IOM, the UN Migration Agency, supported the Government of Zambia to host a National Consultation on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in Lusaka on 2nd November 2017.
The National Consultation brought together government entities, private sector and civil society actors, representatives from UN agencies, among others, with the aim of providing valuable information to feed into the Zambia’s contribution to the GCM.
The Global Compact on Migration relates to target 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which member States, including Zambia, commit to cooperate internationally to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration. The National Consultation deliberated on the six thematic areas of the GCM on migration, namely: human rights of all migrants, international cooperation, drivers of migration, contribution of migrants and diaspora, smuggling and trafficking of migrants and addressing irregular migration.
The Government of Zambia recognises the important role that migration contributes to national development and has embedded migration in its 7th National Development Plan (7NDP). In his opening speech at the meeting, the Guest of Honour, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Dr. Chileshe Mulenga, explained that, “Migration plays an important role in the development of the economy and is evident across the pillars of the 7NDP, including from the pillar on economic diversification, international cooperation, border management and Governance, which has specifically referenced migration policy and legislative framework.”
Speaking at the same occasion, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa, Mr. Charles Kwenin stated that, “Migration is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be managed.” Mr. Kwenin said, “Migrants should move as a matter of choice and not necessity.” He reiterated IOM’s commitment to continue to support the Government of Zambia to address migration issues, including the Government of Zambia’s participation in the GCM consultations.
A number of key issues and recommendations arose from the meeting, including the need to have a clear global position on the status of environmental displacement given the growing environmental/ climatological hazards that are leading to population displacements across borders. Another key issue raised was the need to have a strong global position on addressing the socio-economic factors that drive migration in the global-south. In relation to ‘the diaspora’, key issues included the need to address the portability of benefits for migrant workers. On the human rights of migrants, two key issues of note were raised: (1) clearer financing arrangements for the protection of migrants in need; (2) the need to balance the discourse on migration by ensuring that the needs and dynamics of host communities are also considered.