Putting the EMPHASIS on migration: What do you think are the priorities for the women, migration and development agenda?

by 10th Jul 2014
Nargis Pavin, who worked in a factory in India, with two of her children in Botospur, Bangladesh Nargis Pavin, who worked in a factory in India, with two of her children in Botospur, Bangladesh © CARE/Jon Spaull

Migration is a critical, yet underexplored, dimension of the post-2015 development agenda. On 17-18 July, CARE and ODI are hosting the Women, migration and development conference. We want to know what you think on some of the key issues the conference will be debating.

Putting the EMPHASIS on migration

The conference draws on learning and innovation developed by CARE’s five-year EMPHASIS (Enhancing Mobile Populations’ Access to HIV and AIDS Services, Information and Support) project working with migrant communities in Nepal, Bangladesh and India. EMPHASIS (funded by the Big Lottery Fund) and other CARE interventions in different parts of the world have shown that migration can be a key development enabler both for source and destination countries – but the potential benefits depend upon the realisation of migrants’ capabilities and rights.

So what needs to happen to ensure that migrants have safe mobility, decent work and access to health and other basic services – and that migration is recognised as a positive driver of development post-2015?

Please add your comments below – your input will be discussed at the conference and will help shape and inform the final conference document drawing together key learning, insights and ways forward.

Three priorities

1. Promote regional approaches to migration that seek to ensure both source and destination countries reap the benefits.

For example, via EMPHASIS, CARE helped build linkages between India, Nepal and Bangladesh to improve migrant healthcare services (including anti-retroviral treatment) and financial flows across borders.

2. Ensure that migration is a core part of the international development agenda.

Future debates on poverty eradication including the UN negotiations on a new development framework post-2015 should consider how safer and more secure working environments for migrants can enable social and economic progress.

3. Urge states to ratify and implement relevant international and regional standards to protect migrants.

This is particularly important in sectors dominated by women migrants such as ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers. Doing this would increase labour protections such as working hours and wages.

What do you think?

  • Are we missing anything:  are there any major gaps or key issues that you wish to add?
  • How do we take these recommendations forward? In particular, which frameworks, global agreements and contexts should we prioritise?
  • These priorities mainly came from work in Bangladesh, Nepal and India, but have also been informed by CARE’s projects across Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. How relevant are the recommendations to your region or other regions?

Please add your comments below – you can also click here to find out more about the conference or to register for the conference at the ODI website.


EMPHASIS (Enhancing Mobile Populations’ Access to HIV/AIDS Services Information and Support) is a 5-year project implemented in India, Nepal and Bangladesh addressing cross border mobility-related vulnerabilities, using an HIV lens and with a specific gender focus.