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Globalisation, Migration and Human Rights

Annual Call for Projects 2003


This comprehensive study on migration, supported by the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN), will evaluate and describe, from both an interdisciplinary and an empirical perspective, the two main components of the migratory phenomenon: economic migration (work) and political migration (asylum). This study aims at providing a better understanding of migration by taking into account a fundamental, but often neglected, issue: the basic needs of the migrants and respect for their human rights. The main purpose of this research is to develop a framework of analysis and innovative proposals for guiding the different actors involved in migratory movements, namely States, international organisations, policy-makers and societies of origin, transit and destination of migrants.

The research project is intended to promote cooperation among international organisations, States and societies for drawing an international framework of analysis with regard to the human rights of the migrant. Migration is a phenomenon closely linked to globalisation that cannot be left to dubious actors, such as smugglers, unscrupulous employers, mafias, etc. This research project departs from the reactive and security approach that is common to the issue and encourages new discussions and practices based on knowledge of facts and dialogue among all interested actors. If migrations are framed economically and politically by actors such as States and international organisations, they are an advantage for migrants and societies and constitute a key element for building peace and cultural exchanges. In fact, there are common interests and reciprocal advantages in such a global and renewed approach to the migratory phenomenon. This approach cannot be confined to an "illegal" migration. It has to be integrated within State and interstate policies for the purpose of respecting human rights.

The research project will be based on twenty case studies aimed at analysing the main problems faced by institutional actors, practitioners, policy-makers, citizens and migrants. The case studies will be carried out by international experts coming from different European, Latino-American and African universities and institutions. The expert appraisal will be followed by two general synthesis reports that shall provide a systematisation of the subject as well as some proposals regarding the migratory phenomenon. The content of the research project is based on two operational guidelines essential to the understanding of migratory flows of populations: society and law.

The first part, entitled "Society, Migration and Refuge," will describe the essential characteristics of migration movements (conditions of existence, prominent facts and determinisms). The synthesis report regarding this first part will be produced by M.C. Caloz-Tschopp. It is expected to provide a critical analysis of the current approaches to the issue in order to bring out elements of reflection aimed at drawing up the bases for analysis as well as realistic and equitable practices regarding the migratory phenomenon. The eleven expert appraisals of the first part of this project are expected to cover different and complementary fields: 1) economic aspects of migration; 2) demographic aspects of flows of populations linked to development; 3) women's status in the framework of migrations; 4) social conditions of migrant workers in both regular and irregular situations; 5) a reflection on movement and a general typology of the recent migratory phenomenon from a political philosophy perspective; 6) reflections on the notion of security; 7) conditions of departure and trajectory of migrants for two groups of countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey/Africa, and Eastern Europe); 8 & 9) two appraisals by medical experts regarding the health of migrants; 10) the question of fears and the representations of migrations from a social psychology perspective; and 11) the intercultural education of migrants and populations in host countries.

The second part of the project, entitled "International Law, Migration and Refuge," will deal with the legal regulation of the flow of populations. It shall provide a better understanding of the exclusion and non-adaptation phenomena that follow from the absence of a global and coherent normative framework of the issue. The research project is intended to provide a general report produced by V. Chetail identifying the gaps in current international regulation and proposing a global legal approach to the issue. This empirical and prospective study of the international law of migrations will be based on a detailed analysis of the two main concerns of current regulation: international security and illegal migration. The systematic analysis of international norms regulating the flows of populations shall include case studies on the main types of migrations. The following subjects will be analysed: protection of refugees, rights of migrant workers, family reunion, European regulation of economic immigration and asylum, white slave trade, agreements of readmission and international cooperation.

• The research program is intended to yield the following results;

• The creation of a training course in order to promote a better understanding of migrations;

• The organisation of an international conference in Geneva presenting the expert appraisals of the research;

• The publication of the results of the research program in a book for practitioners and policy-makers;

• The creation of a database gathering documentation on migration and a website;

• The creation of an international network of exchange and cooperation on migrations based in Geneva (University of Geneva, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences), the Graduate Institute of International Studies and the University of Lausanne (Institute of International Political Studies), in collaboration with the International Labour Office (ILO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The grant provided by the GIAN for this project totals SFr 276,000

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Project Team

Prof. Amiya Kumar Bagchi , Principal Member, Institute of Development studies, Kolkata .

Prof. Marie-Claire Caloz-Tschopp , Principal Member, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences (FPSE) , University of Geneva (Unige) .

Prof. Etienne Balibar , Associated Member, Paris X University, Nanterre .

Prof. Pietro Basso , Associated Member, Venice University .

Prof. Madjid Benchikh , Associated Member, Cergy-Pontoise University, Paris .

Prof. Fethy Benslama , Associated Member, Cergy-Pontoise University, Paris .

Mr Antonio J. Carretero Ajo , Associated Member.

Prof. Manuel Angel Castillo G. , Associated Member, , Mexico City College .

Prof. Monique Chemillier-Gendreau , Associated Member, Diderot University, Paris 7 .

Mr Jean-Michel Dolivo , Associated Member.

Ms Ghislaine Glasson-Deschaumes , Associated Member, Euro-Mediterranean Non-Governmental Platform .

Prof. Vera Gowlland-Debbas , Associated Member, Graduate Institute of International Studies (GIIS) .

Prof. François Julien-Laferrière , Associated Member, Jean Monnet Faculty , Paris-Sud 11 University .

Mr Smaïn Laacher , Associated Member, School of High Studies in Social Sciences .

Mr Pierre Bernard Le Bas , Associated Member.

Mr Abelardo Morales-Gamboa , Associated Member, Latinoamerican Faculty of Social Sciences, Costa Rica .

Prof. Gregor Noll , Associated Member, Lund University, Sweden .

Dr. Adela Pellegrino , Associated Member, Montevideo University .

Prof. François Rigaux , Associated Member, Catholic University of Louvain .

Prof. Margarita Sanchez-Mazas , Associated Member, Free University of Brussels .

Prof. Michelangela Scalabrino , Associated Member, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano .

Mr Christophe Tafelmacher , Associated Member.

Prof. Elizabeth Thomas Hope , Associated Member, The Universty of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaïca .

Ms Elena Tiuriukanova , Associated Member, Russian Academy of Sciences .

Prof. Lodewijk Van Outrive , Associated Member, Catholic University of Louvain .

Prof. Jens Vested-Hansen , Associated Member, University of Aarhus, School of Law, Danemark .

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