September 2006 â€˘ Vol. 12, No. 3
In this issue: Cities, Magnets of Hope..............................4 Floating in a sea of uncertainty ................... 6 Women on the move....... 8 Migrants and Urban Policy Implications ............10, 11 Migrants and housing rights ...........................16 Remittances ................ 17 Debating Migration................ 18,19
Cities - magnets of hope A look at Global Migration Problems
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN SETTLEMENTS PROGRAMME
AY D T TA E I B U HA ISS LD IAL R C O W SPE
Habitat Debate September 2006
A Message from the Executive Director
very year on the first Monday in October we use World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of the world’s growing cities and our planet’s rapid and irreversible urbanisation. We worry not only whether we can manage this growth, but how we can do it positively in a way that makes cities inclusive, welcoming places for all. As populations increase and more and more people migrate, cities lure us to their bright lights. Like moths to a flame, we also worry also about getting burnt. How many more people will end up in the developing world’s growing slums? Will there be jobs, shelter, water, electricity, health services, for all? Will we be able to cater for their basic needs even if we cannot do the impossible and meet the aspirations of all? Rapid and irreversible. Those are the trends today of the greatest rates of migration and urbanisation the world has known. According to the latest UN research, international migrants numbered 191 million in 2005: 115 million lived in developed countries, and 75 million in developing countries. Half of these people on the move, it is noted, are women. As we reflect on the theme of World Habitat Day 2006, Cities, magnets of hope, I wish to draw your attention to some new facts about the urban world in which we live. These have just been published in our latest State of the World’s Cities 2006/7 report: Some time during the course of next year, demographers watching urban trends will mark it as the moment when the world entered a new urban millennium with the majority of people living in towns and cities for the first time in history. The year 2007 will also see the number of slum dwellers in the world reach the 1 billion mark – when on average one in every three city residents will be living in inadequate housing with no, or few basic services. It is still unclear how this will influence government policies and actions, particularly in relation to Millennium Development Goal 7, Targets 10 on water and sanitation, and 11 aimed at improving the lives of slum dwellers.
They are better able to withstand the volatility of the global economy than those with less urbanised populations. Urban-based economic activities account for up to 55 percent of gross national product (GNP) in low-income countries, 73 percent in middleincome countries and 85 per cent in high income countries. And major contributors here are the migrants who helped build many of the world’s greatest cities, the people who had the courage to pack up and move. We need to look at ways of making our cities inclusive places able to provide for all. Instead of building fortresses, we need to build more bridges. But it is important to understand that the growth of cities is not just a phenomenon of migration from rural to urban areas. It also entails international migration – people seeking a better life in other countries both in the north and in the south. Whether they are fleeing conflict, disasters or simply seeking a better life somewhere else, the number of people on the move today is greater than ever before. It is very difficult to stop the flow of people into cities and towns. Urbanisation is one of the most powerful, irreversible forces in the world. It is estimated that 93 percent of the future urban population growth will occur in the cities of Asia and Africa, and to a lesser extent, Latin America and the Caribbean. Migration too is one of the great irreversible forces, and one likely to grow. Frequently discussions on how to manage it are steeped in controversy and rancour. This is in part because policy making and coordination at the international, national and municipal level is lacking. Some countries complain about the brain drain, but there is also the fact that the remittances immigrants send home could be far larger in financial terms than gross overseas development aid or foreign direct investment. Thus, it is a question of striking a balance. Cities make countries rich. Countries that are highly urbanised have higher incomes, more stable economies, stronger institutions.
Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka Executive Director
Habitat Debate September 2006
Contents A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ............................................2
Cover Photo This image of Earth’s city lights was created with data from the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). Originally designed to view clouds by moonlight, the OLS is also used to map the locations of permanent lights on the Earth’s surface. The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. (Compare western Europe with China and India.) Cities tend to grow along coastlines and transportation networks. Even without the underlying map, the outlines of many continents would still be visible. Photos ©: clockwise from top left corner: Image Vortex Services, F. Vasquez/UN-HABITAT, Image Vortex Services, NASA/Visible Earth (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/)
Cities: Magnets of Hope.......................................................4, 5
Floating in a sea of uncertainty: more and more migrants desperate to reach Western Europe................................................................................................6
Civic values, culture and rural-urban migration...............7
Women on the move...................................................................8
The more immigrants, less xenophobia....................................................................................9
Urban Policy Implications of International Migration................................................................................10,11
International Migrants and the City Johannesburg.............................................................................12
International Migrants and the City Vancouver.....................................................................................13
In quest of humane solutions as migration grows and grows...............................................................................................14
Migration can be made to benefit everyone..................15
Aplace to call home - migrants and housing rights.......... ...........................................................................................................16
Migrant's remittances - a new form of development finance for the world's poorest countries........................................................................................17
Editorial Assistance Tom Osanjo Roseleen Nzioka Sugumi Tanaka
Design & Layout Irene Juma Anne Musotsi
Editorial Board Lars Reutersward Farouk Tebbal Lucia Kiwala Anantha Krishnan Dinesh Mehta Eduardo López Moreno Jane Nyakairu Mariam Yunusa Mohamed Halfani
DEBATING MIGRATION ...................................................................................18 NEW Publications
NEWS & Events
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Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views and policies of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN‑HABITAT). All material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted, provided the authors and Habitat Debate are credited.
Habitat Debate September 2006
Cities: Magnets of Hope In a world where greater numbers of people are packing up and moving than ever before, the big draw, is the lure of towns and cities. Here the editor, Roman Rollnick looks at some of the problems facing today’s migrants - those who are defined as people born outside their country of residence.
ust as migration is increasing, so the world’s cities are growing at unprecedented rates. And although there is a rise in absolute numbers of people on the move, according to new UN research, the migration flows around the world today are much lower than in the period from 1860 to 1914, when the percentage of migrants in some developed countries was much higher than now. But the latest facts and figures show that migration and urban growth are strongly linked, mainly because the majority of people on the move go for the bright lights of the city. The flows of people affect the economies of both their home countries and those to which they travel, especially the cities. There is empirical evidence that, worldwide, cities are attracting more foreign people than in the past. And although the scale of migration varies among world regions, almost everywhere cities are the destinations for people escaping poverty, conflict, human rights violations, or simply those looking for a change, for something better. The leading experts at UN-HABITAT, and the authors of the 2006 International migration and development Report of the UN Secretary-General agree that migration, if well managed, can be good, both for the migrants themselves, and for the societies and cities they join. Immigrants forged the great cities of the United States. In the year 2000, for example, 28 percent of people living in London, and 23 percent of the population of Paris were foreign born. Berlin presents itself as a “great immigration city”. But, says UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, in his foreword to the report, migration also stirs passionate debate: “It can deprive countries of its best and brightest, and it can divide families. “For all the good it can bring, it can also generate social tensions; for example, issues relating to migrant integration are the focus of intense controversy. Sometimes, criminals and terrorists exploit the flow of peoples.” UN-HABITAT’s latest research, published in the agency’s flagship report, the State of the World’s Cities 2006/7, says al-
ready half the world’s population lives in cit‑ ies. In 1950, only one-third lived in cities. Fifty years later, this rose to one-half and will continue to grow to two-thirds of the global population, or some 6 billion people, by 2050. Cities are the hubs of much national production and consumption – economic and social processes that generate wealth and opportunity. But they also create disease, crime, pollution, poverty and social unrest. The report says the number of slum dwellers will top 1 billion in 2007. Never before in history has the world witnessed such a rapid growth of urbanisation. No doubt migration is largely responsible. The capacity of cities like Johannesburg or Dakar, for example, is weak when it comes to accommodating international
migrants, given that large numbers of their own citizens are living in poverty. At the Third Session of the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2006 – UN-HABITAT’s 30th birthday – it was generally agreed that how we manage this rapid urbanisation is arguably the biggest problem confronting humanity in the 21st century. Vancouver 2006 made it clear that the United Nations needs to galvanise its strength as never before in the quest for sustainable urbanisation and inclusive cities. Indeed, one of the main messages to come out of the Vancouver Forum is that the urban population of developing countries is set to double from 2 to 4 billion in the next 30 years. Ms. Katherine Sierra, Vice-President and Network Head, Infrastructure, at the
Rescued would-be immigrants risk all for a job in Europe. Photo ©: by Darrin Zammit Lupi, Staff Photographer, Allied Newspapers Limited C, courtesy of timesofmalta.com. This photo was kindly loaned to UN-HABITAT for one-off usage in this magazine.
Habitat Debate September 2006
The latest facts on migration n
n n n n n n
International migrants numbered 191 million in 2005: 115 million lived in developed countries, and 75 million in developing countries. Between 1990 and 2005, high-income countries registered the highest increase in the number of international migrants (41 million). Three-quarters of all migrants lived in just 28 countries in 2005, with one in every five migrants in the world living in the United States. Migrants constitute at least 20 percent of the population in 41 countries, 31 of which have less than a million inhabitants. Female migrants constitute nearly half of all migrants worldwide, and they are more numerous than male migrants in developed countries. Nearly 6 out of every 10 international migrants live in high-income economies. These include 22 developing countries, including Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Kuwait, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. About a third of the 191 million migrants in the world have moved from one developing country to another, and another third have moved from a developing country to a developed country. Migrants with tertiary education constituted just under half of the increase in the number of international migrants aged 25 or over in OECD countries during the 1990s. Nearly 6 out of every 10 highly educated migrants living in OECD countries in 2000 came from developing countries. – International migration and development Report of the UN Secretary-General, 2006.
