UN Migration Agency Welcomes UN Secretary General’s Report – Making Migration Work for All


Date Publish: 
01/12/2018

New York – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, welcomed Thursday (11/01) the release of the UN Secretary General’s report, Making Migration Work for All. The Report comes at a crucial time in the process to develop a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, and will serve as an important contribution to global discourse on international migration.

Making Migration Work for All provides a forward-looking analysis and vision, and a principled approach to thinking about contemporary challenges around migration, and how to address them,” said Michele Klein Solomon, IOM Director for the Global Compact for Migration.

Making Migration Work for All recognizes the need to address the factors that compel people to leave their homes in search of safer, better lives. Strong emphasis is rightly placed on whole of government and whole of society approaches at the local, national, regional and global levels, with genuine partnerships not only between governments but with employers, unions, civil society entities and migrants themselves, amongst others, to manage migration.  

The Report makes note of the fact that most of the world’s 258 million international migrants already move through safe, orderly and regular means, and that they bring significant benefits to their destination and origin countries.

The report notes, for example: migrants spend, on average, some 85 per cent of their earnings in their host countries, thereby not only addressing skills and labour shortages there, but also contributing directly to economic growth through consumption of goods and services locally.  Moreover, migrants remit homeward 15 per cent of their earnings – in 2017 some USD 600 billion, per World Bank estimates – to the benefit of their families and communities in sender countries which, for many, is a lifeline.  

Nonetheless, many countries today confront significant challenges surrounding migration governance.

With migration an expanding global reality, the Report brings a fresh coherence to the migration narrative. It challenges governments to put in place comprehensive national systems to manage migration, based on the rule of law.  It places rightful emphasis on the need to maximize the benefits that migration offers.

IOM particularly commends the Report’s commitment to the notion that migration should be a matter of choice, not necessity, as well as the importance it attaches to protecting the rights of all migrants. IOM shares the UN Secretary General’s concern about migrants in vulnerable situations, including those in large and mixed flows and those affected by the growing effects of environmental degradation and climate change. The emphasis of the Report on addressing irregular migration is also particularly welcome.

“The best way to end the stigma of illegality and abuse around migrants is, in fact, for governments to put in place more legal pathways for migration,” said UN SG Antonio Guterres. “This will remove incentives for individuals to break the rules, while better meeting the needs of markets for foreign labour.”

Echoing discussion during the consultations phase of the global compact process, the Report places a priority on ensuring adequate regular pathways for migrants to access labour market opportunities at all skills levels. These pathways should be based on labour market and demographic assessments in countries of destination, not only for today but for decades to come.

This is but one of the measures the Report proposes to reduce both the incidence and risks of irregular migration and informal employment of migrants.  Partnerships for skills development are one innovative proposal for addressing skills deficits in destination countries while benefiting countries of origin through training of their labour force.  Another would be cross-border ethical recruitment initiatives that are rightly identified as promising for reducing both the costs and risks to migrants. 

At the same time, Making Migration Work for All clearly recognizes that governments retain the authority to determine the conditions of entry and stay of migrants, consistent with international standards, and recognizes countries’ legitimate security concerns as well. The Report stresses that migration is not, per se, a threat and emphasizes the importance of ensuring cooperative approaches to human, state and public security, including on border management and returns. 

Importantly, the Report places the migration narrative in a positive light, putting people at its centre. Making Migration Work for All recognizes the positive contributions of migrants and migration to inclusive growth, sustainable development and reducing inequalities within and between states over the long term. 

IOM supports the call to Member States to put in place a follow-up and review mechanism for the compact to ensure continued yet flexible progress, and notes the Secretary General’s intention to look at how the UN, including IOM, can best organize itself to support Member State implementation of whatever commitments they make in the compact.

As the Report stresses, this needs to be consistent with his overall reform efforts as well as SDG follow-up and implementation. 

The UN Migration Agency looks forward to continuing to engage closely with all partners as the process to develop a global compact for migration progresses. IOM believes that the development of a global compact for migration presents an historic opportunity to improve the lives and dignity of migrants as well as the ability of governments to manage migration.

The full report can be accessed here.

