Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Migration is part of the urban DNA. It has historically shaped cities, where human mobility has converged and, through exchanges, contributed to social, cultural, economic and political development. Cities are, and always have been, major destinations for migrants in search of better life, safety and access to services, housing and employment. To this end, both the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees acknowledge the importance of local authorities for shaping and implementing these international commitments. Remarkably, the common vision of both Compacts is that city leaders are crucial to ensure that no one is left behind and to make cities “inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”, in line with the SDGs and human rights principles. The New Urban Agenda also calls for supporting local actions and advocates for frameworks that enable positive contributions of migrants to cities. The New Urban Agenda has been adopted to advance the development of pluralistic societies, where needs of all inhabitants are met, while recognizing the specific needs of those in vulnerable situations. Still, migrants in cities often face challenges in accessing adequate housing and basic, administrative or legal services. They often live in segregated areas, where they lack access to the opportunities that cities can provide, as well as meaningful interaction with the larger urban community, which negatively impact social cohesion. Especially in times of crisis, migrants also face barriers to accessing services they urgently need, as well as reliable and timebound information. As the place where people come together to live, work and find opportunities, cities can play a crucial role in fostering an urban culture of inclusivity, where all are considered equal. Since 2015, MC2CM has been collaborating with cities in the Mediterranean to bring evidence-based best practice and policy to the forefront of the international conversation around migration governance, advocating for whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach for advancing effective and people-centered migration governance and empower cities to be critical agents for migrants’ inclusion. This event will feature key successes and barriers to urban migration governance, drawn from the MC2CM network experience and illustrate the clear need for stronger multi-level cooperation, recognition of a human rights-based approach, and acknowledgement of the important role that local governments play as key actors in migration governance.