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Types of Global Migration Governance

2.1         Overview on Global Migration Governance

Globalization is made manifest by the rapid increase in international migration and this can be seen from the high rate of human mobility that occurs across international borders due to the growth in trans-boundary interconnections. Migration has economic, political and social implications and as a result of these, states have politicized the issue thus gaining a lot of relevance at the international level. The governance of migration has become a source of great concern to states and non-state actors who are looking for means of exploiting the benefits as well as lessening the cost of mobility (Betts A. , Global Migration Governance, 2011). States have developed an institutional framework for cooperation in policy areas that involve trans-boundary movements across borders such as; international trade, climate change and communicable diseases primarily through the United Nations (UN) framework. States are cooperating and developing a range of international agreements so as to properly handle these other trans-boundary issues. This is necessitated by the fact that cooperation and collective action are much more efficient in meeting states interests other than inter-state rivalry and unilateralism.
There is no coherent or formal multilateral framework that is regulating the responses of states to international migration despite the interdependence of states migration policies and the trans-boundary nature of international migration.

2.2         Types of Migration

The 3 main categories of immigration can be elaborated under (Immigration Law, n.d.), (Stark & Taylor, 1991) ;

  • Family-Based Migration: Lawfully abiding citizen can request lawfully for his/her relation to immigrate to them. There are a lot of determining factor including level of at which that person is related to you and the level of financial burden on the applicant or the state. The law guiding this various per country.
  • Labour Employment-Based Migration: This aspect of immigration has been changed rapidly though time and highly influenced by globalisation. Labour and workforce is needed across borders, skilled and unskilled individuals moves based on the demand and personal desires. Due to this, various approaches and institutions has been set up to handle immigration based on the labour market and its demand.
  • Humanitarian Migration: All type of immigration becoming due to natural disaster, human displacement, war, political problems are factored into this.

It is important note that there are several subcategories of immigration under those listed above.

2.3         Approach to Types of Immigration

There are different ways in which states’ responds to different categories of migration and there are also. There is distinction between the institutions that responds to skilled labour migration and those which responds to smuggling and human trafficking (Geddes, 2005). There is a complex range of regional, inter- regional, multilateral and bilateral agreements in each category of migration with different levels of governance based on the level of importance of some categories over others. An example is highly skilled labour migration which is predominantly dominated through bilateral governance, while refugee protection which is regulated through multilateral governance and diaspora relations are regulated through extra- territorial scopes of individual states’ policies. Regulation in different areas matters to a lesser or greater extent in different categories of migration. For example, in labour migration, International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions on labour right, while global governance of climate change in the case of environmental migration and also, in the case of refugee protection and internally displaced persons (IDP), human right law matters. More so, different actors matters on different degree in different areas of migration. The relevance of private sector actors, international organizations and non-governmental organizations vary.
Mapping out the institutional land scape of global migration governance is a complex and important but challenging task. One of the objectives of this project work is to provide a comprehensive overview of global migration governance. This is important because the way in which migration is govern globally has direct consequences over the push and pull factors that influences international migration as well as other factors such as the politics of migration. The governance of migration has implications for both non-migratory and migrants communities. The regulatory framework by which states determine their migration policies matters affects communities and individuals’ access to security, human development and human rights.
There is a wider implication for understanding global governance because there has to be a proper identification and understanding of the institution which regulates the states’ responses to international migration. Different types of global governance exist beyond formal and inclusive multilateralism which the post- Second World War characterizes. It highlights a situation where institutional proliferation is creating a complex and multi-level of contested and diverse institutions. Plurilateralism(Christina , 2011)in which institutions with divergent degrees of exclusivity and inclusivity coexist is rapidly becoming the norm in issue-areas and there is an emerging case study which global migration governance offers with which international politics is explored within the context of compacted framework of parallel, nested and overlapping institutions.

2.4         The Principle levels at which Global Migration Governance exists

In order to have a good understanding of the existing types of global governance of migration, there is a need to outline the institutional framework which regulates the responses of states’ to different international migration areas. This section provides an overview of global migration governance institutions. So as to make sense of global migration governance, it is useful to conceptually identify the different levels at which global migration governance exist. It is a worthy of note that there is limited or no global migration governance. The suggestion that global migration governance within a UN and formal multilateral context remains limited; it is not a basis to claim that there is no global migration governance.
Global migration governance can be conceived to exist at three principal levels; Multilateralism, Embeddedness and Trans-regionalism.