For further information please contact, Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int


Empowering Communities, Strengthening Dominica’s Emergency Telecommunications Network

Date Publish: 
20 / 03 / 2019

Dominica - Eighteen months have come and gone since the worst Hurricane in Dominica’s history.  The island’s forests, reduced to piles of broken roots and bare branches, have since formed new verdant covers for their brown barks, and life flourishes where fear of death had taken over. Not only is the resurgence astonishing, it is a direct reflection of the will of the islanders.  Though the times have been challenging, they have been filled with progress, fueled by the determination of the people, steadied by their unwavering faith in the hope of better days. 

One of the major collective goals is to become a better nation, the first in the world to adopt climate smart strategies on a national scale – a grandiose undertaking seen as a necessary push to mitigate against the drawbacks of climate change.  Still, with all sectors struggling to recover from the devastation, establishing priority areas for interventions has been difficult for any one institution.  Considering, numerous cross sectoral, public-private agency initiatives have been established within the last year.  The Ministry of Information, Science, Telecommunication and Technology, along with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Resilience, Disaster Management and Urban Renewal, for one, have placed considerable emphasis on improving the national emergency telecommunications network.

When Hurricane Maria smashed into Dominica on September 18, 2017, all traditional means of communication went down; some 30 cell sites were destroyed or severely damaged, and the fiber-optic system was severed in several locations, cutting off the island from the rest of the world.  Amateur radio operators, an integral component of the emergency network, were able to communicate before, during and after the storm, and were vital in communicating with humanitarian groups and communities about the island-wide crisis.

With the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Dominica, the country has made strides to enhance the system by expanding the pool of amateur radio operators and purchasing emergency telecommunications equipment and other technology required. On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, IOM Dominica provided 31 individuals with certificates in Novice Amateur Radio Operations and handed over one of 30 radio units to the Office of Disaster Management (ODM).  The activities formed part of an emergency support project funded by The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID- OFDA).

The High Frequency Radio will allow the office to have better communication island-wide and with the rest of the world, even in the absence of traditional communication channels.  According to Cecil Shillingford, Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist who works with ODM and is the USAID representative in Dominica, “this unit will be part of the telecommunications infrastructure of the Office of Disaster Management and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).”  Along with the private telecommunication networks, the emergency communications network has been designed to exist within the purview of the EOC.

Of the 31 individuals trained in amateur radio procedures, facilitated by IOM and the Dominica Amateur Radio Club Inc (DARCI), 27 are soon to be licensed amateur radio operators.  Among them are four members of the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD). 

“IOM is proud to have advocated and supported the participation of people who are differently abled for the first time. And we are elated to have included them from the planning phase of this initiative,” IOM Project Manager, Dimitris Champesis, expressed.

“This is the beginning, and we hope that we will broaden our horizon so that we would have one trained DAPD [member] in each of the districts. So, if there is an emergency then we would be able to communicate one with another to find out what is going on,” President of the DAPD, Irma Raymond Joseph, shared.

The skills these participants now hold, “will help mitigate the void of isolation we face when we are physically cut off from the outside world,” Executive Director of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (NTRC), Craig Nesty noted.

In the last few years, there has been a rapid spike in the number of ham radio operators in Dominica. In 2017 the NTRC received 14 applications and 18 renewals for a total of 34 licensed operators. From 2018 to present, over 82 new licenses and 38 renewals were recorded.

Now that more operators have come on board, the focus has shifted on connecting the districts to the EOC in the capital, Roseau. We also want “all the communities linked into the districts and we will use all forms of communications. Of course, whatever fails, fails - but at least we will have something that will work. So, we’ll look at the old conventional telephones, we’ll look at the cell phones, in terms of 2-way radios we’ll look at VHF, UHF and also HF. We’re incorporating satellite phones into the system,” Shillingford stressed.

The basis of a successful response of a well-prepared society is, of course, its citizen. IOM is proud to have supported the collaboration between government, civil society and communities and will continue our effort as the nation strives towards improving its national emergency response system. The organization is also keen on partnering to address the orderly movement of migrants in the region and other issues highlighted by the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations.

For more information please contact Vynliz Dailey at IOM Dominica, E-mail: vdailey@iom.int