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18.10.2011 - Comunicado de prensa
Nigeria and Switzerland jointly organize a conference on migration

On 17 and 18 October 2011, the governments of Switzerland and Nigeria jointly organized a conference in Abuja, Nigeria, on the theme of South-South labour migration and its impact on development. Participants included high-ranking representatives of organizations hailing from civil society, labour unions, employers associations, and international organizations. The Swiss delegation was lead by Eduard Gnesa, Special Ambassador for International Cooperation on Migration Issues.

In many regions of the world, South-South migration is the number one form of human mobility. The search for better economic prospects is often the driving force behind these intra-regional migratory flows. Although in various regions of the southern hemisphere there do exist framework agreements fostering the free movement of persons, these migratory flows are for the most part irregular and hence the migrants are often deprived of their rights and without protection.

This conference provided an opportunity to discuss labour migration and the potential it harbours for development as seen from various points of view, and to engage in an exchange of concrete experiences. In addition, it served to build confidence among the States, to create specialized networks, and to foster a trans-national harmonization of different positions. The discussions contributed to facilitating the understanding of this complex theme and to demonstrating to the participants, by the transmission of specific practices, how coherent strategies can be formulated so as to regulate labour migration effectively and profitably. Lastly, the conference also lent itself to a discussion of the role played in the domain of labour migration by the other stakeholders involved, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labour unions, employers associations, and international organizations.

The meeting was part of a series of 14 thematic conferences being organized throughout the world by the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), currently being chaired by Switzerland. The GFMD develops concrete recommendations meant to enable governments to autonomously improve their policies and practices towards destination, transit, and origin countries, as well as towards the migrants. The key insights emerging from the different meetings, along with the conclusions formulated at the other, thematic conferences organized the world over, will serve to enhance this year’s concluding debate of the Global Forum on Migration and Development being organized by the Swiss Chair in early December.

Furthermore, this initiative is still another among the numerous activities that the governments of Switzerland and Nigeria have undertaken following the conclusion of a common migration partnership early this year. The migration partnership is meant to pave the way to comprehensive and intensified cooperation in the domain of migration that is to be of benefit to both countries.

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