Mainstreaming migration into development planning

The International Organisation for Migration has published Mainstreaming Migration into Development Planning A handbook for policy-makers and practitioners. You can download this here.

Migration and development in the UK

Whilst on paper there has been a growing recognition of the importance and interlink between migration and development, this has not so far translated into the policy making process- certainly not in the UK in any event.

As we previously pointed out, the UK’s labour migration system has been rated poor by the Global Development  Index.

Our  problem is that we tend to deal with migration and international development in isolation when it comes to the policy making process.

The above approach to policy making has led to the a number of anti- development practices in the immigration system.

Fixed prohibitive ‘maintenance payments’ throughout the Points Based System, the closure of the tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme to developing countries, the suspension of tier 3/lack of inclusion of ‘unskilled work’ in the shortage lists  (developing countries have a surplus of  labour that is less highly educated so this particularly hurts), the prevention of circularity through the design of the Immigration Rules (e.g. provisions on lapsing leave/residence requirements for citizenship and settlement), and the denial of internationally recognised labour rights under the Migrant Workers Convention are but a few ways in which the developmental impacts of migration are diminished in the UK.  So too is the existence of a system that does not adequately recognise the push and pull factors that influence immigration. In this respect the cap is entirely unhelpful here.

The future

We have raised these issues to policy makers in the past. Whilst there was some development under the previous Government who had in fact started to consult on development and migration (apparently we are told by a civil servant the former immigration Minister, Phil Woolas had a particular interest in the subject), this regrettably looks likely to be off limits in so far as successfully lobbying the Coalition (in a meaningful way) goes.

About jcwi

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants is a key campaigning voice in the field of immigration, asylum and nationality law and policy. It is completely independent from government funding, remaining entirely free from government influence. View all posts by jcwi

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