‘Migration profile a key tool for policy planning’

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‘Migration profile a key tool for policy planning’

Post  Sirop14 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:54 pm

‘Migration profile a key tool for policy planning’


“Every Seychellois is the descent of an immigrant. So migration is a very important issue for Seychelles, although we sometimes tend to forget this importance.”

Those were the words of Professor Michel Poulain, an international consultant who has helped elaborate a first Migration Profile (MP) for Seychelles. Professor Poulain is an emeritus lecturer of the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and the Talinn University in Estonia.

The MP has been produced with the close collaboration of technicians from the Department of Immigration and Civil Status, Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and the ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Labour and Human Resource Development.

The document which has been named ‘Migration in Seychelles: A country Profile 2013’, regroups statistical data which are crucial for the knowledge of migration processes and for the development of relevant evidence-based policies. It gives a consistent view of the migration situation in Seychelles through information from the border control database on international movements and residence permits.  It also provides a view of the migration trends and recommendations on how best to improve policymaking with respect to migration, taking into account the socio-economic conditions prevalent in the country.

The MP has been handed over to the respective principal secretaries responsible for Immigration and Foreign Affairs, Charles Bastienne and Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne by Jo Rispoli, regional thematic specialist on labour, migration and development from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) based in Pretoria, South Africa. This was done in a short ceremony at the STC (Seychelles Trading Company) conference room on Latanier Road on Tuesday morning. Also present was a delegation from the government of Malawi.

Mr Bastienne said that with 214 million people or three percent of the world’s population living outside their country of origin, the magnitude and complexity of international migration is an important force in development.

He added that the issue of migration is dynamic and important for small countries like Seychelles and in this view, the MP will be an essential tool for policy planning in health, education, environment and other areas.

In the Seychelles context where as many as 14,000 work permits are issued per year, Mr Bastienne added that expatriates contribute a lot to the development of the country and that we need them by our side in order to move to the next stage of our development.

He however warned that we must measure what is the optimum number of foreigners that our economy in all its form can sustain and judge when the number of foreigners starts to have a negative impact on our socio-economic development.

“Immigrants are beneficial to the economy, but they must be selective and limited in number. The general opinion on the impact of the presence of foreign immigrants and tourists in Seychelles is rather positive even if certain voices will not be in favour of this statement. For example, it has been stated that the presence of too many immigrants can lead to over reliance on a foreign labour force, in addition to putting pressure on infrastructure and the environment,” Mr Bastienne said.

On his part, Mr Rispoli has reminded that apart from helping Seychelles in the MP project, his organisation has provided relevant migration management training to Seychellois, including migration and health, labour migration and irregular and mixed migration flows.
He has expressed the wish that the MP for Seychelles be put to proper use.

“I wish to emphasise on the importance of taking forward the recommendations issuing from the Migration Profile for Seychelles by ensuring it is used as a living, breathing document for evidence-based policy-making and other purposes,” he said.

The MP for Seychelles is considered as a first step towards the monitoring of international migration in the country and how the phenomenon can impact on development planning.


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