International Conference on “Institutionalizing Regional Approaches to Migration Management in South Asia”

The IPS in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES) organized an International Conference on “Institutionalizing Regional Approaches to Migration Management in South Asia” on 19th November 2010 at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo.

Richard Danziger, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Country Office in Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest. Joachim Schluetter, Resident Representative, FES made the welcome address while Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, IPS made an introduction to the Conference. The Guest of Honour, Farooq Sobhan and the Chief Guest later addressed the audience.

Given the importance of migration to the countries of South Asia, there is a need for effective migration management to leverage the benefits of migration as well as to minimize its negative effects for its stakeholders, including the migrants themselves, host societies, and sending countries. In this regard, the South Asia Migration Commission (SAMC) was established in November 2009 to examine various aspects of migration. This Conference was organized to discuss the objectives, progress and obstacles faced so far in implementing the SAMC since its inception, and also to discuss areas which need improvement in ensuring its success. In discussing the way forward, experiences were drawn from a broader global perspective, with a focus on their relevance and feasibility in the SAARC region to make migrant management in South Asia effective.

The speakers in the Conference were Farooq Sobhan (President, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute), Kristina Mejo (Regional Programme Manager, IOM), and Ellene Sana (Executive Director, Centre for Migrant Advocacy & Chair of Executive Committee, Migrant Forum in Asia). Apart from these speakers, distinguished resource persons from the SAMC, other South Asian countries and ASEAN were drawn to deliberate on the issues as discussants and panelists. The conference was attended by government officials, members of international organizations, academics and the civil society.

Summary Report (PDF)