2.4.1        Multilateralism

There is no explicit migration regime or United Nations Migration Organization (Ghosh B. , 2000).  Binding Multilateral treaties are rare when it comes to migration (Newland, The Governance of International Migration: Mechanism, Processes, and Institutions, 2010). Formal multilateral cooperation on migration has limitations; however, the issue area does not have elements of thin multilateralism. There are two levels that exist. Firstly, there is the existence of a basic multilateral framework that regulates states’ behaviour to international travel, refugee and labour migration which derives its origin from the inter-war year period. Secondly, there exist an emerging form of facilitative multilateralism which is more recent and does not aspire to create a formal multilateral structure but to enhance states to participate in information sharing and dialogue as a means through which bilateral cooperation is principally developed. Global Governance of migration has three broad mobility regimes as elaborated by Koslowski; International Travel, the Refugee and Labour migration regimes (Koslowski, 2004). Koslowski has the opinion that the Refugee has the most developed form of multilateralism, Labour Migration has the least form of multilateralism while International Travel is somewhere in between them. Each of these regimes however does provide in many ways a layer of multilateral global migration governance based primarily on cooperation that was developed originally in the inter-war year period. There exist overseeing international organizations and interstate agreement in either case.
To examine firstly, the international travel regime has a developed standard that is common for visas and passports. The cooperation that exist on technical standards in relation to the security of travel documents has become more complex. Standard setting at the multilateral level has emerged to become an increasing and important role played by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Secondly, the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the global Refugee regime based on the 1951 convention of the Status of Refugees can be argued to be the strongest formalized cooperation on migration (Loescher, 2001). This is the only area of migration that has a United Nation’s specialized agency with an almost universally ratified treaty that restricts the admission policies of sovereign states’.
Thirdly, the Labour migration regime is governed by some range of labour standards which were developed through ILO treaties. The ILO had been engaged in numerous conventions which relates to labour rights since its creation in 1919, which set out certain principles and standard on how states can treat labour, with the inclusion migrant labour. The 1998 ILO labour conference adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles of Rights at Work. Thus consolidating most of the previous ILO conventions. In the year 2005, the ILO came up with the ILO Multilateral framework on Labour Migration which ensures migrants access to rights as a non-binding framework. More so, there was an in-house unit in the organization which focuses on migration and it is called ‘MIGRANT’. The formal treaty framework on migrant workers right still has limitations, and is being confined to the 1990 UN Convention on All Migrants Workers and Their Families which has limited the ratifications coming from migrant-receiving states. The fact worthy of note from all these three areas is that despite their evolution and development over time, the formal multilateral cooperation has origin from the inter-war years.
The most prolific era of the ILO is The Second World War when it comes to the largest and most influential international organizations. The Passport was established before the Second World War era and reinforces most of the notion if not all of a Travel regime. The Inter-War Years and the League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (LNHCR) has its origin from the Refugee regime. These long standing agreements have not only built new multilateral cooperation but also have adapted conservatively in numerous ways. Influential states rarely sought to delegate additional authority in migration areas to a binding multilateral framework in the three global mobility regimes. A different approach and a new way of Facilitative multilateralism has emerged which adds to the formal multilateral agreement that are overseen by the normative international organizations. Certain aspects of the work done by IOM and through the role of the GFMD are among the forums worthy of note for Facilitative Multilateralism. There was no significant attempt in either case in developing multilateral norms on migration which are binding. However, in order to enable states to predominantly develop bilateral forms of cooperation, they both play roles at the multilateral level.
The IOM although being created in 1950s, has rapidly grown in the 1990s from a small members’ organization for states that is migrant-receiving to an international migration organization that is arguably one of the most prominent in its field. It does not however have a fully inclusive membership neither is it a United Nations agency. It does not have normative basis in the form of either a regime in the way most UN organizations does neither does it have a clear mandate for its work. It basically serves as a service provider to states, so as to work on specific projects in accordance to the priorities and demands of the donor states. The IOM’s operation in many ways is similar to that of a private firm than that of an international organization. It has its own a very normative vision aside from meeting its own institutional aims and objectives and service provision to meet states interest. The IOM (IOM, 2017) has however conducted itself in a manner similar to that of a typical international organization in areas of attempting to facilitate bilateral cooperation on migration, through the enabling the Northern donors in funding specific capacity-building projects in Southern states.
The GFMD (GFMD, n.d.) is however now the most prominent and visible forum for inter-state dialogue on migration, although it just began in the year 2007. The GFMD inaugural meeting was held in Brussels in the year 2007 with the participation of 156 states and had consecutively in 2008 met in Manila, Athens in 2009 and Mexico in 2010. Even though it is formally outside the United Nations system, it is related through the forum to the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Development, who is prominently responsible for the promotion of the forum. Migration is however not the main focus of its work but rather, ‘Migration and Development’, attending to issues which relates to circular migration, brain drain, remittances and the relationship pertaining to development and migrants rights. The resolution of formal inter-state agreements is however not the main intent of the forum but the facilitation of information-sharing dialogue. The dialogue is conducted behind closed doors and there is no permanent secretariat for the forum but instead, it is being run by present, past and current host states with the support of ‘Light Support Structure’ of the IOM. The purpose of the GFMD is however not to develop multilateral cooperation but to enable states with like-minds.

