Migration management is one of the major political and humanitarian challenges facing the world in the twenty-first century. In coping with this enormous challenge, the International Organization for Migration identifies four main pillars of migration management: migration and development, facilitating migration, regulating migration, and forced migration. Each of these pillars demands multiple research and policy responses:
Migration and development is clearly a vital issue in migrant source countries, where in some cases remittances and migrant investments surpass official development aid. Migration and development are also key issues in destination countries where labour shortages and population aging are challenges to continued economic growth. Additionally, the role of labour migrants is increasingly being articulated as a solution to labour needs in developed economies. Such debates need to include a critical evaluation of the process and ethics of temporary labour migration regimes.
Facilitating migration requires that international structures and agreements governing migration facilitation must be both enforced and evaluated. The geographical, logistical and legal challenges introduced by processes of international human mobility, or immobility, demand integrative multidisciplinary assessment. In addition research must also focus on the growing “migration industry” and the transnational social networks and cultural communities which facilitate migration.
Regulating migration presents a complex set of interrelated challenges for any society, which includes, but is not limited to, issues of social and economic justice, health, human rights, security, pluralism and multiculturalism and national sovereignty.
Forced migration has become an increasingly distressing dimension of global human existence in an age of regionalized conflict, extreme poverty, ethnic, racial, religious and gender discrimination, and environmental disaster. Forced migration, and the range of international responses to it, poses significant challenges to global peace and security, and as such, policy debate must include exceptional input from researchers.
The Centre will establish research relationships and seminars encouraging involvement with all Laurier faculties including Arts, Social Work and SBE. Activities conducted under this mandate include sponsoring research, assisting with the development of research proposals, conducting seminars, organizing and conducting conferences, and linking members of the business community, community organizations and governmental actors with academic scholars and scholarship.
The Centre will foster research in the areas of new policy development and alternative models and practices of managing both temporary and permanent forms of international migration. The mission will be to develop and sponsor research linkages and activities with scholars throughout Laurier and share and discuss the implications of this research with nongovernmental and governmental actors and representatives (e.g. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Kitchener-Waterloo Multiculturalism Centre, Waterloo Region Immigrant Employment Network (WRIEN), The Working Centre, etc.).