The Academia Conference on “Promoting Knowledge for Evidence-based and Sustainable Migration Governance in Libya – The Mediterranean Perspective” took place in Tunis from 25 to 27 June 2018.
This event was co-organised by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), the EU Delegation to Libya and the Libyan Government of National Accord’s National Team for Border Security and Management.
The event gathered over 90 participants including high level officials from Libya, representatives of embassies, International Organisations and international non-governmental organisations (iNGO) and members of the academic community around the Mediterranean covering a variety of migration issues.
The conference was organised in the framework of the ICMPD project “Strategic and institutional management of migration in Libya”, which aims to support – in addition to the Government Institutions, the Libyan academics and researchers in their efforts to contribute to the development of the prerequisites for effective migration governance geared towards improving the management of migration flows and the living conditions of migrants in Libya.
The general objective of this conference was to debate the state of play of research on migration issues in Libya and the Mediterranean region. The conference also aims to bring together Libyan researchers and their counterparts in the region to share views, in the presence of policy makers.
There was unanimity in considering this event as a unique opportunity for the Libyan migration policy-makers and experts to exchange views and discuss together good practices of migration governance. The three days of exchange were vivid, highlighting among others, the importance of different ministries to work together in a framework of inter-institutional cooperation and coordination and the need of taking into consideration Libya’s labour market needs, especially in light of its reconstruction, to shape appropriate policies.
There was a general awareness that migration should not only be seen as a challenge and that governments should not aim to stop migration, but to well govern it. Moreover, the necessity to address the root causes of irregular migration and to adopt a humanitarian approach towards the phenomenon was stressed. Furthermore, the participants agreed that the narrative of migration would need to be addressed.
As one speaker defined it “Migration is not a problem, it is a phenomenon – the perception of migration has become a problem”. Inter-institutional coordination, evidence-based research and accurate data should guide policy makers in understanding challenges, seizing opportunities and developing a guiding framework for comprehensive migration governance in the country.