Migration double-edged sword-Matibini


THERE is need for concerted efforts by governments to develop policies that will mitigate the negative consequences of migration, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Patrick Matibini, has said.

Dr Matibini said migration, when humanely and properly managed, positively supported the right to development.

The Speaker said this on Sunday when he addressed the 133rd Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly being held under the theme: “The moral and economic imperative for fairer, smarter and more humane migration.”

Dr Matibini reiterated the need for development of fair and sustainable labour migration policies and practices, through dialogue amongst governments, parliaments and parliamentary bodies like the Inter Parliamentary Union.

“Therefore, it is fair to assert that international migration can have positive impact on both the communities of origin and the communities of destination.  This is because migration provides the communities of origin with remittances,” he said.

Dr Matibini added that positive impact could also be extended to the countries of destination with the needed human resource.

He said the international migration also had the potential of facilitating the transfer of skills and contributing to cross-cultural enrichment.

“However, with the growth in migration, there is also increasing awareness of the hardships and discrimination faced by migrants. In some areas, increasing xenophobia, triggered by recession and unemployment, has led to increased hostility against immigrants,” Dr Matibini said.

He observed that consequently violation of rights, exploitation and abuse of migrants had continued despite the existence of national and international instruments regulating migrant rights.

“The characteristics of fair and effective migration policies entail that countries of origin benefit from increased skills among its returning workers and technology transfers.

And migrant workers should be able to despatch money back home,” he said.

Dr Matibini said migration helps to alleviate poverty and stimulate growth in countries of origin.   He said the benefits of the recipient countries were that migrant workers filled the void in the labour market.

“Therefore, the debate on the moral and economic imperative for fairer, smarter and more humane migration is not only timely, but also offers an opportunity to contrive or design policies that will among others encourage receiving countries not to be selective in their immigration policies and recognise the positive impact of remittances on the economies of developing countries as an important economic aspect that must be promoted.’’

He reiterated that migration through cross-border or trans-national flows could effectively be managed through international co-operation.

“As such, the development of fair and sustainable labour migration policies and practices requires dialogue amongst governments at all levels, including parliaments and parliamentary bodies like the IPU, CPA, to mention but a few,” Dr Matibini said.