Migration has been part of the human experience throughout history Migration movements are increasing however and have reached a scale that make them a global challenge In 2018 3 5 percent of the world s population around 272 million people were migrants according to United Nations estimates From a global point of view only a small proportion of migrants come to Europe The largest move ments of people take place within countries and regions in Africa Asia the Middle East and Central and North America Countries that neighbor areas of war or crisis shelter the largest number of refugees Among those are Turkey Pakistan Lebanon Iran Uganda and Ethiopia Migration includes international as well as national migration processes it includes both displacement by war or conflict and labor migration It generally takes place to ensure safety and survival as well as to improve conditions of life Migration across large distances is the exception as is permanent residence at the destina tion In Africa and Asia especially cyclical patterns of migration are increasingly common In these cases migrants move back and forth between their country of origin and one or more destination countries CONVENTIONS NO LONGER SUITABLE The 1951 Refugee Convention does not capture the full scope of today s migration challenges It takes account of neither cyclical migratory move ments nor new drivers of migration such as climate change Following the New York Declaration of 2016 the UN General Assembly did adopt the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees in 2018 In the view of many experts however these intergovernmental agreements do not go far enough nor are they legally binding Increasingly new stakeholders become involved in international forums concerning migration Large cities and municipalities for example participate more actively in the transnational dialogue They assume greater responsibility in harboring refugees and often adopt a notably pragmatic and solution oriented approach And the role of the migrants themselves is changing too They establish their own organizations and become increasingly coordinated As a result they can perform a valuable bridging function between societies INCLUDING A VARIETY OF PERSPECTIVES With the overarching goal of fostering international understanding and cooperation the Robert Bosch Stiftung is exploring the following questions How can we ensure that migration takes place in a way that is sustainable and respects human dignity How can policymakers the private sector and civil society join in an international exchange to find common solutions One key for the development of long term approaches is cross border cooperation that extends beyond emergency situations and remains free of the constraints of everyday politics The Robert Bosch Stiftung is also concerned about making the discourse on migration more objec tive That does not mean ignoring people s fears and concerns different perspectives should be heard and included It means finding for ward looking solutions based on a range of viewpoints Migration Focusing on human dignity MANY HAVE NO CHOICE In 2018 the first Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration was concluded under the auspices of the UN Does it advance international migration policy The compact was meant to take the entire range of issues relevant to migrants of all kinds There s a very heavy emphasis on regular migrants However the reality is that many people are irregular migrants i e they have no choice but to attempt to travel illegally That is a human reality we have to accept The issue of migration sometimes arouses fears in people How should this be handled If you look at the overall numbers that come to Europe they are tiny compared to the number of migrants moving around Africa Therefore I have always been unhappy with phrases like overrun and swamped Some people are con cerned that migration is wiping out their country s native culture Of course one has to respect that perception although I think that this fear is possibly exaggerated In that respect spreading word about the positive experiences that people have had in other countries could be helpful here David Donoghue former Irish Ambas sador to Germany Austria and Russia is an expert on political order and international development and was a 2019 Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin Focus26 Rober t Bosch Stif tung P ho to U N P ho to M ar k G ar te n S IP A

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