2.4.2        Embeddedness

Even though there is a lot of limitation in formal multilateralism when it comes to the area of migration, there is however no limitation in global migration governance. Global governance of migration is not explicitly called ‘Migration’ but more so regulates the behaviour of states in relation to migration. In issue-areas such as security, trade and human rights, global governance predates the Post-Cold War international focus on migration. As an alternative to arriving on the international blank slate, international migration debate is held against the back drop of pre-existing structure of global governance which are extensive and have emerged from the Second World War.
With the emergence of UN based multilateral framework in 1945, new issues and problems in contract aroused at the international level which are subjected to the politics and regulations of a solid framework of pre-existing institutions. Though these pre-existing institutional frameworks may not be labelled as covering ‘Migration’, migration is however often regulated by these institutions.
The concept of embeddedness in anthropology is widely used in order to refer to a scenario in which an area of social life is non-existent as an identifiable and compartmentalized area but however, a vital part of the larger social system. Arguments have been made by numerous Anthropologists in various communities that in issue-areas such as ‘law’ or the ‘economy’ does not explicitly exist as a atomistic or identifiable area of the society but instead exist as an integral part of a larger social structure (Appadurai, 1986).
People in a specific community for an example, may not be able to clearly point out to a specific area of social life called the ‘Economy’ but rather may be an implicit and integral part of the community. This concept may be applied analogously to global governance in so as to highlight scenarios in which there may be limitation in explicit governance in an issue-area which is nonetheless regulated implicitly by institutions which were set-up to regulate other issue-areas. The responses of States towards migration are majorly determined by their obligation among a host of other area at the level of norms (Kloosterman, Van Der Leun, & Rath, 1999).
A range of public international law area exist that shapes the boundaries at which state behaviour is acceptable in the area of migration. International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, Labour Law, Maritime Law, WTO law for example represents elements of global migration governance that are prominent matters which arises from these embedded institutions. There are certain International lawyers who argued that the conceiving of the existence of international law emerges from these pre-existing bodies of law (Chlowinski, 2007).
Alexander Aleinikoff spoke in that regard that the global governance of migration comprises of substance without architecture as long as the norm exist but have no coherent institutional framework that will apply to them (Alexander, 2007).
The Sovereign State System as defined by the 17th Century Peace of Westphalia structured the nature of states perception towards international migration through the definition of the nation-state structure which constitutes the idea of international migration. The conservative norm of international system is represented by sovereignty and this creates the concept of political community that are exclusive and on which international migration concept is premised. The WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Service, in the Governance of Trade attempts to halt the discrimination against service providers on the basis of the country of origin by WTO member states.

