Acting Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Janice Miller, says the development of an informed policy on migration will improve the government’s capacity to measure, monitor and manage international migration.
She noted that the policy will also seek to address the development priorities outlined in the country's Vision 2030 National Development Plan.
Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country's first long-term national development plan, which aims at enabling Jamaica to achieve developed country status by 2030. It is based on a comprehensive vision: "Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business."
Miss Miller was addressing stakeholders at the opening of the National Consultation on the draft policy and plan of action on International Migration and Development, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on September 18.
The meeting was the first in a series of islandwide consultations to gain feedback from stakeholders, including the general public, on issues to be addressed in the policy. It focused on three of the major thematic concerns of the draft document, namely, data, research and information system, return and re-integration, and labour mobility and development.
The Undersecretary said the Ministry is pleased to partner with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) on the development of a national policy on International Migration and Development, as this will contribute to an effective and sustainable approach to addressing the complex inter-relationship between migration and development.
She said the three issues to be discussed are critical components and areas that must be addressed for a successful policy.
"We must have a reliable statistical infrastructure, which facilitates the use of international best practices in data, research and information systems for migration and development, to inform policy and decision making for the benefit of all," she explained.
On the matter of return and re-integration, Ms. Miller said that the outcome of the consultations should reflect efforts to integrate or re-integrate migrants in an environment where they can contribute meaningfully to the social, cultural, economic, and intellectual development of Jamaica.
The discussions on labour mobility and development should help to provide a framework towards guaranteeing the rights and obligations of migrant workers and their dependents, which will enable them to contribute to national development.
The other areas to be addressed during upcoming consultations include Diaspora and development and remittance and development.
Meanwhile, Acting Director, Social Policy and Planning Division, PIOJ, Easton Williams, encouraged stakeholders to use the ongoing islandwide consultations as a platform to raise their concerns on the important topic.
"Every single Jamaican is impacted by migration in one way or another. We believe that the perspective of every Jamaican has to be taken into consideration in the decision-making processes. And through these meetings, we expect to collect and integrate your views on the issues to be addressed in the policy," he said.
He informed that the policy to be developed is the first of its kind in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The PIOJ has received financial and technical support from a number of international institutions, including the International Organisation on Migration (IOM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the European Union (EU) for the development of the document.
Mr. Williams pointed out that its development is being led by a technical working group made up of the main stakeholders in migration and development in this country.
The PIOJ will stage consultations in Manchester at the Mandeville Hotel on Wednesday, September 19; in New Kingston at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Friday, September 21 and 28; Runaway Bay, St. Ann at the Cardiff Hotel and Spa on Tuesday, September, 25; and in Montego Bay, St. James, at the Iberostar hotel on Wednesday, September 26.
Presentations will be made by Policy Development Consultant, Kevin Morrison; Representative, International Organisation for Migration, Costa Rica, Ricardo Cordero and Representative, International Organisation for Migration, Switzerland, Frank Laczko.