Policy Seminar “Migrants and Cities”, 17-18 March 2016, Guangzhou, China

A policy seminar was organized in Guangzhou, 17-18 March 2016, under the Support to EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Project, which is jointly implemented by IOM and ILO.

The policy seminar aims at extending support to policy-makers in formulating new, improved policies in support of sustainable and inclusive development by highlighting the positive potential of migration and migrants, and the role of city and local authorities in urban planning and implementation.

The policy seminar was organized by the IOM and supported by the ILO through the conduction of a sector study on Recruitment, Employment and Working Conditions of Domestic Workers. Domestic workers are often migrant workers themselves – willing to accept demanding but low-profile jobs in the hope of securing a better life for their families, in the process providing services without which modern cities and economies would stop functioning. The study reviews the current policies and practices and examines its coherence with international standards and good practices. It provides an illustration of the socio-economic impact of migration on development and urban development in particular, while expressing the hope that domestic work may become a full-fledged urban labour market in its own right in China’s near future.

More than 60 participants attended the seminar and engaged in the policy discussion and exchange, including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs, the Guangzhou municipal authorities and Guangdong provincial authorities, the EU Delegation to China, Consulates-General of the EU Member States in Guangzhou, Consulates-General of African and Asian countries in Guangzhou, and European and Chinese experts on cities and migration.