World Bank, and Mr. Enrique Peñalosa, the former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, now a Visiting Scholar at New York University, explained what this meant at a plenary session: “These 2 billion new urban inhabitants will require the equivalent of planning, financing, and servicing facilities for a new city of 1 million people, every week for the next 30 years,” Ms. Sierra said. “Imagine,” added Mr. Peñalosa, “that means a new city each week the size of Vancouver.” Just as the World Urban Forum marked a turning point in the international debate on sustainable urbanisation, Mr. Peter Sutherland, the SecretaryGeneral’s Special Representative on Migration, said he hoped the United Nations General Assembly’s High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in September 2006 would lead to the establishment of a new Forum on migration. Ms. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UnderSecretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), agrees. Her view is that the world must put migration at the centre of the global development agenda and integrate it with population policy. Proper policies would help alleviate crises when they arise. At the time of publication, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that it was trying to help about 200,000 Bangladeshi, Ethiopian, Filipino, Nepali and Sri Lankan migrant workers stranded in conflict-torn Lebanon.
And off the coast, in the Mediterranean, the plight of a Spanish trawler crammed with African migrants it had rescued also made headlines as it waited days at sea for some country to allow it in. It is no surprise, when one looks at the rough edge of urbanisation that it coincides with the extremes of emigration: that in sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the world’s highest annual urban growth rate (4.58 percent), and the world’s highest annual slum growth rate (4.53 percent), people don’t necessarily like to stay at home. They know their prospects of a good job and a decent future are pretty slim in a continent where 72 percent of urban dwellers live in slums. This is why increasing numbers of people risk all, and use their life savings to pay criminal syndicates to ferry them to Europe, or, in the case of poorer Latin American countries, to the United States. People smuggling is big business. Immigrants are able to contribute not only to their new countries, as they have always done, but their vast flows of remittances home — which last year exceeded US $230 billion — now dwarf international aid. On the negative side, cities are also home to broken dreams: migrants with university degrees driving taxis or washing dishes; or illegal workers hiding in abysmal conditions, with nowhere to turn in the face of exploitation or illness; those who end up in slums; the secondgeneration migrant born and raised in the city still derided as a foreigner by the neighbours.
Residential separation, social exclusion and xenophobia often create a North-South divide within cities. Hence, for example, the 2005 civil unrest in France that involved second-generation immigrant youths from underprivileged neighborhoods. In short, such are the risks and rewards of globalisation. Mr. Sutherland, who calls himself a migrant, is an Irish lawyer and politician who has served as head of the World Trade Organization, and as a European Union commissioner. He also currently holds the chairmanship both of the oil giant BP, and the investment bankers Goldman Sachs International. “The passions migration stirs, and the perils it presents for politicians, has sent too many thoughtful people into defensive poses. We need to change this,” he said. “Migration is the mother of progress and invention. The will and courage it requires to leave behind family and country are the same traits that have driven entrepreneurs and innovators throughout history. Our world today is shaped by the industry of immigrants,” said Mr. Sutherland. - Additional reporting by Sugumi Tanaka and Anantha Krishnan
Habitat Debate September 2006
Floating in a sea of uncertainty: more and more migrants desperate to reach Western Europe No-one tells the young people in Senegal, Mali, or Pakistan that not all of those who unwittingly pay unscrupulous crime syndicates their life savings for a perilous journey on a rickety boat to Europe and a job will make it. For years each summer, their bodies wash up on beaches along the shores of the Mediterranean from southern Spain, to Malta, Italy and beyond. Here Tom Osanjo of UN-HABITAT’s information service looks at a growing crisis the European Union has spent years trying to resolve.
or many young people especially from the poor nations of West Africa, the only way to improve their lot is to pay money to the brokers who then facilitate some of the riskiest treks human beings can embark on – across the howling sands of the Sahara Desert and then into dinghies, often barely able to float, for a dangerous passage across the Mediterranean to a ‘promised land’ yonder. No matter that they face arrest, deportation or death at any time during the journey. Throughout the ages, the human desire to improve one’s lot has prompted people to seek greener pastures in far away lands. With the world demarcated between poor and the rich, the latter will always attract people. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), migration is considered one of the defining global trends of the early 21st century with more and more people on the move today than at any other time in history. There are now about 192 million people living outside their place of birth, which is about 3 percent of the world’s population. It was thus that for a week in June this year, a Spanish trawler packed with would-be African migrants it had rescued from drowning plied the southern Mediterranean in search of a port of call. The story of their plight made headlines around the world, but no country, European or North African, would allow the ship and its unwanted African passengers to drop anchor on its shores. The trawler, stranded off the coast of Malta, became a symbol of the European Union’s immigration dilemma as countries haggled for days over who should take them in. “The diplomatic impasse between Spain and Malta over the fate of 51 migrants, to whom Malta refused entry (except those taken in for medical care) since they were saved in Libyan waters by a Spanish trawler, the Francisco y Catalina, which instead decided to head to Malta, truly tested the limits of European countries’ humanitarianism,” said the Times of Malta in an editorial.
It was only after an outcry by human rights groups and considerable publicity in the media that a solution was found. As the trawler sailed in circles awaiting the outcome of negotiations, the European Union Justice Commissioner, Mr. Franco Frattini worked with the Spanish, Italian and Maltese governments to resolve the crisis. Spain eventually dispatched two military transport planes, and collected all the boat people save eight whom Malta had agreed to assist. “We are very grateful to the Spanish authorities and to the other governments involved for this generous humanitarian gesture, which is a fine example of solidarity and burden-sharing among countries,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Ms. Erika Feller. Yet almost 1,000 immigrants have landed on Malta, which has a total population of 400,000, since January. In the weeks after the trawler episode, Malta said that between 1-20 July, it had taken in 235 illegal immigrants, which is the equivalent in proportion to the size of its population of almost 33,000 in Italy in just 20 days. Another favourite landing point, according UN-HABITAT’s flagship State of the World’s Cities 2004-2005 report, is Sicily where the authorities say no-one
knows how many people die each week in a stretch of ocean where Europeans and Africans have traded for centuries. So easily do tempers flare in the migration debate, that the Italian police arrested the crew of a fishing vessel which rescued a group of migrants dying of thirst as their boat drifted in mid-ocean, its motor broken. Spain, meanwhile, is dealing with a similar crisis in the Canary Islands, with some 11,000 African migrants arriving on the island chain so far this year. Many governments are calling for increased policing of international waters and tighter migration laws. As Europe gets ready to guard its southern flank, tough talk and shows of force appear to have drowned out the humanitarian issues floating right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. In times of conflict, the vulnerability of migrants from poorer nations is especially acute. As the hostilities in Lebanon escalated, the richer countries sent warships and planes to evacuate their citizens. This was not the case, however, for the thousands of migrant workers from Bangladesh, The Philippines and Sri Lanka left to try and fend for themselves. The trawler saga is not the first time a shipload of migrants or refugees had been turned away. It is unlikely to be the last.
The Spanish trawler, crammed with Eritrean migrants rescued on the high seas, that was turned away by several countries. Photo ©: by Darrin Zammit Lupi, Staff Photographer, Allied Newspapers Limited C, courtesy of timesofmalta.com. This photo was kindly loaned to UN-HABITAT for one-off usage in this magazine.
Habitat Debate September 2006
Civic values, culture and rural-urban migration UN-HABITAT’s Governing Council at its 20th session cited the term civic values in its resolution on civil society. Father Gerard Whelan SJ, former advisor of the Holy See in Nairobi for UN-HABITAT, who worked for six years in a poor urban parish in Nairobi, many of its residents migrants from the countryside, says the term must be clarified. He now teaches social and pastoral theology at the Gregorian University in Rome.
any delegates at the 20th session of the Governing Council in 2005 discussed this issue. Many raised the concern of their governments about the decline of civic participation among their people. This extends from reduced participation in government elections to reduction of membership in sports teams. A phrase in the GC resolution on youth opened discussion on the question of what is happening with respect to “the inter-generational transmission of values.” In a variety of GC discussions, the importance of decentralisation of government and participatory approaches to governance was discussed and widely accepted. Yet the dilemma seems to be this: just as governments are increasingly appreciating the value of an active civil society, the actual desire of populations to engage in it seems to be diminishing. Of course, academics such as Robert Putnam have made valuable contributions here. However, I like to draw on a philosophical system of a hierarchy of values that each person holds naturally – one of vital social, cultural, personal and religious values (Bernard Lonergan, Method in Theology, University of Toronto Press, Chapter 33). Civic participation in social institutions is declining in many countries. Commitment to social institutions is motivated by values such as honesty, a concern for others, patriotism etc.
I have worked for six years in a poor, densely populated area on the periphery of Nairobi. The problems involve internal rural-urban migration within Kenya. Two major ethnic groups are settled in our rapidly expanding area: one ethnic group includes the original small farmer inhabitants of the area. The other group has its roots in Western Kenya. Some years ago there was rioting between these two groups. A key civic value question for me becomes the ability of these two groups to live in harmony and to work for the development of our area. The philosophical clarity in distinguishing social values from cultural values is helpful here. Ethnic riots on the streets of Kangemi are an example of a problem of social values. However, the problem is cultural - how to build a sense of common good that transcends ethnic identity? We succeeded considerably in our parish through the work of our small Christian communities and through collaboration with other Christian denominations and religions. We have 28 small neighbourhood prayer groups for members of our Catholic parish. Even before group members agree joint social action plans, there is much happening in the way we pray together that has relevance for social development. We build civic values and assist cultural change by a number of characteristics of our faith
sharing with the Bible. From the parish centre we teach leaders of these groups non-domineering styles of leadership. This helps drive truly participatory meetings. In this faith-sharing, women have an equal voice with men, tenants with landlords and, last but not least, members of different ethnic groups reveal to each other that they have similar spiritual experiences. Members of our small Christian communities have agreed on a priority list of social problems in the area that need addressing. These are: crime, alcoholism and HIV/AIDS. In undertaking action, we reach out to other Christian denominations in the area and also to Muslims. As Faith Based Organisations, taken together, we are now a force in local politics that is reconciling and progressive. A Jesuit colleague points out that radical changes in social behaviour are occurring in African cities. However, these seem to occur without a self-conscious choice or any wise direction. A result can be what has to be called a fragmentation and break down of cultural values in the city. At the same time, backward looking nostalgia for the (rural) culture of the past is inappropriate — and it is striking how women are often more clear on this point than men. (Aqualine Tarimo SJ, Social Ethics and African Renaissance, Acton Press, Nairobi, 2006).
