The workshop on "Societies and Identities: The Multifaceted Impact of Migration" was held in the framework of IOM's International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) which in 2010 had the overall theme of "Migration and Social Change".

Consistent with IOM's mandate and Strategy Document (activity 7), the IDM provides a forum for IOM Member and Observer States, as well as international and non-governmental organizations and other partners, to share experiences and perspectives on migration matters with a view to identifying practical solutions and fostering greater cooperation.


Migration is a catalyst for change and development – it has the potential to enrich not only the economies, but more importantly perhaps the culture and societies of both countries of origin and destination. For example, while financial remittances are now widely recognized as a product of migration, social remittances, including the transfer of ideas, behaviours, identities and social capital, have received much less attention. At the same time, migration transforms notions of national and personal identity and some societies struggle with the process of re-defining their collective identities and maintaining social cohesion in the face of increasing diversity. Lastly, migrants themselves may bring new ideas to their host countries; while at the same time some migrant communities may hold on to lifestyles and traditions they associate with their places of origin, even if those places have since changed. Such tensions need to be negotiated in daily social interaction.

This workshop focused on migration as an impulse for socio-cultural transformations in both home and host countries. It explored the policy implications presented by the complexities of migrant interactions with societies and specifically aimed to:

  • Bring together governments to exchange their experiences of and responses to the realities of social diversity in their respective societies and to identify effective practices for maximizing contributions of migrants in both home and host societies;
  • Provide the IOM membership with the opportunity to discuss social consequences of migration, including pertinent issues such as managing perceptions of migrants and migration, effective advancement of national and sub-national integration policies, and mitigation of negative impacts on families;
  • Exchange innovative ideas for multi-stakeholder partnerships at all stages of the migration process including strategies for building social capital and cohesion at the local level.

19 July 2010|Day 1

09:00 - 10:00
10:00 - 10:10
Welcome Remarks
  • William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Statement
10:10 - 10:40
Keynote Address
  • Peggy Levitt, Professor and Chair in Sociology, Wellesley College Presentation
10:40 - 11:00
Setting the Scene
11:00 - 13:00

Session 1

Addressing the Complex Relationship Between Migrants and Societies Moderator

  • Anil Kumar Kokil, Assistant Director, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mauritius


  • Ali El Mhamdi, Director of Consular and Social Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Kingdom of Morocco
  • Peter van Vliet, Assistant Secretary, Multicultural Affairs Branch, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Australia Statement

General Discussion

13:00 - 14:00
Afternoon Break
14:00 – 15:00

Side Event

Information Dissemination and Awareness Raising for Migrants and Receiving Communities

  • Organized by IOM's Labour and Facilitated Migration (LFM) Department


  • Elizabeth Warn, Labour Migration & Development Specialist, IOM Geneva Presentation
  • Pindie Stephen, Senior Migrant Training Officer, IOM Geneva Presentation
15:00 – 18:00

Session 2

Managing Perceptions and Misperceptions of Migrants and Migration Moderator

  • Nicolás Marugán Zalba, Director, Spanish Observatory for Racism and Xenophobia, Ministry of Labour and Immigration, Spain


  • Nora Pérez Vichich, Principal Advisor, Directorate for International Migration, Directorate-General for Consular Services, Ministry of Foreign Relations, International Trade and Culture, Argentina. Statement: EnglishSpanish
  • Chinedu Onyejelem, Editor and Publisher, Metro Eireann Newspaper, Ireland
  • Sarah Mulley, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Public Policy Research, United Kingdom Presentation
  • Kenneth Wyne Mutuma, Nelson Mandela Foundation Community, South Africa

General Discussion

20 July 2010|Day 2

10:00 - 12:30

Session 3

Supporting Migrants and Their Families: Migrant Women, Youth and Family in the Wider Social Context Moderator

  • Philippe Boncour, Head, International Dialogue on Migration, IOM


  • Salvador Berúmen Sandoval, Director of Research, Centre for Migration Studies, National Migration Institute, Mexico Presentation
  • Glenda Watt, Strategy Manager, Corporate Services, City of Edinburgh Council, United Kingdom Presentation
  • Mulayka Laura Enriello, Responsible for Education, Italian Islamic Religious Community (Comunità Religiosa Islamica Italiana CO.RE.IS.) Statement

General Discussion

12:30 - 13:00
Migrant's Voice
  • Nastasa Marjanovic
13:00 - 14:00
Afternoon Break
14:00 - 15:00

Side Event

The Role of Youth Organizations in Fostering Participation of Young Migrants

  • Organized by the European Youth Forum


  • Ben Vanpeperstraete, Board Member, European Youth Forum
  • Vanessa Moura Pereira, Associação de Melhoramentos e Recreativo do Talude
  • Samir Biberovic, Amaro Drom e.V.
15:00 - 17:50

Session 4

Enhancing Migrants' Contributions to Societies: Social Remittances and Other Impacts of Migration Moderator

  • Arnon Mantver, Chair of the Board of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Center for International Migration and Integration, Israel


  • Teresita Manzala, Center Director, National Reintegration Center for Overseas Filipino Workers, Philippines Presentation
  • Deo Nkusi, Advisor in Diaspora Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Rwanda Presentation
  • Robert Palmer, Director, Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage, Council of Europe Statement
  • Florence Laufer, Migration and Integration Officer, United Nations Alliance of Civilisations and
  • Christine Aghazarm, Project Officer, Migration Policy and Research Department, IOM Joint Presentation

General Discussion

17:50 - 18:00
Wrap-up and Closing Remarks


Related documents
Event documents