CONF : Public lecture « From One Crisis to the Next : Could the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Contribute to Govern Migration Better ? » — Wednesday 20 January 2021, 16h, online

Public Lecture by Marion Panizzon Christ (Private Lecturer), orga­nized by Centre for Global Migra­tion Studies (CeMig), Göttingen (Germany)

Date : 20 January 2021, 16:00 – 17:15 CET
Venue : Online via Zoom

Abstract :
The dynamics of migra­tion gover­nance have been redrawn by the 2015/​16 refugee crisis. With the SARS-CoV‑2 pandemic and policy crisis response the connec­tions and bound­aries between the global, regional and local layers again, were redrawn. Para­dox­i­cally, the patterns of migra­tion gover­nance were diamet­ri­cally different between the refugee and this health crisis. This presen­ta­tion explains why the response to the refugee crisis shifted the levels of gover­nance to the global regime, dele­gating polit­ical respon­si­bility to a UN-led global migra­tion and refugee regime, while the regional level signif­i­cantly lost appeal, also to a growing number of local initia­tives and prac­tices. During the COVID-19 health crisis, however, migrants and refugees were seem­ingly out of sight of the inter­na­tional response, with the excep­tion of those working in front­line func­tions. While the Global Pacts’ response to crisis appeared to freeze, national immi­gra­tion policy awak­ened to alle­viate the risks of poverty, hunger, inca­pac­i­tated access to health, educa­tion and other social services for those, who the crisis had ‘left behind,’ many of which were migrants. We hypoth­e­size from our bird’s eye view of selected COVID-19 relief programs that the Agenda 2030’s Sustain­able Devel­op­ment Goals (SDGs) and sub-goals, cali­brate a crisis response, which is better aligned to national emer­gency measures and migrants’ needs alike, than the holistic approach of the GCMs action­able commit­ments. In addi­tion, the Agenda 2030’s ‘to leave no-one behind’ is more apt to fight the crisis-induced rise in multiple discrim­i­na­tions facing migrants, in partic­ular chil­dren and youth, women, persons in vulner­able situ­a­tions. In sum, we open up for a discus­sion, if the COVID-19 pandemic might have elevated the signif­i­cance of the Agenda 2030 for global migra­tion gover­nance. We ask how SDG 10’s goal of building ‘orderly, safe and respon­sible’ migra­tion poli­cies, might accom­pany migrants and states to navi­gate the inse­cu­rity of a global health crisis by embed­ding poli­cies such as regu­lar­iza­tions, which gained a new urgency with migrant workers stranded behind closed borders and immo­bi­lized by travel bans.

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