2.4.3        Trans-regionalism

There is a continuously development of migration partnership by States that will collectively address migration in the absence of formal multilateral governance and the inadequacies in clarification over the application of embedded governance. These partnerships are therefore emerging from the regional levels, with some informal and formal networks. Most of them have a significant North-South dimension, or due to the fact that South-South cooperation is supported by Northern funding. The emerging era of regional, bilateral and inter-regional structures collectively can be described to be trans-regional governance. The definition of trans-regional governance can be deduced as ‘sets of informal and formal institutions which cuts across and connects different geographical regions, constraining or constituting the behaviour of non-states and states actors in a given policy area field. (Betts,2010b). It should not be reduced to ‘inter-regionalism’ as long as it does not to necessarily involve an inclusive dialogue amongst different representatives of regions. It may rather involve both exclusive and inclusive structures that links regions through the amalgamation of inter-regional, regional and bilateral norms and forums. The actors involved in trans-regional governance, may be non-state representatives, state, or regional.
A useful concept in the capture of the proliferation of cross-cutting institutions which have emerged in order to regulate the relationship between migration sending, receiving and transit regions, particularly is proffered by Trans-regionalism. This type of governance is arguably gaining prominence in the context of the Northern States’ attempting to regulate irregular flows within it from the south (Betts A. , 2012) .
At both informal and formal level, global migration government existence is at a number of different levels; inter-regional, regional, bilateral and even multilateral levels. The forums and norms which exists are thus cross-cutting and intersecting (Meuner, 2009) (Oberthur, 2009). The international politics of migration is not only shaped by all of these levels which are different and are independently effective, but by their intersection also.
The role of Trans-regionalism can be expounded through looking in turn at the role of informal regional dialogues, regionalism and bilateral cooperation. The region is increasingly becoming more politically relevant unit in relation to migration. Regional Economic Communities (RECs) around the world have now emerged. A lot have worked in the facilitation of the movement of labour just as they have developed in regional integration relating to services, capital and the movement of goods. The shift facilitating free movement within regional communities has also led to the increase in attempts in developing a common external migration policy. This model has notably been pursued by the European Union (EU) which has developed a common external border and has liberalized movements within the EU (Lahav, 2004). Unlike most other regions, the EU has sought to develop an asylum policy and external dimensions to its migration as a means of developing extra-territorial authority that is greater over the movement of people to its territory (Haddad, 2008) (Levy, 2010).
Informal regional dialogues called Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) as well as with Formal regionalism, have emerged as one of the main characteristics of global migration governance. The first RCP, which was created by sixteen destination countries of the industrialized world in 1985, is widely viewed to have been the International Governmental Consultation on Asylum, Refugees and Migration (IGC). It was created in order to facilitate information sharing in relation to asylum initially but now has increasing relations to migration. It has a permanent secretariat.

2.5         Institutional Frameworks for the Global Governance of Migration


2.5.1        Formal Institutional Governance

There exists formal-institutional governance of migration within the United Nations (UN) and outside the United Nations.       Within the United Nations

Global Migration Governance despite being among the most complex trans-boundary policy areas has weak and considerably limited level of institutionalized intergovernmental cooperation that exists when compared to other trans-boundary issues areas such as international trade, finance, communicable diseases, climate change and others, where there are clear institutionalized cooperation arranged by states in form of a single intergovernmental organization or through the United Nations system. There is no any international regime nor United Nations organization in existence and as such, states are solely left with the mandate of defining their own migration policies (Betts L. M., 2008) (Ghosh, 2006).
There exist two exceptions nonetheless that needs to be highlighted. Firstly, the Refugee and Asylum Protection is a key exception that has a formal regime through the UN system and governed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This regime was adopted from the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol. There are 147 signatories’ states to either one or both of these instruments (UNHCR 2001: p.1). This coherent institutional refugee regime has an international cooperation that is based on the responsibilities for protecting and assisting internally displaced persons, refugees, and asylum seekers (Martin 2005, Kalm 2008). The UNHRC currently has almost 20 million people of which 1 million are asylum seekers, over six million are internally displaced people, twelve million are refugees, and half a million people are returned refugees (Newland, 2005: p.11). The asylum protection and refugees is a prominent policy sector of international migration amongst many. Other issues related to international migration and policy sectors such as irregular migration, labour migration human trafficking and smuggling, environmental migration belongs to the policy agendas of diverse UN specialized agencies like United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Department on Social and Economic Affairs (UNDESA) and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR).
The UNDESA through its population Division holds the secretariat of the Commission on Population and Development and administers the implementation of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development action programme. Upholding the agenda of the International Conference on population and Development (ICPD), the UNFPA being the world’s largest multilateral source of population assistance, organizes meetings, promotes policy dialogue, and assists the collection of migration statistics by governments, all with respect to migration. It also involved in the financing of technical trainings so as to develop legal frameworks and policy or combating problems related to migration, with human trafficking and women migrant’s rights of particular concern. Regarding the 1990 UN International Convention on the protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families as a base, the UNHCHR has the responsibility of ‘’examining the ways and means of overcoming the obstacles that exist to the effective and full protection of the vulnerable human rights groups’, including difficulties and obstacles faced by returning migrants who are either in an irregular situation or non-documented’’ (Newland 2005: p.12).
Examining the generic characteristics of these three specialized UN agencies, all of them don’t have formal institutional regime unlike the UNHCR, which monitors the implementation of policies related to global migration governance and provides services. With regards to the UNHCR, there was a disasters that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea which took the lives of thousands of migrants from Africa that were trying to leave Libya to go to the Southern European shores so as to get refugee status or an asylum, thus highlighting the limitations of this institution. A recent example of such incidence according to the UK Guardian Newspaper, 61 migrants out of 72 passengers that were fleeing Lampedusa, an Island in Italy from the Libyan capital of Tripoli were abandon to die of thirst and hunger in an open sea in their small boat despite begging to be rescued by the NATO maritime unit which has the mandate for the safety of lives at sea according to the International Maritime Law (Guardian, 8 May, 2011).
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is another prominent intergovernmental organization that operates inside the UN system within the framework of global governance of migration. Based on its constitution, it has hybrid organizational structure, where employers’ associations, state representatives as well as workers equally participates, the ILO protects migrant workers’ interest that are employed in countries other than theirs.  It’s International Migration Programme (Migrant), which has the mandate of ILO labour migration issues, protects the rights of migrant workers, and develops the knowledge base and understanding of migration (Kalm, 2008). The ILO operates under two main conventions, in terms of the protection of the rights and interest of migrant workers: the 1949 ILO Migration for Employment Convention and the 1975 ILO Migrant Workers Convention. Nonetheless, only 42 states and 18 member states, respectively have ratified these conventions. Considering that ILO convention when ratified are legally binding and when not ratified are not legally binding, the fact mentioned above with regards to the number of ratified states proves that most member states are not willing to be bound by its provisions.
A generic comment with regards to the activities of the ILO in global migration governance is that there have not been sufficient debates on international migration until recently (Newland, 2005: p.10). The ‘’World Commission on the Social Dimensions of Globalization’’ which was established in 2002, after re-joining the debates that started early in the 21st century. The Commission published its report in the year 2004 called ‘’Resolution Concerning a Fair Deal for Migrant Workers in a Global Economy’’ (ILO, 2004: b). The ILO today being a standard setting body, has the focus of setting out principles that are non-binding as well as the guidelines in the development of its labour migration policies implementation.       Outside of the United Nations System