In many highly industrialised countries, most cities have received successive waves of immigrants: the Lower East Side of New York, the Kensington Market area of Toronto, and numerous suburbs in greater Los Angeles. Several cities (New York, London, Vancouver, San Francisco) have well established Chinatowns. There are newer ones too, like the Cubans in Miami’s little Havana, the Russians in Little Odessa (Brooklyn, NY), the Dominicans in Washington Heights (NY). Berlin’s Kreuzberg area, known as Little Istanbul, is home to 200,000 Turkish immigrants. The Goutte d’Or neighbourhood of Paris is home to tens of thousands of immigrants from north and west Africa. It is a pattern of enclaves that is also observed in developing countries: significant international communities are present in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (mostly from neighbouring countries); Johannesburg (from Zimbabwe, elsewhere in the region, and Nigeria); Bangkok, Thailand (from Burma, Cambodia and China); San Jose, Costa Rica (from Nicaragua), and some Arabian Gulf capitals (from southeast Asia). Source: UN-HABITAT State of the World’s Cities 2004/5.
Habitat Debate September 2006
Women on the move According to the United Nations 2006 International migration and development Report, female migrants constitute nearly half of all migrants worldwide. And they are more numerous than male migrants in developed countries. Yet, in many societies it is assumed that women migrate for reasons of marriage or family reunion. That view, however, is misleading, says Monica Boyd, Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto in this excerpt of a study for the UN Division for the Advancement of Women.
ovements of women within and between countries seeking domestic employment have been recorded since the 19th century. However, explicit focus on women as skilled and economically useful migrants is new in the migration discourse. Today, the number of women migrants is on the rise. In 1960 female migrants constituted 49.8 percent of international migrants to North America, and 48.5 percent to Europe. By the year 2000, these figures rose respectively to 51.0 and 52.4 percent. This increase occurred alongside the growth of feminism around the world. Research conducted after the 1960s moved from being oblivious to gender to a new awareness of gender. As a result the special issues facing migrant women in the labour market are now documented. These issues include women’s employment in precarious work and in ethnic economies, as well as their levels of human capital, language skills, and the devaluation of educational qualifications. Precarious work frequently offers low wages and little job security; this work usually is in select manufacturing and personal service industries. Poorly educated migrant women and those whose color differs from that of the majority often are found in precarious employment. The type of work done by migrant women rests on gender scripts in which women are considered appropriate for tasks such as sewing, food preparation, or cleaning. Ethnic economies may emerge in response to discrimination and structurally induced labour market problems. Women may work in small family businesses within these ethnic economies. This affects wages and reduces mobility opportunities. Feminist analysts note that ethnic economies build on models of male control and can make migrant women in these sectors invisible, both because they may not be classified as paid workers and because even if they are paid, they may be part of the hidden or informal economy. Human capital is an economic concept, referring to investments people make in themselves to improve their productivity and presumably their wages. The most fre-
quently used indicator is formal education. workers, including foreign trained nurses, It is documented that women migrants of- many of whom are women. Demand also ten have lower levels of education than mi- exists for domestic care workers; most are grant men; low educational levels increase migrant women. the likelihood of low skill and low wage Not all migrant women enter destination work. countries with permanent residence status. Women migrants are less likely to know Temporary residence status or irregular or the language of their new country than undocumented status in the receiving counare migrant men. Lower education levels try leaves migrant workers vulnerable to and expectations that women’s jobs are in abuse, and is often associated with particithe home raising children are factors. Not pation in the informal or shadow economy. knowing the language of the host society has The starting point for responses to the serious consequences. Proficiency in the host conditions noted above is that migrant country language enables one to obtain in- women, like their male counterparts, are imformation about schools, health care, social portant contributors to the societies where programmes, housing, jobs, unemployment they reside. Their paid work contributes to benefits, and civil and legal rights. Language the overall functioning of local and national also is a form of “human” capital because it economies, and their economic well-being influences where and how workers are hired in turn influences their old age, and the lives and paid. of their family members, including children. Some migrant women are highly educat- Measures to improve the situations of mied and skilled workers. But they may risk grant women include laws and government devaluations of their academic degrees and programmes. Associations and NGO their professional training. While the title groups also give women workers more opof a degree would be the same, the worth portunities to bring there problems into might be different and less in the host coun- wider public debate. try. Employers also may deliberately devalue foreign credentials in or- Estimated percentages of female migrants: der to lower labour costs 1990-2005 and enhance profits. Number of international Percentage of female Women’s responsibilmigrants (Millions) migrants ities for domestic, child Major area 1990 2005 1990 2005 care and settlement acWorld 154.8 190.6 49.0 49.6 tivities also may reduce More developed regions 82.4 115.4 52.0 52.2 the ability of migrant Less developed regions 72.5 75.2 45.7 45.5 women to take courses Least developed countries 11.0 10.5 46.2 46.5 and tests for education- Africa 16.4 17.1 45.9 47.4 al or skill recognition Asia 49.8 53.3 45.1 44.7 in their host countries. Latin America and the Caribbean 7.0 6.6 49.7 50.3 However, growing post- Northern America 27.6 44.5 51.0 50.4 industrial, knowledge Europe 49.4 64.1 52.8 53.4 based economies and the Oceania 4.8 5.0 49.1 51.3 substantial aging of the High-income countries 71.6 112.3 47.9 48.7 populations in North High-income developed countries 57.4 90.8 50.1 50.8 American and European High-income developing countries 14.2 21.5 39.3 39.8 countries within the next Upper-middle income countries 24.7 25.7 52.5 52.9 25 years will generate Lower-middle income countries 24.8 22.6 51.7 52.9 unprecedented demand Low income countries 32.7 28.0 46.9 47.8 for skilled foreign-born Source: Report of the UN Secretary-General on international migration development workers. Demand will (General Assembly document A/60/871) be high for health care
Habitat Debate September 2006
The more immigrants, the less xenophobia Like most wealthy countries, Norway is debating immigration. According to the Oslo-based researcher and social commentator, Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oslo, suspicion and misguided selfishness are highly visible traits in this debate.
he underlying way of thinking may be labelled a white discourse, and assumes that poor people and opportunists from the rest of the world are queueing up at the border. They have heard that it may be easy to get into Norway, and that one doesn’t have to work terribly hard once inside. From this perspective, immigration affects the natives through competition over scarce resources like work and housing, and the overall standard of living declines. Pitted against this white discourse, there also exists a solidarity discourse. It argues that it is a moral duty to help people in need no matter where they are, and that we must simply accept that some of them find their way here. When, politics, communications and economies are being globalised, the more people flow across borders. These world views then clash noisily through, on the one side, partly covert accusations of egotism and self-contained nationalism, and on the other, more explicit accusations of class treason and political correctness. Neither of the approaches is adequate. Both turn the problem on its head. Immigration is good and necessary for society, it is economically beneficial both for the receiving and the sending countries. It also makes the national identity larger and more significant. In fact, nationalists ought to rejoice in increased immigration. It is a golden chance to turn the country into something bigger. And so it was at a bus stop 23 years ago that I felt, for the first time in my life, that Norway had the option of growing into something great: Two immigrants of different nationalities were standing nearby, talking together in broken Norwegian.The episode showed that Norwegian could be a cosmopolitan language. But it was only several years later that I fully understood that the pride swelling in my chest on the bus afterwards, was a nationalist pride. Norway was about to grow out of its postwar clothes. There are also other nationalist reasons for opening up the borders. Research
shows a clear connection between immigration and economic growth. Without immigrants, New York stops. Or, rather, without illegal immigrants, New York grinds to a halt. They do not compete with native labour – one reason why they are there, is the need for their work input. They may be exploited horribly, but as any migrant from the Dominican Republic will say: There is only one thing worse than being exploited in the US labour black market is not being exploited in the black market. The persistence of disparities in unemployment levels between foreigners and nationals in most OECD countries is a source of concern, making Governments reluctant to admit additional migrants without setting conditions on their employment and length of stay. In 2003, foreigners in Belgium, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden were at least twice as likely as locals to be unemployed. Unemployment gaps were narrower in the newer countries of destination (Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Spain), the overseas countries of immigration and Luxembourg. In most countries, foreign women experienced much higher unemployment than foreign men. Source: United Nations, Trends in International Migration
Many of these illegal immigrants eventually become legal, and the social mobility is very significant both in the first and second generations. Xenophobia tends to be most widespread in the areas with fewest immigrants. It is not a big problem in London, a city which has been transformed rather dramatically, demographically speaking, in the last few decades. Add to this the economic importance of remittances from immigrants, which last year exceeded US $230 billion surpassing the total amount of foreign aid, with no expensive experts or bureaucracies. between donors and recipients.
