Report on the “Migration: Rebuilding the World, Challenging Civilizations” Workshop

12th Rhodes Forum, September 27, 2014

The migration workshop addressed human mobility as a major global phenomena and a significant vector of dialogue among peoples, nations and civilizations worldwide.  Nine experts from diverse realities of Canada, India, Moldova, Portugal, the Russian Federation and the USA presented data, analysis and practical examples on contemporary migration challenges and governance responses. The animated exchange focused on three themes: mobility of labor and skills to maintain viable economies, lessons learned on integration of migrants for social cohesion, and effective responses to the mass refugee influx from the Ukraine into Russia.

The dialogue highlighted that migration today is mainly international labour and skills mobility necessary to maintain productive work forces and viable economies in industrialized countries, due to evolution of technology, changes in the organization of work, and demographic decline of work forces in many countries. Reports on evolution of policy in the United States, legislative developments in the Russian Federation, experiences from Bangladesh, India and Nepal, and presentation of a global labour migration policy framework identified global policy challenges and viable responses.

Particular attention was focused on governance measures to protect and assist the estimated influx of 800,000 Ukrainians into Russia since June of this year.  Discussants identified options for providing legal status for Ukrainians in refugee-like situations. Others enumerated the policy agenda of measures to facilitate integration of migrants, based on successful experiences in Europe and the USA.

The workshop concluded that the dialogue on migration and its effective governance in context of intensified international and intercultural tensions is an ongoing work in progress and that it will remain an integral component on the agenda of dialogue of civilizations-- at local and national levels as well as globally.

The workshop was co-moderated by Lidia Grafova, President, International Public Association “Forum of Migration Organizations“ (Russian Federation) and Patrick Taran, President, Global Migration Policy Associates (Geneva). Expert speakers included: Jana Costachi (Moldova), Julia Florinskaya (Russian Federation), Pedro Gois (Portugal), Andrei Korobkov (USA), Jayshree Sengupta (India), Lisa Simeone (USA), Ray Taras (Canada), Olga Vorobyeva (RF), and Zhanna Zayonchkovskaya (RF).  Olga Kadysheva (RF) was co-organizer.

September 28, 2014, P. Taran/GMPA (on behalf of moderators and participants)