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), being a prominent and the only intergovernmental organization which deals with international migration that is outside the UN system is an exception as mentioned above. The IOM was established in 1951 as the Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for European Migrants, was an operational and logistics agency and became a leading international agency in 1989 (IOM, 2017). It has 166 member states and a further 8 states holding observer status. The IOM has according to the provisions of its constitution set up the following functions and purposes:

  • To be actively involved with the organized transfer of displaced persons, refugees and other individuals that are in need of international migration services for whom some arrangements may be put in place between  the organization and the states concerned, with the inclusion of the states undertaking to receive them;
  • To put in place arrangements for the organized transfer of migrants to receiving countries for migration in an orderly way;
  • At the request and in agreement with the concerned states, provide migration services like selection, recruitment, medical screening and many more;
  • To, as requested by states or in collaboration with other international organizations that are interested, provide for the voluntary return migration, with voluntary repatriation inclusive;
  • The provision of a forum through which states, international and other organizations exchange their views and experiences;

Four priority areas for international migration management are being highlighted by the IOM: Facilitating Migration; Migration and Development; Forced Migration and Regulating Migration. In the year 2001, the IOM initiated the ‘‘International Dialogue on Migration’’, being an informal mechanism for consultation that provides a global forum for government representatives and non-state actors on a regular basis, in addition to carrying out these other purposes.
In pointing out a generic characteristics of the IOM, despite being the only sole intergovernmental organization that deals with every aspect concerned with migration, it does not work based on any institutional migration regimes. The IOM exist as mainly a ‘‘service provider to states, running projects related to migration such as facilitating migration, migration management migrant health, and peoples movement in post-conflict settings advising them on the best practices’’ (Betts, 2008: p.9).

2.5.2        Informal Governance

The informal governance of migration is comprised of different initiatives: the Independent Initiative; Inter-agency arrangements; and the Inter-regional Cooperation.       Independent Initiatives

The various challenges and inefficiencies that are peculiar in the formal governance of migration as a result of the absence of a coherent and formal institutional framework which exist both within and outside the UN system as well as the speedily growing nature of trans-boundary issues of international migration necessitated the need for a more robust multilateral cooperation with respect to the governance of global migration. Therefore, various global actors and states haven understood the difficulty faced in the management of the multifaceted aspects involved in this issue area that is very complex in the past decade, bring forth the call for various global forums and commissions which exist in the informal sector, where an attempt to discuss international migration governance politics and to come up with an agreement on a politically feasible comprehensive principles and norms have emerged. Consequently, at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994, the first step was taken. The Action Programmes Chapter 10 that was based on international migration gave a series of orientation covering policy, ‘‘inter alia, the rights and obligations of migrants, the development of orderly migration programmes, migrants trafficking prevention, the prevention of unwanted migration, the promotion of the development potential of migrants and the need for the cooperation amongst successful migrants managing countries’’ (Klein Solomon, 2005: p.2). The emergence of debates on international migration until the start of the new millennium was as a result of the reluctance of migrants receiving countries that are mostly industrialized that tend to sustain their sovereign autonomy on the management of migration. The four under listed independent initiatives based on international migration have kicked off just over the last decade.

