After several years of work, the World Summit of Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in New York on 25 to 27 September 2015, resulted in the adoption of the Declaration on Sustainable Development: “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The Declaration is based on the principle of “leaving no one behind” and officially entered into force on January 1st 2016.
The Agenda established a set of 17 objectives (Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs) with 169 associated universally applicable targets for the next 15 years. Although the SDGs are not legally binding, governments are expected to adopt them and establish national frameworks to ensure reaching the 17 objectives.
IOM Director, William Lacy Swing, highlighted the commitment of the organization to this agenda, as well as the importance of including migration and human mobility in the SDGs during his statement at the WSSD. He furthermore underlined our commitment to support governments in their task of “ensuring the achievement of the migration objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for a dignified and humane migration”.
In addition, ambassador Swing noted the significance of recognizing that well-managed migration is a force which promotes development, and that migrants play an active/crucial role in the achievement of the SDGs that should not be underestimated: “we cannot leave migrants behind”. Likewise, he emphasized that IOM will help in developing the capacities of governments and implementing strategies to create migration policies that lead to achieving the SDGs. As the international community is monitoring the new Agenda, IOM, by virtue of its position, is willing/eager/looking forward to supporting member states in producing information on migration.
Peter Sutherland, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), noted that the 2030 Agenda is based on an inclusive principle for migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons. As a matter of fact, the declaration accompanying SDGs states that:
“We are going to cooperate internationally to achieve safe, orderly and regular migration, this implies the full respect of human rights and the humane treatment of migrants, refugees and displaced persons, regardless their migratory status”.
Migration is relevant to all SDGs, but six of them include targets directly related to migration and migrants:
Objective 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
Target 4.b. By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries.
Objective 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Target 5.2. Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
Objective 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
Target 8.7. Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labor in all its forms.
Target 8.8. Protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
Objective 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Target 10.7. Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.
Target 10.c. By 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent.
Objective 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.
Target 16.2. End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
Objective 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Target 17.18. By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.
The 2030 Agenda is an opportunity to properly manage migration. It looks at migration from the perspective of sustainable development and highlights the positive role that migrant play within the processes of the Agenda. . Additionally, it represents the opportunity to address the structural causes of forced displacements through the creation of more favorable conditions in the countries of origin.
The implementation of the 2030 Agenda will be a crucial tool in helping the international community to generate learning processes and experiences to ensure the alignment of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), which will be adopted in 2018, with migrant protection rights. Lastly, the Agenda will facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration and reduce the frequency and impact of irregular migration.
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