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  • Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade State Minister, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) latest publication on global migration and its annual film festival featuring presentations on the matter are welcome additions to stakeholder dialogue exploring attendant issues.
  • Senator Charles, who spoke at the launch of IOM’s ‘Migration and the 2030 Agenda’ practitioners guide at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, on Tuesday (December 18), said the publication and film festival, initiated in 2016, will deepen the discussions exploring the “phenomenon of human mobility”.
  • “The publication will serve to further enrich the available knowledge base which the public will have and, hopefully, it will spur some further discussion surrounding the issues of migration and development,” he stated.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade State Minister, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) latest publication on global migration and its annual film festival featuring presentations on the matter are welcome additions to stakeholder dialogue exploring attendant issues.

Senator Charles, who spoke at the launch of IOM’s ‘Migration and the 2030 Agenda’ practitioners guide at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, on Tuesday (December 18), said the publication and film festival, initiated in 2016, will deepen the discussions exploring the “phenomenon of human mobility”.

“The publication will serve to further enrich the available knowledge base which the public will have and, hopefully, it will spur some further discussion surrounding the issues of migration and development,” he stated.

Senator Charles said the use of film as a vehicle by which the complexities and nuances of modern migration are explored and discussed, particularly in relation to the United Nation’s (UN) 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “will certainly also enrich the conversation”.

“I congratulate the International Organization for Migration for [its] foresight in launching the Global Migration Film Festival and for the launch of your publication. Films and storytelling are able to inspire, transform and promote inclusion,” the State Minister said.

Senator Charles, who noted that the IOM’s work and partnership have been “indispensable to Jamaica and the [Caribbean] region”, expressed the hope that “we will gain a much better understanding and appreciation of the realities, challenges and perspectives of migration”.

Meanwhile, Technical Advisor at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) which co-hosted the launch, Rochelle White, said the country’s development landscape has benefited significantly from the skills, talents and assets of migrant populations.

Additionally, she said members of Jamaica’s diaspora have aided in the growth of the countries in which they reside, inclusive of Canada, the United States, and United Kingdom, while simultaneously contributing to the island’s social and economic growth.

Ms. White, who is Technical Advisor to PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, argued that migration, while recognized as a growth enabler, if not properly managed, can negatively impact country relations, restrict free movement of people and “increase the potential for the violation of basic human rights”.

She noted that Jamaica’s National Policy on International Migration and Development articulates the need for a more systematic approach to the integration of international migration into the Government’s development plans, policies and programmes, as well as strengthening local capacities to minimize negative impacts.

Ms. Whyte said this is indicative of Jamaica’s commitment to pursuing and implementing proactive approaches to leverage the benefits of the migration and development process.

“Jamaica’s commitment to mainstreaming international migration is a commendable step, and I thank our partners, particularly the members of the National Working Group on International Migration and Development, on the stellar work that they have undertaken in the respective ministries, departments and agencies, organisations and sectors to make migration with dignity a reality,” she added.

The launch of the publication, the film festival, which featured the screening of a documentary, titled, ‘Bushfallers: A Journey of Chasing Dreams’, that chronicles African nationals’ pursuit of a better life in Europe, and a panel discussion, formed activities for Jamaica’s commemoration of International Migrants Day on December 18, under the theme ‘Migration with Dignity’.