I.            The Bern Initiative

The Swiss government launched it in the year 2001. This famously addressed independent ‘‘Berne Initiative’’ is a consultation mechanism that is informal and is state owned and does not fall within the traditional institutional structures, and serves as an answer to the need for a dialogue and inter-state cooperation on international migration (Klein Solomon, 2005. Channac. 2007, Betts, 2008). The Berne Initiative has its secretariat under the IOM and it aims to unite representatives of several governments’ worldwide, Civil Society actors and IGOs in order to share experiences, offers and interests based on international migration management and to the develop a tactics based on a common global migration governance. In order to attain these set up goals, it came up with its non-binding ‘’International Agenda for Migration Management’’ in the year 2004 which turned out to be the most vital outcome after several interstate consultations. Numerous migration related areas such as labour migration, migration and development, the human rights of migrants, trafficking and migrant smuggling, irregular migration and much more were in its agenda included. Four regional consultations, one of each for Europe, Asia and Pacific, Central Asia, Africa and Americas and Caribbean, out of the common interest of states have been held with regards to the issues mentioned above in order to share international migration management best practices.
To evaluate the impact of the Berne Initiative, it is paramount to mention that the major role it played in terms of reporting and discovering problems which exists in international migration, and to bring forth the ultimate means by which states can manage these problems (Bartsch & Solomon, 2003). With regards to the involvement of the Civil Society in these consultations with the inclusion of states and the IGOs, the Berne Initiative can be considered to be a huge success. It was stated by Channac that ‘‘the Berne Initiative is being dominated by states, and the role and participation of non- governmental actors is more than marginal’’ (2007: p.` 15). Consequently, its contribution was based on international migration, unable to promote the establishment of ‘‘a common view’’. Its lucking legal framework and non-binding agenda are unable to force states to fore go some of their sovereignty so that they could establish comprehensive norms and rules with respect to human rights of migrants.

  1. Global Commission on International Migration

The Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM) was launched in December 2003 by the UN Secretary General, is another independent initiative for cooperation and multilateral dialogue on international migration (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2008). The GCIM being independent has the mandate of ‘‘providing the framework for the formulation of a coherent, comprehensive, and global response to international migration issues’’. Consequently, the GCIM in 2005 came up with its final report, titled ‘‘Migration in an interconnected World: New Directions for action’’ that have some recommendations and offers to the UN Secretary General.

  1. The High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development

The High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development was established in 2006 by the General Assembly of the UN in order to respond to the complexity and need of issues regarding the continuation of international cooperation at all levels which emerged in 2004 (United Nations, 2017). The high level dialogue has the aim of ‘‘discussing the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development so as to identify the suitable ways and means to make the most of its development benefits and reduce its negative impacts’’ (United Nations. 2004a: p.4). In order to achieve its goal, the General Assembly held this dialogue which comprised of four plenary meetings, four interactive round tables and a one-day informal hearing with non-state actors representatives, held in New York in September 2006.
To summarize the outcome of the high level dialogue, asserting international migration growing global character, there was a strong affirmation by all participants that if governed by the right set of policies and rules, that has tolerance to freedom and fundamental rights of all migrants, this social marvel would be a right source of development for both receiving and sending countries, instead of a negative thing. More so, nearly all of the states participating showed their interest to continue international cooperation based on this issue area in a global forum thus applauded the proposal for the establishment by the Secretary General of ‘‘The Global Forum on International Migration and Development’’. There was however a disagreement on the organizational structure as well as the details of such a global forum. Countries of origin, typically developing countries proposed a formal structure, which would come up with legally binding norms for the governance of global migration, receiving countries, mainly developed countries, had a strong opposition to the idea through offering an informal structure that has non-binding decisions.
To critically examine the outcome, just like the previous independent initiatives, the high level dialogue has been unable to effectively establish formal and coherent institutional framework, instead of just emphasizing the problems of international migration that exist and suggesting the means by which global migration through voluntary and informal cooperation would be managed.