Entire communities in the developing world depend on remittances. (see table page 17). It is estimated that each dollar sent home by Filipinos working in the USA leads to three dollars of value added. The money sets wheels in motion. There are, plainly, no good arguments against allowing increased labour migration into European countries. Their labour is needed in our countries with their ageing populations; they enhance and widen the scope of national identities; their remittances help out at home; and their children have opportunities only dreamt about a generation earlier. The problem for a country like Norway is, therefore, not how to limit the number of asylum-seekers or labour migrants, nor how to mitigate the conflict between immigrants and the domestic working class. The problem is about attracting professionals. In the foreseeable future, there will always be a certain supply (and a certain need) for unskilled labour, but there are several reasons why this kind of country needs a varied influx of immigrants, in terms of age, gender and professional qualifications. Virtually every immigrant I know in this country who was highly qualified professionally upon arrival, came here because they had fallen in love with a Norwegian. Few others seem to be attracted by the country. In Bangalore, they have heard that Norway is a backwater with a hellish climate – a xenophobic place where they speak an obscure language. Had Norway wished, and been able to attract, say, 1.5 million entrepreneurial immigrants of varied backgrounds to the area around the Oslo Fjord (the most urbanised part of the country), the country would have looked very different in a generation or so. It is unlikely to happen. But people ought to know what they’re missing.
Habitat Debate September 2006
Urban Policy Implications of International Migration In the last decade, globalisation has come to the fore as a major driving force in the shaping of urban development posing new challenges to urban management, write Marcello Balbo, professor of Urban Planning at the Faculty or Urban and Regional Planning, Universita Iuav di Venezia and Rafael Tuts, Chief of UN-HABITATâ€™s Training and Capacity Building Branch. This article is excerpted from a more detailed study published jointly by UN-HABITAT and the Universita Iuav di Venezia, entitled, International Migrants and the City.
eclining transport costs and the universal reach of the media showing how much better life can be elsewhere are two major factors of globalisation behind the growing numbers of international migrants in the modern world. International migrants are heading increasingly towards urban areas, particularly large cities where they have better job prospects. It is in cities where they can join the informal sector, taking up low-paid service jobs, and tap into the shelter and job networks that cities provide. Migration policies are generally determined at the national government level. Migration affects labour markets and welfare policies. It alters demographic trends. And almost everywhere it is considered as a security issue. Faced with the challenges raised by international migration, most governments seek to curb it. International migration only compounds the conditions which globalisation has created. Migrants arriving from abroad usually are low-income workers, though they rarely are among the
poorest. In developing countries, most end up living in informal settlements lacking basic services, healthy living conditions and security of tenure. In transition economies and in several cities in the economically advanced countries, slums and irregular settlements were first established by international migrants. Newly arrived migrants prefer settling among their own people where they can find the kind of support that local institutions do not or are unwilling to provide. This pattern of urban settlement contributes to the fragmentation and multiplication of identities that have come about as a result of globalisation. In decentralized government frameworks, local authorities have to cope with migrants and their problems. And in most cases, the shift of responsibilities has not been matched by increased resources. Thus the attitude of most local governments is essentially one of laissez-faire: city authorities absolve themselves of the responsibility for infrastructure and service provision. This forces the migrant com-
munities to rely mainly on the private sector or self-provision. Lack of coordination among the many layers of government in a city or metropolitan boundaries is the norm, adding to their limited capacity to manage migration. Often, migration is regarded as temporary or marginal. The growing presence of international migrants and the attendant issues of urban segregation and poverty pose a fresh challenge to local authorities, as they demand specific capacities for the management of multiculturalism and diversity. To this day, few municipal authorities have the human and technical capacities to address this complex and delicate task successfully. The problems of migration are felt in three key areas â€“ housing and services, employment and inclusive governance. Housing and services. These are probably the single most important problems for new migrants on arrival. Even where the contribution they provide to the local economy is acknowledged, formal housing and land markets
Number of international migrants as a percentage of the total population: 2005
Source: United Nations, Trends in Total Migrant Stock: The 2005 Revision. Note: The boundaries shown on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.
Habitat Debate September 2006
tend to be out of bounds to migrants. But often commonplace today in those cities to build inclusive cities, we have to pay local authorities can promote policy that with significant migrant communities. much more attention to the challengmakes low-cost housing accessible to the Cities need to understand that they es facing migrants, to help them feel foreign population, or alternately and have policy options available to address they belong. Inclusive decision-makmore likely, they can introduce incen- these problems. The way a city deals ing processes are an essential means to tives and guarantees in the housing mar- with international migrants reflects the achieve this. ket that will benefit both the supply and approach it takes to its population as a demand sides. whole. A study by UN-HABITAT and n International migration can no longer Broader acces to urban services Università IUAV di Venezia points to the be considered only a question of nacounters the increasing fragmentation of following policy recommendations: tional security, but its implication at urban space which cities have been expethe urban level must be assessed and riencing of late. n A significant part of people residing governed. There is a need to decenEmployment. Globalisation is resulting outside their country of origin are tralize migration and for more coherin increased labour market polarisation in actually living in urban areas of deence of sub-regional, state, provincial, technologically advanced countries, and veloping countries. South-to-south city and ‘Infra-city’ policies and practransition and developing economies. cross-border movements are a growtices. Integrated coordination among Local government has an essential role to ing phenomenon. More awareness of all levels of government is strongplay here. Local-level decisions can help this is needed at the local, national ly needed to overcome legislative make informal activities part of a growand international level. inconsistencies. ing formal sector and provide more decent jobs, incomes and n Multiculturalism is "We can no longer divide ourselves so eas‑ protection. Through specific becoming an important fact. local fiscal and urban policies, It is thus most important to ily into 'countries of origin' and 'countries local government can also fahave policies compatible with of destination' since, to one degree or an‑ cilitate the voluntary return of changing urban cultures. In other, many countries are now both. These skilled workers to their home diverse societies the need for countries. dedicated policies emerges distinctions, together with the perceived de‑ Inclusive governance. It is from the very specific needs marcation between the global 'North' and well recognised that the presof each group of residents, 'South', are being blurred, and in some cas‑ ence of international migrants and international migrants in also makes cities more cosparticular. es have disappeared completely. Countries mopolitan, and thus more such as Ireland, Italy and Spain, which attractive to the forces of glon The rights of internationnot long ago sent millions of their citi‑ balisation. But the increasing al migrants to equal education ethnic diversity of modern citand healthcare, adequate houszens abroad, are now countries of desti‑ ies can create fear, anxiety and ing, and labour rights must be nation, receiving thousands of newcomers prejudice, especially in couninstitutionally safeguarded. each year. Malaysia, the Republic of Korea tries without a multicultural tradition. n NGOs and local associand Thailand are experiencing a similar Local authorities need polations often act as essential transition". icies that raise urban producpartners in the identification tivity and foster economic UN 2006 International migration and of the issues relevant to culturgrowth. But more and more, development Report ally diverse communities and they also need policies that in the adoption of appropriate manage diversity and promote inclusive policies. integration. This entails the participation n International migration cannot be of migrants’ representatives in municicontrolled, it has to be managed. More in-depth research on the urban pal councils. Just as fundamental to civic Experience shows that proactive im- dimension of international migration is inclusion are public information cammigration policies can contribute to needed to understand which approachpaigns on the origins and causes of interprevent negative impacts and maxi- es work, why and in what circumstances. national migration, the costs and benefits mize positive ones at international, This research should translate into practo urban communities of hosting foreign national and local level. International tical strategies for urban actors. migrants, as well as the rights and duimmigrants are to be considered deThere is also need for urban migraties of both the migrants and those revelopment agents for the bridges they tion observatories; developing toolkits ceiving them. build between their home countries documenting replicable models; and proThroughout history, cities have been and their adoptive countries. viding support for city-to-city exchange places of hope and opportunity, and so to transfer successful migrants support they can be again today if we focus on n International migrants in developing programmes. exclusion, the causes behind it and stratcountries constitute a growing group egies to stamp it out. However, segreof urban residents often excluded, gated communities, labour exploitation, denied access to urban services, or a discriminatory behaviour and neglect are voice in decision-making. If we want
Habitat Debate September 2006
International Migrants and the City – Johannesburg Jonathan Crush, Director, Southern African Research Centre, Queen’s University, Canada and Honorary Professor, Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town, looks at migration in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest and fastest growing city.
ome to some 3.5 million people, Johannesburg is a city of migrants. Of the 3,225,816 people in the City of Johannesburg at the time of the 2001 census, 1,136,851 people making 35.2 percent of the population were recorded as internal migrants, and 216,715 (6.7 percent) were recorded as international migrants. The numbers of migrants are almost certainly underestimated. Johannesburg’s international migrants consist of three basic groups - apartheid-era white immigrants from Europe; semi-skilled and unskilled people from neighbouring countries; and post-1990 migrants from around the world. Globalisation and South Africa’s return into continental and global circuits of production and exchange have turned the city into an attractive destination. South Africa is also a relatively safe haven for asylum-seekers and refugees fleeing Africa’s “hot spots.” Skilled, professional migrants live in the city’s formerly white northern suburbs. Poorer and less-skilled migrants are drawn to live in backyard shacks in the townships of Soweto and Alexandra, and the informal shantytowns on the periphery of the city. In between, are a range of migrants who have moved into the inner-city. International migrants face numerous challenges and difficulties in the city that can be attributed to their status as migrants. These include employment problems, difficulties with health and education services, constant police harassment, xenophobia and hostility from ordinary South
African citizens and officials, as well as personal and family safety problems.
