Multilateral institutions

ILO and the Global Migration Group: Improving global migration governance

As chair of the GMG, the ILO is seeking better measures to govern migration as more and more people move around the world to find work.

Article | 01 January 2014
GENEVA ‒ In its role as chair of the Global Migration Group (GMG), the International Labour Organization (ILO) aims to improve global migration governance. The ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, said: “We need to move beyond debates in terms of numbers, flows and remittances and towards concrete measures that close the serious gaps in migration governance.”

Guy Ryder’s statement comes amid burgeoning international migration, with 232 million migrants living abroad in 2013. Migration for employment has moved up political agendas to become a topic of high visibility. In its role as rotating chair of the GMG for 2014, the ILO aims to draw greater attention to its Decent Work Agenda and foster a greater role for its tripartite constituents in discussions on fair and effective labour migration policies at the national, regional and global level.

Established in 2006, the GMG brings together the heads of 15 agencies of the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to promote wider application of relevant international instruments and standards relating to migration. The body also encourages more coherent, comprehensive and coordinated approaches to international migration with governments, social partners and stakeholders.

Improving governance of migration is paramount for the ILO, which assumed the chair of the GMG on 1 January of this year. The dynamic alliance of international agencies in the GMG seeks to implement a multi-annual work plan that focuses on ensuring greater GMG coordination, collaboration and visibility and inclusion of migrants and migration in the post-2015 UN development agenda. This work plan includes thematic work streams that are taken forward by five GMG working groups and task forces covering data and research; migration, human rights and gender; mainstreaming migration into development planning; migration and decent work; and capacity development and delivery.

What is the Global Migration Group (GMG)? It is an inter-agency group bringing together the heads of 15 UN agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

What is its mandate? To promote the application of all relevant international and regional instruments and norms relating to migration, and to encourage the adoption of more coherent, comprehensive and better coordinated approaches to the issue of international migration.

What are the ILO’s objectives as GMG chair?
  • Promoting closer coordination between the GMG and governments as well as greater opportunities for consultation and information sharing.
  • Strengthening collaboration between the GMG and social partners (employers’ and workers’ organizations) and other stakeholders, including civil society, UN entities and international organizations.
  • Identifying opportunities for the cross-fertilization of experiences and good practices between the field and global levels of engagement, and integrating these more closely with the GMG’s work.