  1. Global Forum on International Migration and Development

The Global Forum on International Migration and Development (GFMD) was established as a governmentally driven informal and voluntary global arena, in which there is exchange of information amongst participants, their practices and interest upheld and the development of international migration governance practical policies being done. It has the intention of adding value to the existing debate on international migration and development through promoting international cooperation, encouraging inter-state dialogue, promoting and discussing fresh policy ideas in the migration field and structures the international concerns and agenda on migration and development (United Nations, 2013). The first GFMD meeting was in 2007, hosted and organized by the Belgium government to achieve these intended objectives. Consequently, there were other three annual meetings which took place in Manila, Athens and Mexico and the next meeting was schedule to take place in Switzerland. Those meetings were considered as a great limitation by the civil society actors because they were organized outside the UN system. Referencing what Kalm said, non- state actors felt that ‘‘if global discussions on migration were re-incorporated into the UN system, it would ensure that UN human rights instruments would be integrated into the evolving global migration governance’’ (2008: p.56).
In evaluating the GFMD work, the recommendation and proposal of each of the governmental meeting held annually of the GFMD between the years 2007 to 2010 had by the participating states being addressed, which they could have implemented them voluntarily or disregarded them. Based on GFMD records, over half of its 32 proposals for action from Manila and Brussels had been implemented by 2010 (GFMD, 2010). The civil society days in parallel to government meetings have been organized to allow non-state actors to be involved in policy discussions. Inter agency arrangements
There is an organizational overlap in the debate and international cooperation on the governance of global migration as discussed in the previous sections. Dissimilar institutions, both outside and within the UN system, and various independent initiatives have been dealing with several aspects of international migration at the concurrently, with the exception of refugee and asylum protection which are under the UNHCR. An example is the work of the GCIM which was running at the same time to the preparations of the High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development as a detached arrangement, even though they were dealing with the same problems within the same voluntary and informal structure. According to Matsa, the governance of global migration has been made to appear as ‘‘incomplete and fragmented’’ (2008: p.3). Therefore, the need for inter-agency arrangement developed in order to bring together heads of institutions and free initiatives at regular meetings so as to come up with a systematic coordination between their policies for cooperation that is more productive as well as an outcome in the governance of international migration.

  1. Global Migration Group

The Global Migration Group (GMG) was established by the UN Secretary General in the year 2006 in order to response to the recommendation for a high level inter-institutional group related migration agencies by the GCIM (GMG, n.d.). It was set up on the existing inter-agency group which is the Geneva Migration Group that was created in 2003 with a limited number of memberships. The GMG is comprised of 14 participating agencies which are: UNHCR, ILO, IOM, UNDESA, UNHCHR, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNISEF, UNDP, UNODC, UNITAR, UNCTAD, World Bank and UN Regional Commission.  Through unification of the heads of the above mentioned migration related agencies with activities at the executive level, the GMG has the agenda of producing better international migration governance, which would totally respect human and labour rights of international migrants and would provide a strong leadership and a coherent framework that would enhance the general effectiveness of global cooperation.
Some of the main priorities of the GMG based on its Terms of Reference are:

  • Information and expertise exchange in order to improve understanding, inter-agency collaboration and cooperation;
  • The establishment of a coherent and comprehensive approach in the whole  institutional response to international migration;
  • The identification of critical issues, challenges, opportunities, weakness, gaps and best practices relating to international migration and its interrelations with development.

These main priorities have once again proved that the GMG was established based on necessity to overcome the overlaps that organizations of global cooperation on international migration have, and the important roles it plays in coordinating the incomplete and fragmented global migration governance policies cannot be denied.

  1. International Migration Policy Programme

The International Migration Policy Programme (IMP) established in 1998 was the first global migration debate initiators amongst inter-agency set of actors. The IMP, just like the GMG, unites also, heads of migration related agencies in order to coordinate their different activities under a single coherent policy programme (United Nations, 2017). Nonetheless, unlike the GMG, it has its focus on regional and national migration policies coordination, rather than global. This does not mean that the IMP has no impact in the debate of international global migration. Because it is a policy coordination framework by which migration related agencies representatives, expert groups from several regions and top government officials assemble so as to discuss and exchange vital information and international migration best practices, therefore, the IMP is indirectly engaged in international migration global debate. As stated by Channac, ‘‘it aims at the development of national government capacities in order for inter-state  dialogue and the multilateral cooperation to be more effective and efficient at both the regional and global levels’’ (2007: p.8). This means that the main aim of the IMP is the development of the informal structures for global and regional dialogues amongst states and the contribution of coherence to the governance of global migration. Based on this, the IMP in all regions of the world organized about 16 regional meetings by 2004.       Inter-regional cooperation

