Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Northern Ireland Assembly Branch
Report on the ‘International Migration & Human Trafficking’ International Parliamentary Conference, The Houses of Parliament London 2 – 7 th February 2009
ATENDEES: Alderman Stephen Moutray MLA – Delegate
The innovative and progressive conference on “International Migration and Human Trafficking: Maximizing Benefits, Overcoming Challenges” held at the Houses of Parliament in London on 2 nd – 6 th February 2009 was attended by 48 Parliamentarians representing 29 Parliaments of Commonwealth and other countries.
The purpose of this event was to determine principles and priorities to enable us to hold our respective Government to account on the challenges of managing migration for the benefit of all and curbing human trafficking. Mr Moutray attended to attain a broader knowledge with regards the issue of migration and human trafficking.
The Conference Aim was:
The aim of the Conference is to equip Parliamentarians to hold their Executives more effectively to account on the challenges of migration management and human trafficking.
The Conferences Stated Objectives:
In exploring the potential benefits of contemporary migration trends, the conference will:
- Address the breadth of contemporary migration management issues for origin and destination countries
- Explore linkages between migration and development
- Review current migration management approaches and their implications for different categories of migrants
- Explore the links between climate change and migration
- Consider strategies to curb human trafficking and encourage migration that is beneficial to all
The Conference commenced on 2 nd February 2009 with Mr Stephen Moutray MLA arriving on Wednesday 4th. Throughout the conference there was a wide variety of very capable and knowledgeable speakers who all had a particular niche in this area. They were most informative as to the problems and issues surrounding Migration and Human Trafficking. The days event were broken down into topic areas namely that of:
Wednesday 4 th
- Protecting People of the Move: Responsibilities and Experiences
- Negotiating Child Migration
- Measures to Curb Human Trafficking: Protecting the Trafficked
- Afternoon Field Trip: Migrant Community Support in London/Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum (MRCF)
Thursday 5 th
- Integrating Migrant and Settled Communities: Avoiding Conflict
- The Role of Parliamentarians in Safe Migration Management/Anti-Trafficking (Workshops)
- Climate Change and Migration: An Uncertain Future
- Challenges for the Commonwealth: International Migration Trends and Human Trafficking
Friday 6 th
- Summing Up & Matters Arising
- Closing Plenary: The Commonwealth of Nations: Partnership for Safer, More Beneficial Migration and Curbing Human Trafficking?
Throughout the event there was time for networking with the speakers and the other delegate in attendance this was a time to glean from others knowledge and to discuss how best to progress this issue.
The conference was of a very high standard and having attended it has unequivocally extended my knowledge and understanding of the potential benefits of well managed international migration which is currently being harnessed in contemporary international migration policies. There is much potential for “brain gain” owing to the fact that such provides access to labour and skills which otherwise might not be available within a national border and alternatively it enables migrants to avail and access opportunities which otherwise would not be available to them.
The conference raised awareness and highlighted the fact that current polices for managing international migration have not done enough to limit the exposure of migrants to exploitation, abuse and human trafficking. Policies do not promote integration between settled and migrant communities; curb undocumented flows of migrants across international borders which in turn increases vulnerability to exploitation and human trafficking. It has raised awareness as to the need to initiate legislation were necessary to alleviate the problems associated with migrant activity.
It was noted that international migration has doubled from 99.8 million to over 200 million between 1980 and 2008 and therefore clarifying the need for greater coherence and harmonisation in migration policies at national, regional and international level so that there is management of safe and beneficial migration and to curb human trafficking. There is a need for the international community to legislate for more documented migration.
The CPA conference brought about an opportunity to share experiences and develop new alliances. It has increased my knowledge with regards the need to engage with core issues to enable us better to hold Government to account on the challenges of managing migration for the benefit of all and to curb human trafficking.