The European Union, as well as other areas of the world, have been experiencing an unprecedented “migrant crisis”. This has placed tremendous pressure not only upon migration policies, but also on the fundamental values and principles of human society.
European countries and citizens, for example, have reacted to the migration crisis in different and conflicting ways, and migration has become the new political divide in Europe, influencing the outcome of electoral, political, and decision-making processes. Populist propaganda has exploited the migration crisis to the point that migrants and refugees are, by some segments of society, no longer seen as human beings in need, but are instead perceived as a generic threat to the security and identity of local communities. Consequently, they are summarily rejected.
Although a significant number of actors have been working with migrants and refugees over the years, the international community has struggled to find a common and sustainable response.
It is undeniable that the migration crisis requires immediate action to address the emergency created by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants. At the same time, this crisis should be viewed as an opportunity to develop medium and long-term strategies able to unlock the “development benefit of migration”.
Within this context, the sixth edition of the International Forum on Migration and Peace aims to contribute to the development of more durable solutions beneficial to both sending and receiving countries. Indeed, the Forum is not just another conference; it is a process directed to develop and launch concrete ideas, practices, and initiatives.
Goals and Expected Outcomes
The International Forum on Migration and Peace is an initiative of the Scalabrini International Migration Network1(SIMN) to identify effective new migration practices and policies across the world. Past editions of the Forum were held in 2009 in Antigua (Guatemala), in 2010 in Bogota (Colombia), in 2011 in Mexico City (Mexico), in 2013 in New York City (USA); and in 2014 in Berlin (Germany).
This sixth edition of the Forum seeks to identify, especially in Europe, migration policies and practices concerning two main topics: 1) integration of migrants and refugees in the hosting countries, and, 2) the role of migrants in fostering economic development in their countries of origin.
With regard to the first topic, the Forum intends to explore potential solutions based on good practices in Europe, and South and North America, such as the “decentralized reallocation” of migrants in Italy and Germany, and the resettlement practices in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
With regard to the second topic, the Forum will explore how to scale up effective practices and policies such as 1) humanitarian corridors, and 2) initiatives supporting the use of remittances and other public and private resources to facilitate investments, entrepreneurship, and job creation in the countries of origin.
To reach these ambitious goals, the Forum encourages a platform of collaboration among a wide range of actors working on different aspects of the migration phenomenon. The platform should promote common solutions and ensure innovative partnerships on migration governance.
Specific outcomes of the Forum would include:
1. Providing recommendations to European institutions and other countries to improve policies and programs on the governance of migration;
2. Fostering positive perceptions of migrants and refugees as important actors for a country’s economy, culture, and values;
3. Making available tools to support migrants and refugees to invest in their counties of origin;
4. Facilitating better collaboration among key actors working on different aspects of migration in Europe and other regions;
5. Sharing information on best practices and experiences of decentralized integration, especially in Italy and Germany, and innovative resettlement policies, especially in Canada, as well as development policies in countries of origin of migration that can be replicated in other countries.
Organizers and Partners
The Forum is organized by the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN), in partnership with the Vatican Dicastery for “Promoting Integral Human Development”.
This year, as well as in the past, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a co-organizer of the Forum.
The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, a German political foundation, promotes dialogue and brings together different opinions and perspectives in search of beneficial solutions for migration and integration at the local, national and global level.