(ILO)* — The recent loss of lives in the Mediterranean Sea is yet another reminder of the human impact of unresolved conflicts and development failures worldwide. The seeming global paralysis in the face of this on-going human tragedy is deeply disturbing.
“Stopgap measures to halt the flows of migrants only scratch the surface of the problem. We need to go deeper into the root causes that force people to put their lives in danger in order to find work and security in foreign lands,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.
“Let’s not lose sight of the fact that these are people who need our help now.”
A durable solution to this on-going crisis must include several elements:
- National and global action to create more and better jobs in countries of origin;
- Greater action on the establishment of regular migration channels that meet real labour market needs and facilitate family reunion;
- Improved oversight of the recruitment of migrants to prevent human trafficking and migrant smuggling; and
- Shared commitment to meet humanitarian assistance to those in need and distress.
Developing effective responses calls for the engagement and participation of business and labour leaders along with other stakeholders in designing national responses that stimulate growth and create jobs while preserving social and labour protection.
The process also calls for balanced dialogue on how to ensure migration systems can be fair and respectful of human rights, and this can only come with cooperation between the affected regions.
Where conflicts prove stubborn, it should be possible to extend solidarity with refugees and with countries receiving large inflows to enable them to enjoy basic human dignity and support their engagement in productive activities wherever possible.
The forthcoming Valletta conference (11-12 November 2015) that will bring together European Union and African Union leaders is one opportunity to design a collaborative response that can ensure migration within these regions is a choice and not a necessity.
Looking further ahead, one of the acid tests of the UN 2030 Agenda will be whether member States are prepared to make the necessary policy decisions and to act on them with the necessary measures that will permit women, men and children to have decent lives whether in their countries of origin or in countries of destination.