Social Innovation for the Sustainability

Presentation "Migration and Refuge: Challenges and opportunities in a world on the move", sixth issue of Journal Seventeen

Journal Seventeen, published by itdUPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) and Action Against Hunger, presented last week its sixth issue with the title 'Migration and refuge: challenges and opportunities in a world on the move', which addresses the opportunities and challenges of migration governance on the global stage.

Journal Seventeen (a space for meeting and dialogue on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals) has just launched a new monograph on populations on the move, which addresses the reality of migrants, refugees and forcibly displaced persons in the world. According to UN agencies, we are talking about a reality that affects 372 million people and that, in conflicts such as the one in Ukraine, is intensifying even more.

Olivier Longué, Director General of Action Against Hunger, pointed out at the presentation that "there are ten million people inside Ukraine who have left their homes and, although we know that the conflict is going to get worse in terms of the displacement of people, we also believe that we have to take advantage of this crisis to adapt the regulatory framework to the situation that is coming, and to do so with all the forcibly displaced people in mind, who currently number more than 84 million in the world", he concluded.

Sophie Muller, UNHCR Representative in Spain, also participated in the presentation of the issue and pointed out that "never before has the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees been in force. A refugee cannot be returned to their country of origin because they run risks to their life, their family and their human rights, and this is the fundamental point of international protection".

Agustín Mussini, International Migration Specialist for the IOM office in Spain, stressed the importance of "recognising concerted action on migration issues, as well as the relevance of migration to the three pillars of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental. Many of the pressing issues that remain on the UN agenda - COVID-19, climate change, poverty, natural disasters and political conflicts - have a direct impact on migration. And we believe that a healthy migration regime is possible in a world that aspires to be marked by greater sustainability, equality and resilience".

Population movements, a wealth if managed well

The editors of this new issue, Manuel Sánchez-Montero, Advocacy Director of Action Against Hunger, and Gemma Pinyol, Director of Migration Policy and Diversity at Instrategies, emphasize that one of the main ideas that they want to convey in this issue of DIECISIETE Magazine, is that depending on how the flow of people through a society is managed, it can be an element of growth, stability and wealth of all kinds or an element of inequalities, tensions and confrontation.

"Population movements have historically been a gift to the societies that have welcomed them when they have been properly managed. Migrants and refugees have been an essential capital for economic development, demographic viability and stability in both sending and receiving societies," said Manuel Sánchez-Montero, director of Advocacy at Acción contra el Hambre, during the presentation yesterday.

Taking part in the round table were Javier de Lucas, Professor of Philosophy of Law at the Institute of Human Rights at the University of Valencia; Ruth Ferrero-Turrión, Professor of Political Science at the Complutense University of Madrid; Lorenzo Cachón, Sociologist; Sònia Parella, member of CER-Migracions, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona; Dirk Bornschein, from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, and Estrella Galán, from the Spanish Refugee Aid Commission.

The articles published in this issue of the journal DIECISIETE address migration from environmental (caused by the climate crisis) and gender perspectives; the particularity of the Latin American region from various perspectives (Covid-19; the migration process from Central America to the United States and the importance and risks of remittances in Central American countries) and migration policies in Asia and Europe.

A general conclusion of the speakers is that the Ukrainian crisis offers an opportunity, with the activation of the European directive on temporary protection, to make an adequate management and generate a precedent that helps to adapt European asylum policy to a reality that does not only affect Ukraine and that will continue to be relevant in the future (climatic displacements, instability in neighbouring regions...).