Organised by the European Commission since 2006, the European Development Days (EDD) is an annual forum that brings together the development community. The Rabat Process Secretariat was present at the 13th edition of the EDDs, which focused on “Addressing Inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind”. It participated in the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) expert panel to discuss inequalities along migration journeys, drawing on examples from West Africa, Central America and from Europe.

The ICMPD expert panel touched on the complex and evolving links between migration/mobility and inequalities, delving into the role of regional frameworks and local government in tackling inequalities. Drawing from the experiences of the Support Project to the Africa-EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue / MMD (of which the Rabat Process Secretariat is part) and from capacity-building programmes MIgration EU eXpertise (MIEUX) and the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM), the session gathered four speakers representing academia, local and national government, and international organisations – all of whom collaborate actively with ICMPD.

During the panel, highlights of the study entitled “Social Immobility vs social mobility: the root causes of international emigration” – carried out to feed into the Rabat Process Thematic Meeting on Root Causes (held in Paris in 2018) and the Dialogue more generally – were presented by Ms. Audrey Jolivel, Coordinator of the Rabat Process Secretariat and ICMPD Focal Point for West Africa.

One of the study’s conclusions shared by Ms. Jolivel during the panel was that inequality of opportunities in the country of origin may explain the decision to migrate: emigration is emerging as an alternative to immobility and social injustice. Linked also to social and cultural norms, the issue of root causes is complex and remains a topic to be further explored by the Rabat Process in order to improve shared understanding of migratory phenomena and to strengthen migration management.

The research was carried out by Dr. Nelly Robin of the French Research Institute for Development in Italy and Senegal throughout 2018 and it aimed to “unpick” the notion of root causes in all of its complexity. The research challenges, for example, the idea that the root causes of so-called "irregular" and "regular" migration are different in some way.

The results of the study will, it is hoped, serve as a basis for the development of appropriate and targeted policy instruments to improve migration governance.

The study will be available for download on our website soon.