A debate on the governance of global migration and international cooperation does not only take place at the global level, but also at the inter-regional and regional level. This type of international migration cooperation is generally identified as Regional Consultation Processes (RCPs). Quoting the 2007 Working Paper of the GFMD, ‘‘RCPs are informal groups that are state-led and comprised of the representatives of states based on a given region, or states that are like-minded, in one or more regions with migration interests that are common. RCPs participants assemble to pursue coordination and other instances coherent on migration through informal and dialogues that are non-binding and also, the exchange of information’’ (2007: p.2). Inter-regional cooperation on international migration has the advantage that it facilitates the exchange of information and experience between countries of origin, transit and destination from bordering regions, and to seek a common approach to issues related to migration. Some illustrative examples would be beneficial in order to highlight recent RCPs that came up on an inter-regional basis in order to portray its picture.
The inter-regional consultation  which is the ‘’Abu Dhabi Dialogue’’ on labour migration is a recent example and had united 11 migrant sending countries of Asia and 9 migrant receiving countries, of which 2 are from Asia and the remaining 7 are from the Gulf region at the ministerial level. Thus this ministerial level meeting in which there was an agreement among the participating states to start a collaborative approach through which temporary labour mobility would be addressed and the development benefits maximized is called the ‘‘Abu Dhabi Declaration’’ (GFMD, 2008).
A perfect example of inter-regional consultations is the EU-Africa dialogue on migration and the ‘’5+5’’ dialogue which was between the West-North (Italy, France, Spain, Malta and Portugal) and the West-South Mediterranean states (Morocco, Libya, Mauritania, Tunisia and Algeria); the 2006 Tripoli and Rabat Euro-Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development; and the 2007 Lisbon EU-Africa summit, that all lead to the EU-Africa Partnership Declarations.
More so, the Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM dialogue) that brought together EU countries, the European Commission and some Asian states; the Ibero-American dialogue on migration Spain and the migrant sending states in Latin America, Portugal Andorra; the Puebla Process that was meant to influence cooperation among Central American countries and NAFTA; and the EU-LAC (Europe/Latin America and the Caribbean) summit are all recent examples of inter-regional cooperation on migration. The set of examples mentioned here are different from one another with regards to their major approach to policy. In order to illustrate this, the EU-Africa dialogue has its focus mainly on irregular migration discussions and capacity building through which migration related problems could be overcome by African states, while the others are majorly concerned to deal with work conditions, human rights of migrants and labour migration.
A generic characteristic of the inter-regional cooperation on migration mentioned above is that they are based on informal and voluntary structure that asserts non-normative and non-binding decisions, declarations and action plans or guidelines, just like the other types of international cooperation (Stillwell, 2005). According to Klekowski von Koppenfels argument, ‘‘states that are not under any obligation to neither belong to a consultative process based on region nor do them suffer sanctions from non-participation’’ (2001: p.24). More so, because their objectives have the limitation to only information sharing and capacity building, therefore it would be early to suggest that these inter-regional consultation processes have resulted to become robust and coherent on international migration governance. Another important worthy of mention about them is that there exist a minimum level of administration, meaning that the participating states have the liberty of setting the agenda for meetings and the provision of declarations. This circumstance according to Betts, ‘‘permits powerful Northern states, which are typically migrant receiving countries, to exclude or include partner countries based on their own terms’’ (2008: p.14). A similar but distinct fact about them is that they are based on state-controlled processes, through which there is no integration of non-state actors or, at the minimum, exist outside of the real decision-making process.

2.6         Summary of the Chapter

This chapter discussed the existing types of global migration governance and the various institution frameworks in which it is governed were examined as well as the politics involved. It was observed that even though some nation-states have given up on the management of the flow of capital and goods to their territories and out of it, they are not willing to take similar actions with the flow of people to and from their territories. Consequently, autonomy with regards to people that cross over their borders is still a major theme of national sovereignty of states. The logic behind this as Gordon states is that ‘’people are not bananas….people have different impacts than goods and capital’’ (2010: p. 1132). However, in the reluctance of states over this, it can be deduced from the discussions of this chapter that nation-states have a rapidly growing interest towards international migration global approach. In present time, states are already conversant with international migration increasing complexity, which has a trans-boundary nature that is unpredictable by influencing social, economic and political life in a country of transit, origin or destination, and they clearly accept that the effective governance of the trans-boundary issue is not possible if left alone in the struggle. The numerous informal and formal dialogues as well as cooperation at the inter-regional and global levels discussed in this chapter are a fact that these emerged tendencies exist and have a strong hold.

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