The neighbourhood of Hillbrow in central Johannesburg is home to many newcomers. Photo © courtesy South African Tourism
Johannesburg is not, in any way, a welcoming city for either economic immigrants or refugees. Policy responses to the presence of the “new wave” of international migration have been weak and ineffective. One of the most obvious problems is that the city authorities have no say over who comes to Johannesburg, for what reason or for how long. National immigration and migration policy determines who is allowed entry into the country and therefore the city. City authorities find it extremely difficult to know how many immigrants are under its aegis, and thus make plans accordingly. Undocumented immigration is a particular challenge. It has been argued that
Region of birth of international migrants
South Africa’s national immigration policy is so restrictive that it actually fosters unauthorised foreign migration. Whatever the truth of that claim, one result is that Johannesburg is host to a wide variety of scams and a considerable trade in forged documents, as immigrants pay to legitimise their stay. The failure to highlight immigration as a major policy issue goes deeper than the problem of competing priorities. A good example of this is that the city also tends to disregard the fact that almost a third of the population consists of internal migrants, with their own particular needs and priorities. The problem, then, is fundamentally about the failure of Johannesburg’s city managers and planners to recognise the centrality of migration, the challenge to mainstream migration into all facets of city governance and a tendency to view it as a problem rather than a potential set of opportunities. Current strategic development plans are notable for their lack of attention to migration. In a predominantly xenophobic climate, it has been difficult for the City to think outside the box and to recognise that international migration does not need to be seen as a threat and can offer significant opportunities. To achieve this reorientation in Johannesburg requires at least three things: n Stronger recognition in city governance structures that Johannesburg is a city of migrants. Migration needs to be mainstreamed in all planning and strategy-making. n There is a surprising lack of solid, reliable and current information on international migrants in Johannesburg. Systematic and comprehensive primary research on international migration is a pre-requisite for sound policy development. That research still needs to be urgently undertaken. n Greater dialogue between city managers, migrant experts and migrants themselves is needed. Johannesburg is a globalizing city in need of a constructive conversation about the challenges of managing international migration to the benefit of all.
Habitat Debate September 2006
International Migrants and the City – Vancouver Vancouver now has one of the highest proportions of foreign-born residents – 38 percent in 2001 – among cities in countries with advanced economies, writes Michael Leaf of the University of British Columbia.
mmigration into Canada, and Vancouver especially, underwent a profound shift in the final decades of the 20th century from a predominantly European origin to one that is increasingly Asian.
Vancouver Photo © courtesy Government of Canada
In the decade leading up to the 2001 national census, the number of international immigrants arriving in Vancouver totaled close to 325,000, with 18 percent of these from the People’s Republic of China, 15.1 percent from Hong Kong, and 11.7 percent from Taiwan Province of China. As a result, 44.8 per cent of total immigrant arrivals to the city originated from locales in what is considered to be “Greater China.” In addition, the greater part of the remaining proportion arrived from other Asian countries, most prominently India, the Philippines and South Korea. The prominence of these major groups should not, however, obscure the wide diversity of other groups who make up the shifting mosaic of Vancouver’s population structure. Popular debates arising from these changes, and integration in particular, revolve around questions of local cultural change and identity. They are coloured by an official policy context that emphasises multiculturalism as a core value of Canadian society. Spatial segregation is particularly complex in Vancouver because of the tremendous scale of immigration in recent years and the socio-economic diversity among new immigrants. The immigrant population of Vancouver is extraordinarily diverse, with some of the city’s wealthiest residents among the recent immigrants, as
well as some of its poorest. Hence, spatial patterns of settlement are more often associated with socio-economic class than with ethnicity or immigrant status per se. The national policy that has shaped integration in Vancouver derives from two basic and interlinked concerns. First, the fundamental shift in national immigration policy since the 1960s, away from race or culturally-based criteria for immigrant selection, to a “point system” tied to specified needs in the Canadian labour force following labour shortages in the post-war era. This immigration strategy based on an economic rationale has been expanded over time through the establishment of programmes for business and investment immigration, with economic migrants now constituting the largest proportion of immigrant arrivals. The other critical component of national policy has been the rise of an official discourse of multiculturalism, a policy trend that can be seen as rooted in Canada’s history as both a nation of immigrant settlement and a federation born out of bilingual compromise and conciliation. An explicit policy of multiculturalism was established with the Canadian Multiculturalism Policy of 1971. The policy became statutory through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988, which instructed all federal institutions formally to include multicultural policies in their working mandate. On the national governmental side, this infrastructure consists of a collaborative
framework of working relationships across three tiers of government – national, provincial, and municipal. Perhaps more importantly, the infrastructure of immigrant integration is not purely a government concern, as it rests upon a wide base of voluntary and community-based organisations; this base allows for direct interaction between new immigrants and existing residents at neighbourhood levels. The main lessons to be drawn from Vancouver stress the need for close collaboration between local State agencies and community-based groups, especially those rooted within immigrant communities. In addition, it is crucial that immigration affairs do not remain marginal to the concerns of urban society overall. Specific areas for policy attention include media policy, language policy, and policies to address the spatial distribution and accessibility of services in support of immigrant integration, with each of these areas of concern to be addressed both in terms of the immediate needs of new immigrants and with regard to their eventual full involvement in urban society. The ultimate goal of such strategies should be to move beyond simple multiculturalism and its emphasis on respecting cultural difference, and work to encourage a form of cosmopolitanism that is supportive of close interaction between residents from differing cultural backgrounds.
Top 10 countries of birth of 1990s’ immigrants to Vancouver
Habitat Debate September 2006
In quest of humane solutions as irregular migration grows and grows At the Rabat conference on migration in July, Morocco urged the European Union and African Union Tripoli Ministerial Conference to convene as soon as possible this year to follow up the Rabat recommendations. Michael Frendo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta, who attended the gathering of 50 nations, says more has to be done to enforce international agreements, boost development assistance and to fight the international crime gangs running lucrative migration and human trafficking rackets.
llegal immigration is a real problem for all of us, but more so for some. If 75,000 illegal immigrants suddenly arrived in France, or 50,000 landed on Spain’s shores, would that make the news headlines? This is the equivalent in terms of population density of what Malta has experienced in recent weeks. At the Rabat conference in July on migration and development, Mr. Nicholas Sarkozy, the French Interior Minister, correctly said that last year’s tragic events in which 14 migrants were killed at Spanish enclaves on the North African coast touched the hearts of Europeans. Off Malta, we find dead bodies floating in the Mediterranean regularly. We receive a steady flow of boatloads of illegal immigrants. The smaller and more densely populated the country, the bigger the problem. Malta is the second most densely populated country in the world at almost 1,300 people per square kilometer. For the Maltese, illegal immigration is not just another problem to address with a conference – this is an issue of vital importance. In Rabat I asked our African “brothers” to understand Malta’s plight. I called them “brothers” even through Malta is a member of the European Union. Like the nations of Africa, we were colonized. We suffered the traumas of colonization and decolonization. We had migrants who left because our economy could not sustain them. In the complex reality of illegal immigration, there is no such thing as a single migratory route. International criminal or-
A view of Valletta, Malta's capital. Photo courtesy www.duffin.demon.co.uk/holidays/malta/index.htm
ganizations send illegal immigrants along various routes. One of the main arteries here links Libya with Malta and Italy. Statistics using data from the past 18 months show that Malta has illegal immigrants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal Sierra Leone and Togo. So the international community cannot compartmentalize this issue. Migratory routes are interlinked; international criminal organizations make sure of that. For them transporting migrants is big business. What is the solution? We can only have a comprehensive plan. We must not close one road for the traffickers and leave “softer” options open. Along with joint patrolling of the western Mediterranean, we must have joint patrolling of the central Mediterranean area.
The message to criminal organizations must be that no route will be easy anymore. All countries must fight international criminal organizations. And international law should be respected. Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement signed by African countries calls for the repatriation of illegal migrants. This must be followed by all nations. Development assistance is clearly a very important part of the solution to ensure that people retain the hope of making a living for themselves and their families in their own societies. In all this, we must retain an unremitting commitment to provide full protection to refugees and persons requiring humanitarian status. We need urgent action. For the 400,000 citizens of my country crammed in 36 square kilometers, this is truly vital. Malta needs help – now.
European and African ministers representing 50 countries agreed at a two-day meeting in Rabat, Morocco in July that the waves of illegal migrants seeking a better future in Europe would not be stopped unless Europe helped Africa fight poverty. The meeting marked the first gathering of ministers representing countries from which the migrants come, those through which they travel, and the countries of final destination. Spain said it would commit 10 million euros (US$13 million) to help would-be African migrants set up small businesses. Mauritania, a springboard for illegal migrants sailing to Spain, got a 2.45 million euro European Union grant to help it cope with migrants. France suggested a “savings development fund” giving tax breaks to migrants investing in their country. Several European countries said they were working on making it easier and cheaper for migrants to send funds back home. Morocco said the EU had promised it 70 million euros. With Africa’s population rising sharply, economic growth has not kept pace. In 2001, around 46 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s people lived on less than $1 per day. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Africa and Europe had to work harder to give African youth confidence in there future. This was a priority. But he also warned that opening Europe’s borders to all could lead to a political destabilization of both Africa and Europe and would fuel racism. European ministers also pushed for African countries to take back illegal migrants.
