In view of the fact that migrant workers and refugees face similar challenges (e.g., crossing borders, facing discrimination in the receiving/host country, experiencing exclusion and limited enjoyment of rights, and the threat of detention and or deportation), both the UN and the civil society have increasingly resorted to common approaches and solutions to enhance the protection of these different groups. Based on ARDD’s research and experience, and having consulted the Migrant Workers Committee1 the brief proposes six recommendations that could help guarantee a safe and
dignified life for all concerned:
1) Invest in quality data gathering through targeted regional research, particularly on borders, to identify: (a) the main challenges refugees and migrant workers face across the region and (b) the main alternative to voluntary or involuntary migration, which could save lives.
2) Make sure that legal aid provides full information about solutions for both migrants and refugees, and that those migrants and refugees are not discriminated against on any ground.
3) Raise awareness about the circumstances that push people to move and align responses with international legal obligations. Forced migrants should always be granted asylum, as a basis for durable solutions: (1) voluntary repatriation under the supervision of pertinent agencies, to ensure refugees’ or migrants’ protection, (2) local inclusion with an emphasis on social cohesion; (3) resettlement to places where the refugee can reestablish him/herself.
4) Establish a task force for Arab countries to prioritize regional discussions on how to ensure that the Mediterranean Sea returns to being a place that saves lives, not causes death. For it, Arab countries (and not only those bordering the Mediterranean Sea) should engage with
European countries on:
a. integrated, humane, and coordinated management of borders,
b. effective prevention and response to the smuggling of migrants and refugees, and trafficking.
5) Promote partnerships among government authorities, the private sector, banks and development organizations, civil society, donors, and the UN, to:
a. promote social cohesion of migrant workers and their effective protection (by enabling communication in different languages, securing recourse mechanisms, etc.),
b. support sustainable income-generating projects for migrants/refugees in host countries,
c. create conditions for migrants and diasporas to contribute to sustainable development in receiving/host country, but also to access fast, safe, and convenient transfer of remittances,
6) Hold all stakeholders accountable, to help maintain the legal status of refugees/migrants during their life journey away from their home/country of origin.
1 This committee, including 30 representatives of various non-national (migrant worker and refugee) communities in Jordan, is set up and supported through the ARDD’s Haquna project