Minsk hosts the national round table on migration “Migration in the Republic of Belarus: trends, challenges, possibilities” on the 26th of May 2016. The event gathered representatives of all stakeholders: governmental sector, international society, civil society, academic scientists, diplomatic missions and independent experts.
The reason of the organization of the national round table on migration can be explained by today’s migration situation in the context of the increasing mobility of people and the current migration crises in Europe as well the necessity of the comprehensive all-ministerial discussion of migration and related issues, and development of the effective approaches in addressing those issues to get all benefits that migration brings for the socioeconomic development.
Migration and related issues were included into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, which implies that States will develop well-managed migration policy which will be effective in addressing the current challenges.
The relevance of the migration processes today were confirmed by Nickolai Melchenko, Deputy Minister of the Interior:
Belarus is about to face new challenges and threats caused by the international political, economic and environmental conjuncture. The legislation framework on migration requires improvements, new forms and methods of work, modern information technologies and resources.
Besides determining the priorities of the national migration policy, it’s very important to use the whole-of-government approach that implies engagement of all stakeholders including governmental sector, civil society, international society and private sector.
Zeynal Hajiyev in his speech highlighted the importance of such a national event in the context of the migration situation:
I would like to mark the timeliness of the national round table as the migration situation, and we all have witnessed it recently, can change very quickly… Belarus is a transit country which means that it cannot be stand aside. Recently Belarus has faced at least three migration trends affecting the migration situation in the country, First of all, it is mass labor migration of the Belarusian citizens to the Russian Federation. Secondly, it is a flow of Ukrainians, forced migrants, who have left their home country because of the war conflict. Finally, it is the increased growth of the irregular migration through the territory of Belarus.
The main goal of the event is to work out the consolidated approach to determine and identify strategic priorities of the Republic of Belarus in the field of migration based on the opinions of all involved stakeholders.
The round table resulted into the list of recommendations on possible approaches and solutions to address issues in the migration-related areas: irregular migration, forced migration, and migration and development. The recommendations were developed by the participants who worked in the three thematic groups accordingly.
It is planned that the recommendations will be consolidated in one document and will be offered to the Government of Belarus for their consideration. The document will be rather advisory than mandatory and can be used when developing the effective migration policy.