Habitat Debate September 2006
Migration can be made to benefit everyone Ever since national frontiers were invented, people have been crossing them – not just to visit foreign countries, but to live and work there. In doing so, writes United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, people will always take risks to overcome adversity and live a better life.
istorically, migration has improved ices and working with migrants to develthe well-being, not only of individop their home communities, governments ual migrants, but of humanity as a whole. are multiplying the benefits of migration. And that is still true. Migration, at least in In some countries, migrant associations are the best cases, benefits not only the migrants transforming their communities of origin themselves but also the countries that receive by sending collective remittances to support them, and even the countries they have left. small-scale development projects. How so? Successful migrants often become inIn receiving countries, incoming mivestors in their countries of origin, and engrants do essential jobs which a country’s courage others to follow. Through the skills established residents are reluctant to unthey acquire, they also help transfer technoldertake. They provide many of the personogy and knowledge. India’s software indusal services on which societies depend. They try has emerged in large part from intensive care for children, the sick and the elderly, Families with members working abroad networking among expatriates, returning bring in the harvest, prepare the food, or spend more on education and health care at migrants and Indian entrepreneurs both at clean homes and offices. home. If they are poor, like the family in the home and abroad. After working in Greece, They are not engaged only in menial activ- classic Senegalese film, Le Mandat, receiv- Albanians bring home new agricultural skills ities. Nearly half the increase in the number ing remittances may introduce them to fi- that allow them to increase production. And of migrants aged 25 or over in industrialized nancial services, such as banks, credit unions so on. countries in the 1990s was made up of high- and microfinance institutions. Yes, migration can have its downside, ly skilled people. Skilled or unskilled, many More and more governments understand though ironically some of the worst effects are entrepreneurs who start new businesses, that their citizens abroad can help develop- arise from efforts to control it: It is irregular while others are artists, performers and writ- ment, and are strengthening ties with them. or undocumented migrants who are most ers, who help to make their new hometowns By allowing dual citizenship, permitting vulnerable to smugglers, traffickers and othcentres of creativity and culture. Migrants overseas voting, expanding consular serv- er forms of exploitation. Yes, there are tenalso expand the demand for goods sions when established residents and and services, add to national promigrants are adjusting to each other, duction, and generally pay more to especially when their beliefs, customs "No longer do those who emigrate sepa‑ the state in taxes than they take out or level of education are very different. rate themselves as thoroughly as they once in welfare and other benefits. And in And yes, poor countries suffer when did from the families and communities regions like Europe, where populasome of their people whose skills are tions are growing very slowly or not most needed, for instance healthcare they leave behind. No longer do the vast at all, younger workers arriving from workers from southern Africa, are majority settle in just a small number of abroad help to shore up underfund“drained” away by higher salaries and developed countries: about a third of the ed pension systems. better conditions abroad. world’s nearly 200 million migrants have All in all, countries that welcome But countries are learning to manmoved from one developing country to migrants and succeed in integrating age those problems, and they can do another, while an equal proportion have them into their societies are among so better if they work together and gone from the developing to the devel‑ the most dynamic – economically, solearn from each other’s experience. oped world. In other words, those moving cially and culturally – in the world. That is the object of the “high-lev'South-to-South' are about as numerous as Meanwhile, countries of origin el dialogue” on migration and develthose moving 'South-to-North'. Migrants benefit from the remittances that miopment that the General Assembly is grants send home. Last year, these toholding. (September, 2006). are not just engaged in menial activities. taled around $232 billion last year, As long as there are nations, there Highly skilled persons constituted just un‑ of which $167 billion went to dewill be migrants. Much as some der half of the increase in the number of veloping countries – greater in volmight wish it otherwise, migration is international migrants aged 25 or over in ume than current levels of official aid a fact of life. So it is not a question countries of the Organization for Economic from all donor countries combined, of stopping migration, but of managCooperation and Development (OECD) though certainly not a substitute. ing it better, and with more cooperaduring the 1990s". Not only do the immediate recipition and understanding on all sides. ents benefit from these remittances, Far from being a zero-sum game, mibut also those who supply the goods gration can be made to yield beneand services on which the money is - UN 2006 International migration and development fits for all. spent. The effect is to raise national Report income and stimulate investment.
Habitat Debate September 2006
A place to call home – migrants and housing rights Malcolm Langford, Senior Legal Officer, Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), and Monika Lueke, Project Officer, German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), outline major implementation problems
wenty migrants living in a Paris hostel burnt alive or jumped to their deaths in April 2005 when a fire ripped through the dilapidated six-storey building in which they lived. Almost all of the victims were African migrant families waiting to be re-housed. The event garnered international attention as the media focused on the plight of migrant families, their poor housing conditions and the lack of proper safety procedures. President Jacques Chirac declared it one of the city’s “most painful catastrophes.” Despite the high profile attention, the situation was soon replicated a few months later when 14 children and three adults died in another apartment block used by charitable organizations to house migrants. The French NGO, droit au logement (DAL), estimates that 50,000 migrants, illegal migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees are dangerously house in Paris. NGOs cite the large withdrawal of support for migrant housing programmes over the last 30 years.
While some migrants have the resources and networks to move into secure and comfortable housing, many others struggle to find a stable and habitable home in their new country. And it is not only in Europe that this situation is manifest. Despite promises by colonial and post-colonial governments, Sudanese migrants in Kenya (the Nubians) have waited almost 100 years to secure tenure over the land granted them after serving with the British Army. In Thailand, migrant workers, predominantly Burmese, frequently live in unsafe, unsanitary and segregated areas because of discrimination. Reports of abuse of power and harassment by Thai police are frequent. Earlier this year, Ms. Lara Thorpe noted in an article in the Human Rights Tribune, that in the United States, “migrant workers generally pay exorbitant amounts for accommodation, while others end up sleeping in shacks, parking lots or fields … and migrant farm workers’ housing is often located near pesticide-treated fields where they are
Main international treaties protecting social rights of migrants
constantly exposed to the pesticides’ harmful effects.” Indeed in all countries, migrants disproportionately face forced eviction, which can only exacerbate the cycle of poverty. The position of international human rights law is quite clear. The guarantee of the right to adequate housing is for everyone and must be protected without discrimination on the basis of nationality and race (see for example the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).The international treaty outlawing racial discrimination requires countries to prohibit and eliminate discrimination with respect to the right to adequate housing. These laws are buttressed by the recently ratified International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. It stipulates that migrant workers must have equal access to “housing, including social housing schemes and protection against exploitation in respect of rents”. The International Labour Organization has also issued a number of recommendations on migrant workers. The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees gives refugees protection in equal access to housing. There is an urgent need to ensure that the State takes an active role in helping newcomers secure affordable and safe housing. It is notable that courts in both Switzerland and South Africa, for example, have applied constitutional rights in striking down laws that denied social security payments to illegal migrants and permanent residents. States also need to ensure that their laws guard against discrimination, forced evictions and that private landlords charge affordable rents and provide habitable housing. Said former South African President Nelson Mandela: “A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” In many instances, that means ensuring a safe and secure home for the migrant. Yet as this issue went to press, another building housing migrants in France was destroyed by fire.
Habitat Debate September 2006
Migrant’s remittances – a new form of development finance for the world’s poorest countries? It is estimated that approximately 125 million migrant workers send money to support 500 million family members in their home countries, reports the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The total of officially recorded remittances exceeded US $232 billion in 2005, of which developing countries received US $167 billion – more than twice the level of development aid from all sources.
oor countries could do more to fully exploit the developmental potential of remittances from migrants, according to a new IOM-UN publication, the Final Report on the Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries on enhancing the impact of remittances. The July 2006 report prepared by the IOM and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) identifies remittances as an increasingly important source of external finance for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Although Overseas Development Aid (ODA) remains the major source of finance for the world’s 50 poorest countries, migrants’ transfers have increased significantly over the last few years and outpaced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) reaching US $10.4 billion in 2004. “For the 740 million people living in the world’s 50 least developed countries (LDCs), the stakes in the quest for new avenues of financing for development are high,” the report said. “Despite repeated commitments at the highest levels of the international community, development assistance to LDCs has been much below the agreed levels.” Remittances to some LDCs account for a large chunk of their national income. Lesotho receives around 30 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from workers abroad. For Haiti, Samoa, and Nepal remittances accounted for 24.8, 12.4, and 11.7 percent of GDP respectively in 2004, while Bangladesh with remittances flows of $3.6 billion, ranked 14 among 20 top recipient developing countries. Sudan and Yemen also received over a $1 billion in remittances in 2004. However, the true size of remittances to LDCs could be even larger because most remittances to LDCs are channelled through informal channels due to high transfer costs, restrictive foreign exchange rules as well as poor infrastruc-
ture and the weak financial sector in LDCs. It is estimated that 54 percent of remittances in Bangladesh and 80 percent in Uganda are sent through informal channels. “Access to remittance services must become more cost-effective, fast and safe” says Mrs. Ndioro Ndiaye, IOM’s Deputy Director General. The report notes the need for LDCs to promote the use of official transfer channels. This could be done by offering incentives to recipients to save more within the formal banking sector. To make formal transfers attractive, the LDCs would also need to offer favourable exchange rates and establish efficient banking systems. In some LDCs formal banks exist only in urban areas, leaving rural dwellers with no choice but to depend on the informal sector. The challenge facing many poor countries that receive substantial income from remittances is how to direct them
into programmes that benefit society as a whole. “Workers’ remittances provide muchneeded assistance to impoverished households in LDCs, but it is necessary to develop coherent policies so that the benefits of these funds may be felt across societies,” says Anwarul. K Chowdhury, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for LDCs. The publication, which includes papers prepared by participants of the 2006 Ministerial Conference of LDCs in Benin, also calls for a lowering of remitting costs through innovative microfinance institutions such as Haiti’s FONKOZE, which through a partnership with a US based bank, offers more affordable or flat fee for transfers. Recommendations in the report to the High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in New York on 14-15 September 2006, also included the need for governments to improve data collection on remittance flows.
