lanjriCOPENHAGEN, 18 December 2018 – Migrants can benefit host countries by contributing to economic growth and promoting understanding between societies, said OSCE parliamentarian Nahima Lanjri (MP, Belgium) today, marking International Migrants Day. But in order to promote the benefits of migration and ensure that it is a source of prosperity and sustainable development, it is necessary to improve migration governance, she said.

Lanjri, who chairs the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration, noted that no single country can address the migration issue alone, and in this respect, welcomed the adoption last week of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

“By definition, migration is an international issue and therefore requires an international response,” Lanjri said. “To maximize its benefits and minimize its negative effects, it is necessary to ensure effective international governance. I therefore welcome the adoption in Marrakech of the Global Compact and I look forward to working with other members of the OSCE PA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration to advance these efforts.”

She emphasized the need to treat all migrants decently, regardless of what their motivations for migrating are, and highlighted the section of the Global Compact on “Unity of Purpose,” which stresses the need to “save lives and keep migrants out of harm’s way.”

“The international response to migration should be a source of unity and co-operation rather than division,” Lanjri said. “This is the guiding principle of the OSCE PA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration and is also at the core of the UN’s landmark Global Compact. Migration works best when it is based on common understanding among all countries, whether they are countries of origin, transit or destination.”

She also welcomed the Global Compact’s focus on improving early warning mechanisms to ensure that migration is not an act of desperation and noted that it advocates a whole-of-society approach that includes parliamentarians and other relevant stakeholders in migration governance.

“An effective approach to migration management must address drivers of migration such as poverty, as well as commit to establishing pathways for regular migration in a way that facilitates labour mobility, promotes education opportunities, and protects the right to family life,” she said. “In Marrakech, the international community broadly agreed to these principles and to keep migrants out of harm’s way.”

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will meet next year in Marrakech for its 2019 Autumn Meeting.

For more on the OSCE PA's work on migration, please click here.