IOM Netherlands to Host Diaspora Conference

Posted: 
05/29/15

Netherlands – IOM will host an international conference next week to take stock of the impact of knowledge transfer from the diaspora community in the Netherlands to nine countries of origin.

With the theme Diaspora in Action, the conference, which will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague on June 2nd, will bring together leading national and international experts to share experiences and discuss the impact of the knowledge transfer. 

The conference comes at a time when connecting and facilitating diaspora communities to engage with their countries of origin has increasingly become an important aspect of the global work of IOM.

In many countries affected by decades of out-migration, there is a great need for skills, expertise and experience in a variety of sectors, such as agriculture, health and education.

“Migrants and their descendants are not only connected to their country of residence, but also to their country of origin. By sharing their knowledge and expertise they can become humanitarian actors in crisis situations, entrepreneurs in business, trade and innovation, as well as international experts,” said IOM Netherlands Chief of Mission Martin Wyss.

“This makes them powerful actors in the social and economic development of their country of origin. Governments are aware of this and are increasingly developing diaspora policies to facilitate the contribution of migrants,” he added.

Over the past decade, IOM Netherlands has facilitated over 800 assignments for qualified migrants and their descendants living and working in the Netherlands or other European Union countries through its Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals (TRQN) programme.

The programme offers a window for diaspora professionals to contribute to the social and economic development of selected countries by facilitating temporary assignments. Through knowledge transfer, they also have an added value as catalysts for long term change. In this way diaspora engagement can help to build the capacity of local organizations.

The TRQN project focuses on capacity building in sectors and areas identified in nine target countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Cape Verde, Georgia, Ghana, Iraq, Morocco, Somalia and Sudan. IOM’s main role is to act as a facilitator and mediator between the diaspora and institutions in these countries of origin.

For the conference programme, please go to http://bit.ly/1BqUgQq

For further information, please contact Marian Lenshoek at IOM The Hague, Tel: +31. 651576 013, Email: mlenshoek@iom.int

Migration and diaspora experts attend IOM's Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals in Practice (TRQN) conference last 2 June 2015. © IOM 2015