Migration is an ever present phenomenon in and of Armenia. Despite its size and relative isolation, Armenia is confronted with most, if not all, types of migration: labour emigration, labour immigration, people seeking international protection within its borders, a sizeable foreign student population, returning Armenian migration and all the (re)-integration issues that accompany these migration flows.
The ‘Support to Migration and Border Management’ (MIBMA) project is of a strategic nature, aiming to support the Armenian Government in the elaboration of a comprehensive set of policies to address and manage migration. At the same time, ICMPD realises that it needs to involve the practitioners and decision makers of tomorrow in discussions on migration, not only to inform and interest them but also to start mainstreaming migration in future Government policies.
Within this context, on 28 March 2017, ICMPD in Armenia and the Migration Competence Centre at Yerevan State University organised an introductory Migration Day for students of the Yerevan State University and the Russian-Armenian Slavonic University. The topic for this first day of lectures was the link between migration and development.
The interactive lectures were delivered by international and national experts in the field. Mr. Biagio Speciale, Professor Associate from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, presented a number of inter-connected topics such as “push” and “pull” factors of human migration, the impact of emigration on the social, economic and political aspects of society, consequences of emigration for the countries of destination and origin. Ms. Lusine Stepanyan, from the Armenian Caritas, gave an overview of the various groups of migrants in and from Armenia – asylum seekers, labour migrants, students, refugees, and returnees and spoke about their integration. She reviewed migration as a result of development, consequence of development and a reason of development. The last speaker, Ms. Kristina Hayrapetyan, Director and Country Representative of International Committee for the Development of People (CISP) in Armenia, gave a comprehensive overview of the role and potential of remittances in Armenia.
During the discussion, frequent links between the specifics of migration in and from Armenia and the international examples that Mr. Speciale brought were made, indicating that the characteristics of migration are indeed often applicable universally. Also, as a result of the international perspective that Mr. Speciale brought in, some new areas of possible study in Armenia were identified, such as the link to emigration and the level of wages in the country of origin. The students actively participated in all discussions asking questions and presenting their viewpoints on the migration topics covered in the presentations. Representatives of several international and public organisations also attended the lectures and contributed to the discussions.
All participants considered the first Migration Day a success and ICMPD is looking at organising other, similar events.
Read the press release from Migration Day.