‘Prepared to play a role in building consensus on migration and mobility’: India at Geneva meet
Migration has been in a churn and the Covid-19 pandemic has made its effects more visible
India on Friday said that it realizes the benefits of an interconnected world and is prepared to play a role in building consensus on migration and mobility as the world moves ahead in difficult times.
Addressing the International Dialogue on Migration, Geneva on Friday, Secretary, Consular, Passport & Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs (CPV & OIA) Sanjay Bhattacharyya said migration has indeed been in a churn and the Covid-19 pandemic has made its effects more visible.
Noting that for some time we have seen how economic restructuring, technology change, new industry, use of data and ageing societies affect labour markets, the Secretary (CPV & OIA) said in this transformative era, we need to be dynamic in responding to the changing circumstances to provide greater benefit to our peoples.
The mainstreaming of migration policy to the development agenda was thus essential, Bhattacharyya suggested.
Pointing out that the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular Migration (GCM), reached in Marrakesh, represents an important outcome at the multilateral level, he said wider acceptance and application of its concepts will provide positive momentum to international migration and achievement of SDGs.
“At the same time GCM has to be mindful of national sovereignty and also be dynamic in responding to new challenges and opportunities,” he cautioned.
Bhattacharyya explainined that ever since India obtained full membership of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), New Delhi had been involved in various activities.
He added that a priority on the global agenda was how to recover from the deep and adverse impacts of Covid-19 on migrants, who have been substantially affected.
“India recently shared with the IOM Council, a draft proposal on multi-lateral social security arrangements for adoption by the IOM. IOM and the India Centre for Migration entered into a collaborative project on ‘Strengthening data-informed and migrant-centered migration management frameworks in India,” he informed.
“Besides the multilateral track, India has also joined several consultative processes initiated and supported by IOM such as Colombo Process, Abu Dhabi Dialogues, Budapest Process, etc, India’s Secretary (CPV & OIA) stated.
India has engaged with EU on a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM), he said. Additionally, this has led to bilateral agreements with several EU countries to promote migration and mobility, he said.
He argued that India seeks to align the core aspects of the GCM into her national strategy through multiple initiatives.
Noting that legal channels of migration have always been emphasised and the basis is provided by the Emigration Act, Bhattacharyya said India has developed the eMigrate system, for the benefit and welfare of Indian workers going overseas.
He further said, India have concluded negotiations for integration of e-Migrate with the employment-migration portals of certain GCC countries, to enhance transparency and widen opportunities for workers and that it is now open to Foreign Employers across the world to source talent from India.
According to the Secretary (CPV & OIA), skills have emerged as an important vector to promote migrant returns and to ensure ‘safe, orderly, regular migration’ India has started the Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT), particularly for migrant workers.
PDOT is aligned with our motto ‘Surakshit Jaaye, Prashikshit Jaaye, Vishwas ke Saath Jaaye’ which means ‘Go Secure, Go Skilled, Go with Assurance’, Bhattacharyya said.
Further, to tackle irregular migration, smuggling and trafficking, India has ratified international conventions to suppress trafficking and smuggling of migrants, he informed.
As per the MEA Secretary, an international migration policy must first, prioritize migrant returns in alignment with development priorities; second must see continued relevance of greater multilateral and bilateral coordination on migration and mobility issues.
Third, the policy should provide an enabling environment where workers and professionals can move in safe and legal ways to support the development of destination countries, who may acknowledge the contribution of migrants.
Fourth, it is crucial to explore additional approaches to streamline the GCM objectives with national priorities on migration issues, and fifth and last, rapidly changing scenarios call for dynamic responses.
Based on these five guidelines, Secretary (CPV & OIA) called for a collaborative approach for the adoption of a holistic and pragmatic agenda, that builds upon the GCM and can set the stage for a successful International Migration Review Forum.