Remittances to selected LDCS in 2003 (millions of US dollars)
Habitat Debate September 2006
Take two cities with larger than usual immigrant populations at opposite ends of Europe and ask them how they manage on jobs, welfare, services, integration and human and civil rights. Here Mr. Ilmar Reepalu, Mayor of the City of Malmö in Sweden, and Ms. Francesca Maletti, Councillor for Social Policies, Housing and Immigration, in Modena, Italy give Sugumi Tanaka of UN-HABITAT’s Urban Development Branch some remarkable insights into the quest for sustainable migration policies. Both cite shortcomings on national policies not tailored to local needs, and immigrants rights.
Ms. Maletti. Photo © Modena city hall
Maletti: Since the new Bossi-Fini immigration law, an immigrant’s right to remain in the country is directly linked to having a job and a house. Legal immigrants who lose their jobs have six months to find another job. The City Modena has job centres to help them find employment. However, getting an employment contract is linked to producing a Municipal certificate of “suitable” accommodation. Our administration has passed new rules to simplify the proceure. Reepalu: As we believe that jobs are the key to a successful integration, we have taken action to help immigrants’ into the labour market, including early language training and adult education. To set an example, the municipality plans to hire more people of foreign descent at every level. Currently, they constitute 23.1 percent of our Municipal labour force. We work actively against discrimination and develop and support values and working methods that promote cultural diversity in the work place. Welfare
Maletti: Legal immigrants have the same local welfare rights as citizens with good recourse to financial aid, housing, and child support. The Municipality has an advice centre for immigrants, especially new arrivals. As far as the large number of illegal immigrants is concerned, under the Bossi-Fini law they only get emergency health, winter shelter, and schooling for children.
Reepalu: Sweden has a strong tradition of extensive local government and the right to local taxation. This is backed up by the provision of good welfare. Local governments play a key role as providers of public services such as schooling, health care, housing, planning etc. A 2005 amendment to the Aliens Act introduced additional legal grounds for granting residence rights to children and families who have been in Sweden for a long time. As a result, many illegal immigrants in Malmö were granted residence permits. Illegal immigrants cannot benefit from social services, with the exception of schooling for children. For health services etc., they have to depend on voluntary organisations. Integration
Maletti: Resident foreigners now constitute more than 10 percent of the population. This requires effective integration and interactions between different cultures because they come from 121 countries. Racism or resentment among local people can build up because they perceive themselves as long-term tax payers whose funds go towards helping immigrants. The Municipality has sought to counter this through debates and cultural exchanges. Once such initiative, the “Home of Cultures” is run by Italian and foreign civil society organizations. Reepalu: We think that integration is an individual process But its the responsibility of the public authorities to help individuals meet their aspirations without violating their cultural and ethnic identity. For example, children have the right to tuition in their home language. More than one-third of Malmö’s inhabitants were born abroad or have two parents born abroad. They represent 166 nationalities. Integrating this large and diverse migrant population into a sustainable community is a huge challenge. Sometimes, political equality can be undermined by socio-economic inequality. The question is what integration means for [Swedish] society so that it can see its own deficiencies which are often manifested as discrimination.
We emphasise that ingetration is a twoway process. I agree, but …
Maletti: I agree with Malmö’s approach that work is one of the elements of integration. But this cannot be the backbone of integration. It must be the starting point. In a survey carried out by the Modena Administration, immigrants stated that they feel well integrated in the work place, but marginalised in social and free time activities. Furthermore, employment in some position of the public sector requires citizenship in Italy. I think this is not fair, but at the same time employing 23 percent of immigrants in public offices would cause a racist backlash among the local population. In Sweden, the taxation level is much higher allowing for a more inclusive and caring welfare system than in Italy. Reepalu: While Modena offers resistance against a conservative national legislation requiring municipal certification for housing, we are calling for more regulations. For example, no approval is necessary when over a half of asylum seekers choose to arrange their own accommodation rather than be housed by the Migration Board. As a result, many immigrants live in overcrowded accommodation, and far too many are attracted to urban areas where there is largesale unemployment, housing shortages and the risk of segregation. More illegal immigrants live in Modena than Malmö. The situation runs the risk of getting worse be-
Mr. Reepalu. Photo © Lisbeth Svensson, Malmö stad
Habitat Debate September 2006
cause of the Bossi-Fini law. This is an example of national legislation colliding with local realities. The municipalities of Modena and Malmö both agree that the administration should act to help immigrants access services, though chose different methods. In Malmö, we have focused on changing the regular organisation to adapt it to the needs and wants of the city’s inhabitants. It is interesting to learn about Modena’s help centre, as an alternative approach. Immigrant status Catch 22
The Bossi-Fini law of July 2002 was passed by the previous center-right government led by Silvio Berlusconi and named after Umberto Bossi, leader of the anti-immigration Northern League and then reform minister, and Gianfranco Fini, head of the right-wing National Alliance, who was then deputy premier and later also foreign minister. a key element in the so-called Bossi-Fini law, requiring a foreign employee to be abroad when work and residency permits are issued, was impractical and virtually impossible to enforce. Maletti: The fact that we have immigrants with different degrees of status, and thus different access to services, makes for a schizophrenic society with different levels of citizenship, integration and social cohesion. It further fosters racist behaviour and a fight among the poor because of the different levels of poverty and exclusion. Reepalu: The social and economic consequences of cities with inhabitants holding varying degrees of ‘rights to the city’ can be severe. A black labour market and black economy endanger social cohesion. I believe that it is important to create opportunities for people to exercise local citizenship, answering legislative and other restrictions by developing new forms for governance – such as local education authorities, residential participation, and different kinds of self-management where the membership is not ruled by formal rights. To ensure a sustainable direction for immigration policies, the local level must be given greater influence over policy design, and the resources allocated to meet local conditions, so that the government grants cover the actual costs of the municipalities. Otherwise the tension between the local and the national level will probably increase, as well as the tension between immigrants and locals within the bounds of the city.
Touring the world - an exhibition of children’s photos from the slums
collection of photographs taken by teenagers given cameras and assigned to document their lives in the crowded Nairobi slum of Mathare was displayed at the Third Session of the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, the Norwegian capital Oslo, and at home in Nairobi as part of a novel, internationally sponsored project to reflect the concerns of young people and inspire their peers across the world. The “Image-in” programme depicts the world of 10 boys and girls aged 13 to 15. They were asked to focus on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at alleviating poverty and showing how they apply to their lives among the poor and the very poor. Quickly, and with considerable energy, they soon devised a way of presenting their pictures with caption stories in a body of work that will also be published as a book. All of the young photographers are members of the Mathare Youth Sports Association. Run by young people, for young people, the association
formed in 1987 at the initiative of Bob Munro, a Canadian former UN official. It was the first of its kind to organize football leagues in the slums. It was also the first to set up teams for girls, and the first to send a girls’ team to the Norway Cup. In 2003, it was one of 165 candidates short-listed for the Nobel Peace Prize – a proposal by the former Norwegian Member of Parliament, Lise Gjorn, as a tribute to African youth resisting the temptation to resort to crime as a way out of their poverty. Today, the association is the largest youth sports organization in Africa with 1,128 boys’ teams across the continent, and 269 teams for girls that altogether involve some 14,000 players. The “Image-In” project was funded by Norway, with cameras and technical support from FUJI Kenya. It was organized by the Mathare Youth Sports Association and supported by UN-HABITAT. -By Christine Auclair/UN-HABITAT
Habitat Debate September 2006
Frankfurt Postcard Promoting inclusiveness and integration The German city of Frankfurt has been affected by immigration throughout its 1,200-year history. Today, about 166,000 of the city’s 655,000 inhabitants come from some 170 countries. Here, Ursula Hoyer of Frankfurt City Hall explains how the city strives to make people feel they belong whatever their linguistic or cultural background.
he figures given above to do not take into account the far higher number of people with immigrant backgrounds who live here. They would make up roughly 40 percent of the city’s population. Openness to other cultures, and tolerance, combined with the idea of a shared existence based on civil society, prompted the City of Frankfurt to create and establish a realistic political concept for integration. Its objectives are to ensure that at the local level, all new citizens can participate in social life with equal opportunities as early as possible. Frankfurt wants its citizens to be able to live together peacefully. It does this by ensuring that all civil servants are properly trained, and that the institutions for which they work are kept up to date on implementing these goals. Integration is a community task that is a matter of concern to all citizens of Frankfurt. Frankfurt is a multicultural society and our main political objective is to hold it together under a common roof.
A view of Frankfurt. Photo courtesy www.salsacard.de
It is with this in mind that since 1989, the City of Frankfurt has followed an explicit strategy for local integration. Earlier than many other cities in the Federal Republic of Germany, Frankfurt has played a pioneering role in urban administration by creating a post for an elected political representative in charge of integration policy. This official heads the city council Department of Integration, and also the Department for Multicultural Affairs. Frankfurt is today quite advanced in the application of its integration policy. Nevertheless the city shares the same challenges as all other European cities facing the expansion of the European Union and increasing numbers of undocumented immigrants. In Frankfurt they are estimated at some 30,000 people. The City of Frankfurt considers integration to be an organised set of activities on the part of local public and private entities.
