indicators to Measure the Success of Integration Policies (1/2) There is no consensus on which the most adequate indicators are. They should consider all areas of societal life, and should refer to migrants as well as to the host society. Longitudinal studies permit a clearer and more dynamic picture of the results from migration policies, particularly those concerning integration.

10 10 Indicators to Measure the Success of Integration Policies (2/2) Six basic areas are sources to measure the success of integration policies: –Language –Integration within the Education System –Social integration –Political integration –Economic integration –Residential integration

11 11 The Provisions of International Law International law contains provisions concerning a number of basic rights, which are specifically relevant to integration: Equality and recognition before the law Education Association, and to peacefully assemble Join or form trade unions Social security Take part in social and cultural life Practice their religion and language Freely choose their residence

12 12 Other Great Challenges Policy makers should consider : 1.Whether integration measures should be extended to temporary migrants; 2.Whether integration measures should include circular migrants; 3.Whether integration measures should include irregular migrants; 4.If adaptation is one-way or two-way; 5.The value of involving different stakeholders in integration processes.

13 13 Experience teaches us...(1/3) That approaches requiring only migrants to adjust to the host society are inefficient since they create tensions in the long term. That the role of governments in promoting tolerance and understanding in a diverse community is of critical importance. That migrants and the host community should have information as to available services and opportunities, even making efforts to facilitate it before migrating.

14 14 Experience teaches us...(2/3) That the media plays a major role in establishing a constructive dialogue between migrants and the host society. That the private sector, local governments and civil society organizations play a very important role in an effective integration of migrants. That for many migrants and governments, citizenship could be the main indicator of finally “belonging”.

15 15 Experience teaches us...(3/3) That international bi-/multilateral cooperation, mainly among countries of origin and destination, can foster and improve integration among migrants -for example, coordinating policies that would help sharing the benefits and burdens of migration. That migrants are more eager to actively participate in the host country if they can keep elements from their own identity.

16 16 Conclusions At a time of increasing resistance to migration by some host countries, effective socio-economic policies are required to integrate migrants in host communities, even temporarily, in order to foster their maximum productivity. These measures have a cost but they can guarantee social cohesion within cultural diversity and allow migrants to be productive, not only for themselves, but also for host communities and communities of origin. World Migration Report 2005, IOM


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