The ACP Observatory on Migration


by Joyce van Genderen-Naar

On Monday 2 August 2010 a press conference and prelaunch of the ACP Observatory on Migration took place in the ACP House in Brussels, with statements from the ACP Assistant Secretary General, Ms. Michèle Dominique Raymond; Head of Governance and Operational Support Section EuropeAid Cooperation Office (AIDCO) European Commission, Ms. Kirsi Pekuri; and Director of the ACP Observatory on Migration, Mr. Laurent de Boeck.

The objective of the Observatory is to produce data on South-South ACP migration flows. There are 12 pilot ACP countries selected, but the research will concern all ACP countries and all ACP regions. The Observatory cooperates with universities in Africa, Caribbean, Pacific and EU. One of the main pillars of the Observatory’s activities is Capacity Building for civil society. They wish to integrate civil society actors in the dialogue concerning policy-making on migration, and give NGO’s, local organizations and individual actors from civil society their say in the process of improving migration policies in ACP countries. Furthermore, these contacts will help to increase the visibility of the Observatory amongst civil-society based organizations.

The Observatory is an institution designed to produce data on South-South ACP migration flows for migrants, civil society and policy-makers and enhance research capacities in ACP countries for the improvement of the migrants’ situation and the strengthening of the migration-development nexus. The total budget for the project is 9 404 776 €. The European Union contributes with 7 994 060 € .

The Observatory will create a network of research centres and private researchers to provide policy-makers, the civil society and the public at large with reliable and harmonized data on ACP migration. It will focus its attention on the migrants’ situation and will foster the inclusion of migration into pilot countries’ development strategies. The Observatory will be officially launched in October 2010. While currently based in Brussels (Belgium), the Observatory will move to one of the 79 ACP countries.

The Observatory is open to the participation of Universities, research centres, government agencies, consultants, experts and general public interested in producing or using comprehensive data on ACP migration. Joining institutions will be part of a high-level research network including research facilities from around the world focusing on migration data and migration management policies. The Observatory will function as an exchange platform for migration research papers and expertise. Through its website, the Observatory will publish research studies and papers which will contribute to a better understanding of ACP migration flows and migration and development issues for policy-makers, government officials and general public.

The ACP observatory works with :

- A Research Consortium with 15 partners, among which National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho, University of Cape Town (UCT) , Cape Town, South Africa, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD), Dakar, Senegal; Université Gaston Berger, Saint-Louis, Senegal; Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; MOI University, Eldoret, Kenya; Centre for the Study of Forced Migration of the University ofDar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Université de Goma, Goma, DRC; University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji; University of the West Indies, Bridgetown, Barbados.

Associated Partners are: The International Migration Institute, Oxford, United Kingdom; The Commonwealth Secretariat, London, United Kingdom; Université de Yaoundé II, Yaoundé, Cameroon; The Economic and Social Research Foundation, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The 12 Pilot Countries are: in West Africa: Senegal and Nigeria; in East Africa: Kenya and Tanzania; in Central Africa: Cameroon and DRC; Southern Africa: Lesotho and Angola; Caribbean: Haiti and Trinidad&Tobago; Pacific: Timor-Leste and Papua-New-Guinea.

PRESS RELEASE: 02/08/2010 - For immediate release


The ACP Observatory on Migration: improving migration research in ACP countries for better policy making
The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States Observatory on Migration is a new institution created to provide reliable data and information on migration flows in ACP countries. The objective is to design better policies to enhance the migration contribution to development. The Observatory will be officially launched in a ceremony foreseen for 25-27 October 2010 which will gather relevant figures from the political, economic and cultural fields both in the EU and the ACP countries.

The European Commission and the Secretariat of the ACP Group of States have partnered in the establishment of an intra-ACP Migration Facility aimed at fostering institutional capacity in the ACP countries and strengthen the civil society with the ultimate aim to include migration issues into national and regional development policies and strategies.
Available data on ACP migration is scarce and often unreliable.

In many countries, the lack of relevant information has serious political consequences, since migrants’ need cannot be taken into account by policy makers. Migration is widely considered to present one of the factors influencing development but in many cases it has not been included in development strategies because of the lack of reliable data. According to Laurent de Boeck, Director of the ACP Observatory on Migration, “unlike South-North movements, South-South migration flows have received very limited attention in the past years.

Yet contrary to public perceptions, South-South migration is highly important in many regions and often takes place between neighbouring countries and those with small wage differentials. Drive factors include labour migration, family reunification, forced migration, traditional cross border flows and the effects of climate change”.
The ACP Observatory on Migration will tackle existing data and information gaps by improving policy-oriented knowledge on migration flows between ACP countries. Under the Secretariat of ACP States and funded by the EDF and Switzerland, the Observatory will introduce an innovative approach to enhance research capacities in ACP countries and provide policy makers the tools to improve their action.

Information will be provided to general public to improve knowledge on migration issues. Research will focus on the protection of migrants’ rights through several research topics including forced migration, labour migration, migration and health, remittances and migration and climate change. The Observatory will foster networking and cooperation between research institutions, private researchers and government agencies through a website and will conduct research to obtain currently inexistent information. The total budget for the project is 9 404 776 €. The European Union contributes with 7 994 060 €.

An official ceremony will be organized in Brussels on 25-27 October 2010 to launch the Observatory. High representatives from EU and ACP institutions will be present to support the initiative, which strengthens the cooperation between European and ACP countries on migration and development. The launching ceremony will include working session and an artistic event foreseen for the 26th October 2010 where cultural and artistic creations from the ACP countries will be presented to the public.
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Contact:mrfbrusselsacp@iom.int

An ACP Initiative, Empowered by IOM, Funded by the European Union (European contribution: 7 994 060 €) and with the financial support of Switzerland.

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