From Evidence to Action – Facilitating South-South Labour Migration for Development


The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of Switzerland are convening a two-day thematic meeting entitled “From Evidence to Action: Facilitating South–South Labour Migration for Development”. The meeting, which will gather senior government experts from various regions of world as well as representatives of Civil Society Organisations, Labour Unions, Employer Associations and International Organisations, will be organized in Abuja, Nigeria.

South-South migration remains in many regions of the world the most important form of human mobility. The search for better economic prospects is often the main driving force behind these migratory movements. Although some regional free movement frameworks exist in the Global South – such as within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – setting the legal basis including for labour mobility, these movements remain in many cases irregular resulting in a lack of protection of the rights of these migrants; an important number of them being unaccompanied minors.

This thematic meeting will address the issue of facilitating labour migration for development from various angles and provide an opportunity for the exchange of information and experience in order to promote the cross-fertilisation of ideas. It will serve to promote trust building between states, create and maintain expert-level networks and set the basis for harmonizing positions across regions. Furthermore the sessions will ensure a better grasp of the complexity of the issue at stake and guide the participants through possible practical approaches on how to translate theoretical evidence into coherent policies in various relevant sectors such as migration, labour market, social security, development etc. Finally the meeting will also discuss the roles of relevant implementing partners from various Civil Society and International Organizations to Unions and Employers Associations.

The objective of the thematic meeting can be divided into two interlinked parts. Firstly, the participants will be discussing the challenges and opportunities of legal labour mobility for development from a theoretical point of view and secondly, they will be guided through possible practical approaches on how to translate theoretical evidence into coherent policies and subsequent implementation as well as identify potential partners in this process.

In other words it will:

Analyse the impact of enhanced south – south labour migration on the development process within sub-regions such as ECOWAS and CARICOM;
Highlight areas of particular importance to be taken into consideration when formulating instruments and policies to facilitate labour migration and lower the costs of migration, such as the specific needs of domestic workers, the social consequences for families, social security protection of workers etc;
Discuss the need to formulate a coherent and evidence-based migration policy reflecting international standards and regional requirements to manage, facilitate and lower the costs of south – south labour migration;
Introduce tools to support evidence-based policy development processes such as Migration Profiles as well as guidelines to ensure cross-sectoral policy coherence, in particular between labour migration and development policies including Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, such as the recently published handbook on “Mainstreaming migration into development planning”;
Discuss the role of national, regional and international stakeholders – including non-governmental entities such as Civil Society Organisations and the private sector – to coordinate activities, create synergies and successfully implement policies to facilitate south – south labour migration for development

from GFMD

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