Ecuador, IOM, EU Pilot Scheme to Improve Sustainable Development through Migration

MMICD pilot workshop in Quito, Ecuador on November 26 and November 27, 2019. Photo: IOM 

Quito – Ecuador has a rich migration experience as a country of origin, destination and transit for migrants in the Americas and other regions. It is recognized as a global pioneer in adopting a human rights-based approach to human mobility owing to its recognition of the importance of including migration and migrants into efforts to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.   

This week the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU) launched a pilot initiative with Ecuadorian partners to capitalize on the momentum behind the country’s efforts to work migration into development policies, plans and programmes with a special focus on employment and urban development.   

Ecuadorian Vice Minister for Human Mobility, Ambassador Carlos Velástegui, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility said that one of the main reasons to include migration considerations in government policy is to generate employment opportunities.  

“This is fundamental to achieving success in integrating migrant groups,” he said in Quito this week at an IOM and EU-organized workshop that officially launched the project in Ecuador.  

The pilot aims to test the practical guidelines and training materials developed to better integrate migration into key development sectors. A programme of assessments, trainings, technical assistance and exchanges of practice with development partners will also be carried out.   

EU Ambassador to Ecuador, Marianne Van Steen, stressed the importance of the programme’s focus on inclusiveness, linking migrants and the larger community in a dynamic of mutually beneficial development.  

“The integration of migration into development programmes not only supports migrants but also improves cooperation interventions for inclusive development,” she said.  

“These dynamics are important to consider because the relationship between migration and sustainable development is a two-way street,” says IOM Chief of Mission in Ecuador, José Iván Dávalos. “Mainstreaming migration can improve sustainable development outcomes when opportunities are capitalized on, challenges are addressed or mitigated, and the rights of migrants and their families are protected,” he continued. 

The pilot is part of a larger EU-supported IOM programme called Mainstreaming Migration into Cooperation and Development (MMICD) project to integrate migration into and across key development sector plans, programmes, and policies in a bid to improve policy coherence and achieve effective, more sustainable development results.