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Private Sector, Civil Society Actors Discuss Responsible Business Practices in South Africa
Johannesburg – The Responsible Business Forum (RBF) on Sustainable Development started yesterday (25/06) in Johannesburg, South Africa. The three-day event will address the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the African continent, with a focus on innovation, youth and technology.
Representatives for IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will run a plenary session tomorrow morning (27/06) entitled Employers, Innovators and Drivers of Sustainable Development: Harnessing the Private Sector’s Role in the Global Compact for Migration. Participants will address the ongoing Global Compact on Migration process, areas of focus and objectives led by United Nations Member States and stakeholders.
The private sector has a direct business interest in migration policies. The vast majority of private sector entities engage with migrants – as employees, customers, and increasingly as shareholders, managers and corporate leaders. Therefore, current global migration challenges – insufficiency of regular labour migration channels, unpredictability and opaqueness of national regulations governing immigration and international labour recruitment, etc. – are of direct concern to them.
Speaking ahead of the event, Jason Theede, IOM Senior Labour Mobility and Human Development Specialist, Southern Africa, said: “The Responsible Business Forum Africa is a prime opportunity to foster partnerships with multilateral institutions, governments, the private sector and civil society and ensure a well-rounded approach to effective migration management within the African continent.”
In September 2016, with the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, heads of state and government at the United Nations launched a process to develop the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to be adopted at the end of this year. The private sector needs to be a strong voice in the process to ensure that its interests are well-represented.
The RBF Africa Forum on Sustainable Development is organized by Global Initiatives in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is expected to convene more than 400 attendees from business, government, UN agency, NGO and the development community attendees to discuss a shared vision for a prosperous future in Africa.
IOM has been an active partner in the Southern Africa region, providing technical assistance to the regional and continental integrative agenda and assisting member states, civil society and other key stakeholders with policy and programmatic development to enhance labour migration governance and management in the region, engage and provide protection to migrants, as well as facilitating South-South labour mobility and human development initiatives.
During the forum, IOM will also present MigApp – a mobile application developed by the organization to provide migrants with information on visas; health and travel regulations; alerts on global incidents arising from conflict or natural disasters; and contacts of counter-trafficking hotlines around the world. MigApp also has a feature that helps migrants compare costs for sending money home to their relatives. Remittances are a key source of support for populations in developing countries, but too often the cost of sending this money home is too high.