International migration policies and data

Mobilising migrants’ skills for development in the MENA region, Tunis 13-14 May 2013


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13-14 May 2013

Mobilising migrants' skills for development in the MENA region: Making the Most of Young Migrants Skills

Printable version: Programme

Opening adresses

  • Mr Houcine Jaziri (Secrétaire d'État aux Migrations et aux Tunisiens à l'Étranger) (speech)
  • Ms Genevieve Ah-Sue (Deputy Regional Director UNFPA Arab States Regional Office) (presentation)
  • Mr Stefano Scarpetta (Acting Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD) (speech)
  • Mr Khalil Zaouia (Minister of Social Affairs, Tunisia)
  • H. E. Ali Laarayedh, Prime Minister of Tunisia (for official launching of the Conference) (speech)





Keynote lecture by Philippe Fargues (Migration Policy Institute, European University Institute, Italy) on: how has migration within and from the region responded to recent economic and geopolitical changes? How have these changes affected the opportunities for youth and the development prospects of the region? What role for demographic factors in shaping recent and future migration trends? (presentation)

Background paper: Martin Baldwin Edwards(Mediterranean Migration Observatory, Panteion University, Greece) (presentation)

What are the main characteristics of current labour migration system in the MENA region? What are the implications for bilateral and multilateral agreements with destination countries in managing migration?





Round table 1: International migration and accumulation of human capital and skills

How to better match young people skills and labour demand in countries of origin?

To which extent migrants skills are underused in destination countries and what measures could reduce the risk of unemployment and over-qualification and the duration of unemployment? What are the barriers to the international transferability of skills and how can these be lifted? What sort of skills do migrants accumulate abroad and to which extend are these transferable and valued in origin countries?

Chair: Habib Louizi(Directeur Général de l'Office des Tunisiens à l'Etranger, Secrétariat d’Etat auprès du ministre des affaires sociales en charge de la migration des tunisiens à l’étranger)

  • Iván Martin (Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales (ICEI), Spain) (presentation)
  • Nabil Abdo (ILO, Regional Office for the Arab States) (presentation)
  • Anda David (DIAL, France) (presentation)


Round table 2: International students

What is the available evidence concerning international students from the region? How many are they? Where are they? What are they doing? Do they come back? How can the skills of international students be better mobilised in their countries of origin? How can recognition of foreign qualifications, including that of technical degrees, be promoted to improve the labour market opportunities of students wishing to return to their home countries? What other measures can promote return migration of students and ensure a productive utilisation of their skills?


Chair : Abdelmajid Naamoun (Secrétariat d’État chargé de la Communauté Algérienne à l’Étranger)

  • Sylvie Mazzella (Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme, Aix-en-Provence) (presentation)
  • Samia Satti Osman Mohamed Nour (Khartoum University, Sudan) (presentation)
  • Çağlar Özden (World Bank, United States) (presentation)
  • Janina Koemen (GIZ, Germany) (presentation)


Round table 3: brain drain vs. brain gain

What is the available evidence regarding brain drain and brain gain for the region? How to make sure that the education system better matches employers’ needs? What measures can help to make the most out of international mobility of skills, including in critical sectors such as health and education? What is the effectiveness of the ethical recruitment code and agreements?

Chair: Gl. Abu Bakr Al Guindi (President of the CAPMAS, Egypt)

  • Christiane Wiskow (ILO, Switzerland) (presentation)
  • Ummuhan Bardak (European Training Foundation, Italy) (presentation)
  • Hassan Boubakri (University of Sousse, Tunisia)
  • Jaâfar Debbarh (Direction de la Coopération, Ministère chargé des Marocains Résidant à l'Étranger, Morocco) (presentation)





Round table 4: recruitment of foreign workers

How can migrants be better matched with labour market opportunities in destination countries? What measures can be used to improve access to information on job vacancies, notably for young graduates abroad? Beyond Europe what opportunities in North America and Asia?

Chair: Khaled Louhichi (Poplas Resaerch Center of League of Arab States, Egypt)

  • Phil Martin (UC Davis, United States)
  • Regina Galias (Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Philippines) (presentation)
  • Yves Brunner (Directeur de la représentation de l'OFII à Tunis, France)


Round table 5: Return migration and re-integration

How can return migration be used to fill labour needs in origin countries, especially in social sectors such as education and health? How can access to information on job vacancies for prospective returning migrants be improved?  How best to support migrant entrepreneurs who would like to invest in their origin country? What policies can provide the necessary incentives for migrants wishing to return and render their return beneficial for themselves and their country?

Chair:  Heba Nassar (Vice-President of Cairo University, Egypt)

  • Bachir Hamdouch (Université Mohammed V, Morocco) (presentation)
  • Jackline Wahba (University of Southampton, United Kingdom) (presentation)
  • George Kosseifi (Beirut, Lebanon)




Round table 6: main data limitations and the way forward

What are the main challenges associated with the collection of data on migration in the region? How can cooperation on data exchange between countries be promoted? In what ways can the data quality and transparency be improved? Challenges for developing a permanent monitoring system of migration flows and policies in the region.


Chair: Hussein A. Sayed (Professor of Statistics, Cairo University, Egypt)

  • Samir Farid (MEDSTAT)
  • Theodora Xenogiani (OECD, France) (presentation)



Keynote speech by Jacques Ould Aoudia (Migration et Développement, France) on the role of different actors (destination countries, origin countries, local governments, home-town, diaspora associations, bilateral and regional cooperation, etc.) in promoting skill mobilisation and development


Round table 7: policy options to foster international skills mobility: coordination and cooperation

How can destination and origin countries, local governments, migrant associations and employers help facilitating and promoting skill mobility and use? What are the value-added and challenges associated with bilateral and multilateral agreements? 

Chair: Genevieve Ah- Sue (UNFPA Arab States Regional Office)

  • Ibrahim Awad (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
  • Mohamed Khachani (University Mohamed V, Rabat, Morocco)
  • Marie Kruse (European Commission, Tunisia) (presentation)
  • Yann Pouget (World Bank, France)
  • Jean-Christophe Dumont (OECD, France)


Summary of the conference by El Mouhoub Mouhoud (Université Paris Dauphine, France)




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