Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals

In June, GLOBALGOALS core member Dr. Marjanneke Vijge attended a workshop on migration and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the University of Exeter. The workshop was part of Project Misty, an ongoing consortium on Migration and Transformations to Sustainability.

Project Misty analyses the connections between migration and sustainability, including through global modelling. It also focuses on international governance of migration. Here, the SDGs are a major area of concern and provide important opportunities for policy leverage.

Scientists from five European universities

The workshop brought together scientists from five European universities with diverse backgrounds in migration, mobility and sustainability governance. An important outcome of the workshop was enhanced understanding of the way in which the SDGs aim to govern migration.

SDGs first global sustainability governance framework covering migration issues

The SDGs are the first global governance framework on sustainability that cover migration issues. They were negotiated during a period with a large influx of migrants into European countries. Several SDGs relate to migration, for example by calling on countries to ensure international labour rights and facilitate remittances for migrants.

Acknowledgement of the mobility of people can further contribute to sustainable development

Migrants are seen as financial contributors to their country of origin. Research, including from the Migration and Transformations to Sustainability project, shows that migration and mobility play an important role in (sustainable) development not only in the place of origin, but also in the place of destination. While development is often seen as sedentary, assuming static populations, acknowledgement of the mobility of people can further contribute to sustainable development. Failure to acknowledge the demographic challenges and opportunities that migration brings can severely limit countries’ ability to achieve the SDGs.

Future collaboration with GLOBALGOALS

In the coming years, GLOBALGOALS will work in close collaboration with the Migration and Transformations to Sustainability project to continue policy-relevant research on migration and sustainability, an area that has so far been little studied.