6 Ways Local Governments Can Prepare For the Arrival of New Migrants
In October of last year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) held a conference in Geneva that produced a framework for addressing the needs of migrants around the globe. The framework came out of discussions among mostly local authorities on how to address the arrival of migrants into their communities, either due to economic hardship or to escape conflict. Paula Beana of IOM writes in Citiscope that the Habitat III conference this fall is a timely opportunity to further discuss the role of migrants in driving the growth of cities and as potential "agents of development." The framework included six elements:
1. local authorities must lead policy and planning on migration and urbanization;
2. if the benefits of migration to cities are to be realized and potential negative effects mitigated, migration;
3. the negative impacts of urbanization on rural areas should not be overlooked as an area of both challenge and opportunity;
4. there is currently a policy vacuum on migration in urbanization policies;
5. local leaders can change the national perception of migration;
6. new approaches to urban governance and migration policies, including meaningful dialogue at all levels of government, are called for.
The article explores each topic more fully, and provides policy objectives for local level action to address the needs of cities and migrants.