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Annoucement SERs symposium about labour migration

WILLEMSTAD–A meeting on the upcoming Symposium on Migration was recently held between the Curaçao Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath and a technical delegation of the Social and Economic Council SER. The goal was to provide an update on the organisation and content of the May 9-10 conference, and to discuss participation and funding. Last year the prime minister had reached out to SER for assistance with population and migration policies. “Since then a lot of progress has been made, amongst others resulting in the cooperation with the SERs of Aruba and St. Maarten regarding the two-day gathering on labour migration,” stated a release.

The three Dutch Caribbean countries are confronted to a greater or lesser extent with the same issues in the areas of population policy and socioeconomic development. The challenges present themselves in – among other things – a prolonged stagnating economy, increased aging, brain drain, a social welfare system that is under pressure, an unbalanced labour market, the socioeconomic crisis in Venezuela and the issue of irregular migrants in general. The islands can support each other in the field of developing strategic migration policies, based on “lessons learned” and “best practices” of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the region and elsewhere.

On October 26h, 2018, a protocol was signed by the prime ministers of St. Maarten, Aruba and Curaçao to collaborate on strategic policy development and thereby explore the opportunities and benefits of particularly labour migration within the context of a sustainable socioeconomic development, and that they support the initiative of the three SERs to have joint discussions on this theme.

The aim is to explore, together with stakeholders, policy options with respect to the question “how to optimise the benefits and minimize the costs of labour migration in relation to sustainable socioeconomic development of the three countries.”

During the symposium the following topics will be addressed:

  1. Opportunities and challenges of migration (management): myths and misconceptions; controversies, the liberal paradox; changing the narrative.
  2. Migration and sustainable development: (global and regional) evidence-based findings on the relationship between migration and sustainable socio-economic development. How to optimize the benefits and minimize the costs.
  3. (Global) Trends in labour migration policies and refugee policies: lessons learned on effectiveness of policies & best practices.
  4. Caribbean perspective on effective migration policies. How can we best govern migration to enhance socioeconomic development?

More information on the symposium – program, speakers and approach– will be made available on the website of SER Curaçao soon. The symposium is for invited guests only.