ECOWAS COMMON APPROACH ON MIGRATION - The current and future policy framework of ECOWAS

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1 ECOWAS COMMON APPROACH ON MIGRATION - The current and future policy framework of ECOWAS ABIDJAN, COTE D IVOIRE, 13TH MAY, 2014 Mr. Tony Luka Elumelu, Principal Program Officer Migration

2 Objective of the Presentation Present the current applicable policy framework for Migration, Mobility, Employment and Higher Education within ECOWAS; discuss various challenges in its implementation and sketch out our ideas to address these challenges to foster the regional development and integration process.

3 Current Policy Framework ECOWAS Free Movement Protocols Rights of entry, residence and establishment ECOWAS Common Approach to Migration Specific provisions included for Mobility, Employment and Higher Education

4 ECOWAS Common Approach on Migration The road to the ECOWAS Common Approach Change of paradigm Migration has raised in the global political agenda (Global Commission on International Migration, UN High Level Dialogue on Migration, Rabat-Process etc.) Migration Management is key to the regional integration and development process Need for a coherent and comprehensive view of Migration within the ECOWAS Region

5 Actions to promote Free Movement within the ECOWAS space Implementation of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and Establishment Making the regional fund to finance cross-border cooperation operational Defining a regional territorial planning strategy Actions to promote the management of regular migration Implementation of pilot experiments at the national and regional levels Measures concerning students and young professionals Measures concerning Diaspora

6 Measures concerning students and young professionals Facilitate West African students access to universities, institutes and African, North American European, Asian and other professional institutes ; Facilitate students return to their country of origin at the end of their studies ; Conclude young professional exchange agreements in order to improve their linguistic and professional knowledge and acquire salaries work experience in another country; Broaden the range of university and technical courses offered, taking into account the labour market needs (public and private) ; Create or strengthen entrepreneurship training and excellence centres and business development support structures.

7 Actions for Policy Harmonisation Setting up a system for monitoring migration and migration policies Harmonizing policies related to migration and development Actions for controlling irregular migration and human trafficking particularly of women and children Fight against irregular migrations and human trafficking Strengthening the dialogue framework between ECOWAS, host countries and transit countries Strengthening Migration Management capacities Strengthening the protection and assistance system for victims of human trafficking

8 Actions to protect the rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees 1) Protection of the rights of migrants Formulate an active integration policy for migrants from ECOWAS Member States and combat exclusion and xenophobia Encourage Member States and their EU partners to ratify the UN Convention on the rights on migrants Put in place regional mechanism to monitor the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrants 2) Protection of asylum seekers and refugees Put in place mechanisms for granting rights of residence and establishment to refugees from ECOWAS countries

9 Actions aiming to take into account the Gender and Migration dimension Include gender dimensions in migration policies ; Establish and strengthen support institutions for entrepreneurship training for female migrants ; Remove all illegal trade barriers which stifle the entrepreneurships potential of women when they migrate.

10 Challenges to the implementation of the Common Approach Lack of strategic vision; Lack of comprehensiveness in the action plans; Lack of coordination and cooperation mechanisms for its implementation etc. No monitoring and evaluation machanisms No available funds

11 ECOWAS Regional Migration Policy Aims of this Initiative Free movement of persons is a pinnacle element for the regional integration and development process Enhancing the benefits of migration while combating its negative impacts is crucial for the achievement of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 Bringing the ECOWAS Community to next level of migration governance by formulating a regional migration policy

12 Objectives Enhance the regional integration and development process in West Africa as well as the achievement of the ECOWAS Vision 2020; Provide all stakeholders a common policy framework on migration; Enhance the possibilities for coherent policy development at the national level by agreeing on a joint regional framework; Allow the ECOWAS Commission and other stakeholders to strategically enhance its capacities based on the objectives formulated in the policy framework; Clarify the specific roles of regional and national stakeholders; Facilitate the dialogue with and coordination of donors through the presence of clearly formulated objectives in the framework; Enhance the exchange with other Regional Economic Communities as well as directly with the African Union.

13 Visualization of ECOWAS Migration Policy Structure Long-Term Policy Framework: Policy area strategies and action plans *: * one strategy in each area: Free Movement / Regular Migration / Irregular Migration / Migration and Development / Protection / Gender and Migration / Climate Change and Migration

14 Long Term Policy Framework Conceptual basis of ECOWAS Migration Policy Long-term vision for ECOWAS File rouge Policy Area Strategies and Action Plans Free Movement Regular Migration Irregular Migration Migration and Development / Coherence Protection Gender and Migration Climate Change / Migration and Health

15 10th European Development Fund EUR 26m for the sub-region Starting end of 2012 / early 2013 Three Components of Capacity Building for the ECOWAS Commission, ECOWAS Member States (similar to MIEUX) and ECOWAS Civil Society Institutionalizing MIDWA as Platform for Dialogue Conference in Summer to adopt framework Platform for dialogue, exchange, coordination, planning etc.

16 Possible areas of enhanced cooperation and capacities Strengthen capacities to collect and manage data Promote knowledge on the Free Movement Protocols Counter false pretext that Free Movement hinders better control of crossborder organized crime and Reduce cases of harassments at borders Strengthen cooperation of involved stakeholders Establish working networks to share data and information and facilitate assistance Strengthen human security in the sub-region Enhancing human and economic development will reduce the pressure of migrating out of necessity and not out of choice Better secured documents and civil registries Access to affordable and secured documents based on a reliable civil registry

17 Increase border management capacities More adequate border management equipment, Training and capacity building Strengthen cooperation of relevant agencies throughout the continent and between Africa and Europe (f.ex through frequent exchange of operatives between European and African States) Enhance cooperation and exchange of information in the field of transnational organized crimes (Human trafficking, trafficking of drugs and weapons) Address the issue of climate change and forced migration Increased support to protect migrants in emergency situations such as the Libya or Mali crises Joint efforts to enhance the cooperation with the private sector

18 THANK YOU! MERCI! OBRIGADO!

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