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Message of the WAPES President on International Migration Day

17 December 2015

International migration is a fact with many dimensions. It affects origin, transit and destination countries. Migration brings a lot of richness and diversity to those involved, however being a migrant is not easy, especially if one is having difficulty in accessing public services such as security, health, education, training and employment due to obstacles like language barrier, cultural differences, and a lack of skills. Migrants are more likely than locals to end up with indecent life conditions and with being victims of human trafficking and gender discrimination.

It is a necessity to link migration with development, in order to mitigate negative effects to the society as well as the individual. In this regard, employing migrants in decent working conditions and providing sustainable income is among the top priorities for policies targeting migrants. Among the migrants, youth and especially young women are considered to be the most vulnerable group for employment. 

Civil society, including NGOs and international bodies, together with governments undertake several activities for better management of the migrant flows and ultimately a better social and economic balance within and between the countries.

As an international association formed by governmental institutions working on employment and labor market topics, WAPES gives high importance to the matter of migration.  It showcases and exchanges the good practices of public employment services already underway in informing migrants before they leave the country, help them get in touch with employers, support the recognition of their skills and prepare a possible return to their country of origin. Yet, with the current increase in global migration and refugee streams, there is a lot of work to do in the field of labour migration.

For that reason WAPES has decided to put migration at the core of its current strategy term from 2015 to 2018.  As a cross-cutting topic this will further increase the possibilities to exchange, evaluate and seek various policy options in order to provide better public employment services for people with migration background. Over the last years, WAPES has advised the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the ILO in the set-up of migration expertise for public employment services and is right now involved in setting up a stakeholder dialogue and data base for good examples of refugee and migrant integration with OECD and the African Union.

Today is the International Migrants Day. There are many occasions in different corners of the world causing and motivating millions of people to move from one environment to another like those fleeing from the crisis in Syria or those seeking  better life conditions by moving between the African and Latin-American countries of diverse prosperity or to the Northern Cone. No matter what the motivation is, I believe and respect the right of every human being deemed worthy of carrying a soul to live a decent life. To achieve this, there will always be an effort in the community, Public Employment Services being a part of it; and WAPES will be giving its best to be a global reference point for labor market policies targeting migrants.

I wish for prosperity and better life for all citizens of the world,

Dr. Nusret YAZICI

President of WAPES


international migrant day