What role does migration play in national development strategies?

The attitude of the Armenian Government towards regulating migration processes, and addressing their causes and consequences, has become more proactive under the 2008-12 Programme. To date, the government has produced a number of strategic documents which refer to the area of migration regulation, including the Strategy of National Security, the Sustainable Development Programme, the 2014-2025 Strategic Program of Prospective Development, the Concept for the Development of Co-operation between Armenia and the Diaspora, and the Strategy on Demographic Policy of Armenia.

Migration is integrated into national development strategies

As emigration, along with unemployment and poverty, are acknowledged to be social challenges for Armenia, the country’s development strategies highlight the importance of proportional territorial development and an active demographic policy. They aim to direct all public policy instruments towards preventing out-migration from mountainous and border regions, suspending emigration from the country, and encouraging immigration into Armenia. The development strategies also envisage specific steps for civilised integration into the international labour market, improving the international protection of persons on humanitarian grounds, etc.

Ensuring sustainable and perspective growth through national security and an active economic policy is a key priority for the government. The achievement and maintenance of macroeconomic stability and high rates of economic growth, combined with continuous improvement in the economy to enable job creation and adequate pay, and a reduction in income differentials between the population of Armenia and more developed countries, will all largely contribute to preventing any further increase in emigration.

The strategic development programmes also highlight the importance of direct social policy measures coupled with economic policy tools and levers such as direct support for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as the promotion of employment in industries with relatively higher wage levels. The creation of decent and productive employment opportunities, enhancing skills and human resources, and strengthening labour market governance are also key policy priorities for Armenia and are expected to help to overcome migration-related challenges.

Although all the key challenges and measures required are reflected in the country’s strategic documents, the targets are not necessarily being met, which suggests that policies governing migration and public administration should be essentially improved.

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