Work is underway on a second barrier at the Hungarian-Serbian border to keep out migrants. Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency
The so-called “migration crisis” is policy-driven. Migration itself is a natural part of human existence ; it is neither a crime nor a problem, and it has the potential to be a remedy for many social ills. The collective response to date of placing restrictions on mobility is part of the problem, not of the solution…
With this in mind, I propose two axes of solutions to human mobility and eight goals to aim for.
The first axis consists in developing refugee settlement programs to serve more refugees than the current 1 percent. Private sponsorship of refugees should be included in these programs, because it progressively builds a constituency of nationals who are in favor of welcoming refugees.
The second axis consists in recognizing real labor needs and opening up considerably more visa opportunities or visa-free travel programs for migrant workers at all skill levels. With appropriate selection and organization, the numbers would be entirely manageable…
A 2035 agenda for facilitating human mobility would translate the existing 2030 agenda for sustainable development into “bite-sized” and achievable goals, targets and indicators. I suggest the following goals :
Goal 1. Offer regular, safe, accessible and affordable mobility solutions to all migrants, regardless of status or skill level.
Goal 2. Protect the labor and human rights of all migrant workers, regardless of status and circumstances.
Goal 3. Ensure respect for human rights at border controls, including return, readmission and post-return monitoring, and establish accountability mechanisms.
Goal 4. End the use of detention as a border-management and deterrence tool against migrants.
Goal 5. Provide effective access to justice for all migrants.
Goal 6. Ensure easy access for all migrants to basic services, including education and health.
Goal 7. Protect all migrants from all forms of discrimination and violence, including racism, xenophobia, sexual and gender-based violence and hate speech.
Goal 8. Increase the collection and analysis of disaggregated data on migration and mobility.
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