Church Center for the United Nations, 777 First Avenue at 44th Street
13 May 2010
As noted by the UN Secretary-General in his message to mark International Migrants Day 2009 noted, that “migration touches upon every country,” either as a place of origin, transit or destination, or as a combination of all of these. There are 214 million estimated international migrants in the world today, or 3.1 per cent of the global population. 20 to 30 million of them have migrated without authorization by their country of destination. The motives for migration are diverse, including the desire to settle in a new country, the search for better work or higher wages and escape from discrimination, prosecution, war or violence as asylum seekers and refugees.
A large number of studies and policies have been conducted and enacted over the last few decades concerning the issue of migration. Surprisingly, family migration – the main channel of legal entry into the European Union, as well as into traditional immigration countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States – remains a subject that been relatively neglected by academics and policymakers. Despite this, the migration of families accounts for two-thirds of immigration into the U.S. and between a quarter and one-third of those who migrate to Canada and Australia.
According to the World Migration Report 2008, of the International Organization for Migration the interest in family migration has begun to increase. Indeed, there appears to be an interesting shift away from seeing migration of families as a positive force for integration, to one that maintains traditional divisions of gender roles and responsibilities and cultivates community separations and social divisions. Moreover, migration becomes a burden for families when it separates them; women are increasingly forced to migrate without their children because either their country of destination does not permit family reunification or their work makes it difficult for them to bring their children with them.
Both the negative and the positive impacts of migration on families are of particular interest for humanitarian and development efforts of the global NGO and civil society community. We hope that this week’s briefing, held in observance of the International Day of Families, will encourage NGOs to reflect on what they can do to assist the United Nations and the international community in bring this issue to the attention of among others, academics and policymakers.
All Briefings begin promptly at 10:15 a.m. and we ask that our audience is seated by 10:00 a.m. sharp.
Moderator: Gail Bindley-Taylor Sainté; Information Officer, NGO Relations, Department of Public Information (DPI)
Opening remarks: H.E. Mr. Carlos D. Sorreta, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations
Isabel Pereira, Policy Specialist, Research Team, Human Development Report, United Nations Development Programme
Jane Stewart, Director, International Labour Organization Office of the United Nations
Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Hunter College, City University of New York
Haifaa Hassan an Iraqi refugee now living in the United States
The venue for the weekly Briefings will be provided as soon as the information is available. United Nations-produced videos relevant to the theme of the Briefing are sometimes screened during the session. For Briefing information please call the DPI/NGO Resource Centre at +1-212-963-7232 / 7233 / 7234 or e-mail email@example.com. To receive the Briefing information electronically, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit the DPI/NGO Relations Cluster website at www.un.org/dpi/ngosection, where archived web casts and audio (both, when available) of the Briefing may also be accessed.
Requests for guest passes should be faxed on organization letterhead to the DPI/NGO Resource Centre at +1 212-963-2819 or e-mailed to email@example.com at least two days prior to the Briefing. [Please note that pass requests received at any other email address will not be processed.] All guest passes should be picked up at the DPI/NGO Resource Centre, Room GA- 37, on the morning of the Briefing. NGOs are reminded that the Briefing starts promptly at 10:15 a.m.
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