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Getting Migration Governance Right

DHAKA – At last year’s United Nations General Assembly summit, world leaders promised to cooperate on ensuring safe, orderly, regular, and responsible migration. This year, they need to do more to realize that pledge.

UN member states have acknowledged migration’s many benefits, including its role in stabilizing global labor markets, spreading knowledge and ideas, creating diasporas that spur increased trade and investment, and sustaining economies worldwide through remittances, which pay for family members’ health care, education, and housing back home.

But these benefits are easily squandered if, as we’ve seen recently with crises in the Mediterranean Sea, the Andaman Sea, the Central American corridor, the Sahel, and the Horn of Africa, migration is not governed responsibly and cooperatively.

More than 4,300 migrants have died this year trying to reach their destinations. In the Mediterranean Sea alone, 3,200 people have perished, and in the Andaman Sea, just east of the Bay of Bengal, thousands of migrants have been stranded on boats with nowhere to land, or have been held hostage by their traffickers.