Paris, 23-24 October 2018, hosted by France and co-chaired by Senegal.
The root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement are a priority topic in the international cooperation between Africa and Europe. In light of the importance and complexity of the topic, the Rabat Process partners organised a Thematic Meeting exclusively focusing on the root causes of irregular migration in the Rabat Process region. The participating partner countries and stakeholders closely examined this multi-faceted topic and worked towards a common understanding and solutions. The meeting resulted in joint recommendations and conclusions by the co-chairs.

General objective of the meeting
To gain a shared understanding of the root causes of irregular migration in the Rabat Process region, in order to facilitate the development of suitable and appropriate policies, capable of responding to the identified structural factors.”

“Unpacking” root causes to grasp their complexity

Around 80 representatives gathered in Paris, including representatives of the Rabat Process partner countries and partner organisations, as well as external experts. These external experts included representatives of civil society organisations and international organisations, researchers, members of the diaspora and representatives of the private sector.

The thematic meeting aimed to “unpack” the question of root causes and irregular migration, which is not the outcome of a single determinant. To do so, the meeting was framed by research- and practice-oriented presentations and provided opportunities for the participants to exchange their views in plenary sessions and working groups. The root causes of rural migration and migration and urban planning, as well as an in-depth study on the concept of root causes of irregular migration in the Rabat Process region were discussed. Parallel working groups invited the participants to formulate specific recommendations addressed at communicators, as well as at decision-makers and project managers in rural and urban zones.

“State of the Art”: an in-depth study on the root causes of irregular migration

In order to gather specific data to guide the debates, the Secretariat of the Rabat Process had commissioned an in-depth study on the root causes of irregular migration in the region of the Rabat Process, prepared in May 2018. The study “State of the art” by Lucie Bacon and Nelly Robin reviews existing work on the subject of “root causes” of “irregular migration”. The study suggests a need to rethink the concepts underpinning the current global approach taken by the Rabat Process on migration issues.

Strategic Background: from Valletta to Marrakesh

The thematic meeting contributed directly to the strategic objectives currently guiding the Rabat Process. In 2015, the Rabat Process partners explicitly recognized the importance of addressing root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement when they adopted the Joint Valletta Action Plan (JVAP) together with the Khartoum Process. This common resolve is also reflected in the Rabat Process’ Marrakesh Political Declaration and Action Plan, which puts emphasis on achieving a common understanding of these phenomena in the Rabat Process region.

Two of the 23 specific actions of the Marrakesh Action Plan provide the framework for the thematic meeting and study on the root causes of irregular migration:

Action 4:
Analyse the root causes and make practical recommendations (...) with a view to improving the incorporation of these issues into policy development.
Action 5:
Promote a more systematic inclusion of (these) issues (...) into socio-economic development strategies and programmes at national level, and into development cooperation programmes, whilst also promoting ownership of existing regional normative frameworks.

Resources:

Study on root causes:
Summary: “State of the art – The root causes of irregular migration in the region of the Rabat Process” - a study conducted by Lucie Bacon (Migrinter) and Nelly Robin (Institut de recherche pour le développement-CEPED) for ICPMD, May 2018 (version française de la synthèse)
Full study: „State of the art. The root causes of irregular migration in the region of the Rabat Process“ – a study conducted by Lucie Bacon (Migrinter) and Nelly Robin (Institut de recherche pour le développement-CEPED) for ICMPD, May 2018 (version française de l'étude)

Meeting documents:
Concept Note / Note conceptuelle
• Meeting Agenda / Ordre du jour

Meeting conclusions
Conclusions of the Co-Chairs / Conclusions de la co-présidence

Presentations in English:
“Factors of migration and urbanization in Africa”, Prof. Joseph Teye and Prof. Mariama Awumbila, Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana

Presentations in French:
“L’emploi des jeunes dans le secteur de l’agriculture”, Mohamed Lamine HAIDARA, responsable de la Plateforme pour l’Entreprenariat des jeunes en Agrobusiness
“La situation mondiale de l’alimentation et de l’agriculture 2018 “, Rodrigo de Lapuerta, Directeur du bureau de liaison de la FAO avec l'Union Européenne et la Belgique
“Créer des politiques durables favorables à l’inclusion des migrants”, communication de CGLU Afrique (Cités et Gouvernements Locaux Unis d’Afrique)