Including more actors

Governance and government are not necessarily synonymous, and other institutions contribute to providing good governance (Dixit, 2009). Migration implies interaction between public and private institutions, where civil society plays a significant role. The role of civil society has typically revolved around the protection of migrant rights, but it should extend beyond in order to favour bottom-up and not only top-down governance (Newland, 2005).

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

Many NGOs help both regular and irregular immigrants face challenges in host countries. HTAs, in particular, represent an important support for fellow countrymen in receiving countries because:

  • • They may be more efficient in providing needed resources locally and directly to immigrants, such as clinical services and training;
  • • Messages need to come across quickly, particularly when tensions spiral out of control, and HTAs help communicate messages to large groups of immigrants;
  • • They also provide leadership for under-represented groups of society: for the many immigrants who do not speak or read the local language, they bring an aspect of representation and communication, for information-gathering or even for venting concerns about problems encountered;
  • • Cultural organisations become instruments of expression, helping share traditions and foster understanding within society.

Social organisations, private foundations or religious groups also help immigrants better understand arcane administrative procedures and integrate into host society. But because most of them act as a counterbalance to strict migration regulations they are generally excluded from the migration policy agenda. As a result they also act as an opposition force. Including them in discussions would help public authorities improve their knowledge of the experience of migrants, and would enable NGOs to make constructive proposals.

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