The integration policy for a metropolis with Germany’s highest percentage of immigrants is flexible and pragmatic. Frankfurt thus provides a number of innovative services for newcomers and residents of immigrant background. These include German-language programmes for immigrant women that are run in conjunction with school and kindergarten schedules. It also runs training programmes tailored to the needs of young people and their parents to enhance labour market opportunities. The city also runs various mediation programmes to foster mutual understanding and prevent tensions or conflict between different groups. As part of a unique programme in Frankfurt, police officers join with representatives of immigrant organizations to work for mutual understanding and tolerance. In September 2003, the Frankfurt city parliament passed an anti-discrimination guideline. So if clients are facing discrimination due to their national origin or religious affiliation, or if they are having problems with city authorities, special staff of the Department for Multicultural Affairs can help mediate. To accomplish these goals the city offers assistance to ethnic groups and cultural associations. Its role is to increase awareness of cultural change and to show that integration does not necessarily mean assimilation of minority groups within the dominant culture. Turkish immigrants are by far the largest migrant group in Frankfurt. Numbering 32,338 people, they constitute 19.2 percent of the city’s population. Next come 15,146 Italians (9%), 13,334 Serbs (7.9%), 12, 539 Croatians (7.5%), 13.105 Africans (7.8 %), and 21,201 Asians (12.6%). A total of 44,628 persons (26.5%) of the Frankfurt population are immigrants from European Union member States, and a further 80,815 (48%) come from European countries.
Habitat Debate September 2006
Water a shared responsibility The United Nations World Water Development Report 2 ISBN: 92-3-104006-5 Language: English Publisher: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Berghahn Books In the three years since the launch of the first World Water Development Report at the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto (March 2003), the world has witnessed considerable change. There have been many instances of major water-related disasters: the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes in the Caribbean, the west Pacific and the United States; the 2005 floods in central and eastern Europe as well as in many other regions; and the extensive droughts in Niger, Mali, Spain and Portugal. These are a constant reminder of both the destructive power of water and the misery deriving from lack of it in so many regions of the world. This second Report, Water, A Shared Responsibility, sets water issues against this evolving background and places greater emphasis on governance issues.
United Nations Human Settlements Programme: 2005 Annual Report ISBN: 92-1-131735-5 ISBN: 92-1-131736-3 (Series) HS: 750/05E Language: English Publisher: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) The year 2005 was marked by a number of important events, challenges and milestones for UN-HABITAT. This report captures them all. It started inauspiciously after the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster of December 2004 that claimed countless thousands of lives. And it ended that way when on 8 October 2005, at the onset of winter, when an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 struck close to Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, claiming nearly 75,000 lives and leaving
more than 3 million people homeless. Overnight, considerable property was destroyed and entire communities were displaced in natural disasters that may take a decade to repair. UN-HABITAT responded quickly to the humanitarian call and as a result is now actively involved with the affected communities in Indonesia, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, helping rebuild homes and livelihoods with the active participation of those most in need.
Nairobi Urban Sector Profile ISBN: 92-1-131803-3 Language: English HS Number: HS/802/05E Price: $5 Publishers: UN-HABITAT/ European Commission A report assessing the priority needs of the Kenyan capital city, Nairobi, proposing interventions in governance, slums, HIV/AIDS and gender, as well as in environmental issues.
Planet of Slums ISBN: 1844670228 Language: English Price: $24.00 Publisher: Verso Though we scarcely noticed, our descendants will look back on 2005 as the year the planet crossed into a new epoch: for the first time in history, more of the earth’s inhabitants lived in cities than outside them. From this point onward, all future growth in the earth’s population— which is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050—will take place in cities. Of this growth, the overwhelming majority will occur in the slums of cities in the developing world. In Planet of Slums, Mike Davis begins in these dark places, offering the reader a sharply drawn sketch of the growing urban anti-world, but what distinguishes his essay is his determined attempt to explain how these places came to be. What the reader ultimately takes away from his account is a persistent tone of apocalypse, and a grim preview of what an ever-swelling, billion-strong slum population portends for the political future of the planet.
To order these and any other publications, go to www.unhabitat.org and click on publications
News & Events
Habitat Debate September 2006
United Nations General Assembly elects Mrs. Tibaijuka for another term The UN General Assembly, at the recommendation of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, on 28 June unanimously elected Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka to serve another four-year term as UnderSecretary- General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT. Her new term runs from 1 September 2006 to 31st August 2010. After the vote, representatives of China, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and other Group of 77 countries made strong congratulatory and supportive statements. They cited Mrs. Tibaijuka’s dedication and commitment, strong and visionary leadership, and hard work in raising the profile of UN-HABITAT. They lauded the agency’s work in water, sanitation and slum upgrading, and her instrumental role in helping establish the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (AMCHUD). Also noted was ability and success in forging strategic partnerships with financial institutions for follow-up investment in housing and urban infrastructure.
Third Session of the World Urban Forum in Vancouver billed a resounding success The Third Session of the World Urban Forum in Vancouver 19-23 June marking UN-HABITAT’s 30th birthday was praised by delegates as one of the most successful recent international gatherings of its kind. Drawing some 10,000 participants from over 150 countries, the meeting symbolized inclusiveness, with balanced participation from public, private and civil society sectors. Compared to previous sessions of the Forum, there was a notable increase in private sector participation. Youth concerns were significantly advanced by this conference with over 400 young people representing a significant number of youth-led programmes and projects. Just as the Habitat I Conference in Vancouver in 1976 placed local community problems on the international agenda, the 2006 Forum lived up to its promised theme of turning ideas to action. UN-HABITAT will take the WUF III outcomes to its Governing Council and, through it, to the UN General Assembly, with a call for a strengthened role of the United Nations system and international agencies in meeting the urban sustainability challenge.
Construction of social housing starts in Kragujevac The ground breaking ceremony of the first site for the construction of social housing units in Serbia was held in Kragujevac 1 March, in the presence of Mr. Daniel Biau, Director of UN-HABITAT’s Regional and Technical Cooperation Division, and other dignitaries. The Settlement and Integration of Refugees Programme in Serbia (SIRP), was initiated through a memorandum between Mrs. Tibaijuka and the Government of Italy in September 2002. The Government of Italy is financing this Programme with a 15 million euro contribution. UNHABITAT, in collaboration with the Ministry of Capital Investments, is implementing the programme with the Municipalities of Cacak, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Nis, Pancevo, Stara Pazova and Valjevo. The first public rental apartments will be handed over to beneficiaries by the end of 2006.
UN-HABITAT to avail computers to Africa’s largest slum UN-HABITAT and Computer Aid International signed a landmark co operation agreement in June to help bring computer technolgy to
residents of Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. The technology, inlcuding 15 computers already delivered to the UN-HABITAT supported One Stop Youth Centre in Nairobi, is being introduced following an agreement signed by Mrs.Tibaijuka and Tony Roberts Computer Aid International Chief Executive at the Third Session of the World Urban Forum in Canada. Kibera is Africa’s largest urban slum and is home to about one million people. The Computers for Communities project is part of the UN-Habitat ‘ICT for Development’ programme.
80,000 Iraqi children attend UNHABITAT rehabilitated schools With US$6.1 million from the Government of Japan, and $5.27 million from the United Nations Development Group Trust Fund, UN-HABITAT has successfully completed two out of three projects to rehabilitate and expand school infrastructure in Iraq, focusing on the capital Baghdad and the lower south of the country. The two projects have delivered comprehensive rehabilitation of 165 schools; sanitation facilities at 60 schools; furniture for 55 schools and the construction of over 300 new classrooms. The projects are now providing an improved learning and teaching environment for over 80,000 students and teachers in the cities of Basra, Samawa and Nassiriya in the lower south region of Iraq.
Scroll of Honour Awards The Habitat Scroll of Honour awards will be presented during the global observances of World Habitat Day on 2 October 2006. They are currently the most prestigious human settlements award in the world. Its aim is to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post conflict reconstruction, and developing and improving the human settlements and the quality of urban life.
Upcoming Events World Habitat Day 2, October 2006 Theme: Cities – Magnets of Hope Location: Naples, Italy, and Kazan, Russia United Nations Day New York, 24 October 2006 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women New York, 25 November 2006 World Aids Day New York, 1 December 2006 First Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on housing and human settlements New Delhi, India, 13-16 December 2006 International Migrants day New York, 18 December 2006
The final issue of Habitat Debate for 2006 Subject to changes by the Editorial Board, the remaining issue of Habitat Debate for the year 2006 will cover disaster management (Vol.12, No. 4)
News & Events
Habitat Debate September 2006
A special word of thanks to our board member, Farouk Tebbal A tireless and long serving member of this magazine’s Editorial Board, Mr. Farouk Tebbal, is stepping down as Chief of UN-HABITAT’s Shelter Branch to take up a challenging new appointment with the World Bank’s Cities Alliance in Washington DC. In a farewell interview, Mr. Tebbal was all praise for the publication saying it was “an umbilical chord, a window for us to see our partners and for our partners to see us”. Mr. Tebbal is a guru of sorts when it comes to shelter issues. Before joining UN-HABITAT in January of 2001, he had risen through the ranks in the civil service in his native Algeria to become the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing. Some of his achievements at home have included tackling issues related to mitigating natural hazards in human settlements, as well as developing laws and regulations in line with pro-poor policies especially on land use and urban planning. At UN-HABITAT, Tebbal cites his coordination of the campaign on secure tenure as the highlight of his Photo © UN-HABITAT work, a campaign he helped launch in some 12 countries across the globe. He says his time on the Habitat Debate editorial board was very fulfilling especially when he helped coordinate the June 2005 issue Fighting Urban Inequities which highlighted the concept of the right to the city. Although satisfied with the quality of the publication which he says has improved over the years, Mr. Tebbal is of the view that there is room for improvement. He says the magazine should have an active readers’ forum. “This should be able to give readers a chance to comment on the topic covered in the previous edition,” and make it a “a real platform” for debate. Mr. Tebbal is optimistic that he will continue contributing to the publication. The Executive Director and members of the Editorial Board of Habitat Debate extend their heartfelt thanks to Farouk. – T. Osanjo.
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