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19 - Migrant and diaspora contributions

GCM Objectives
19 - Migrant and diaspora contributions

Create conditions for migrants and diasporas to fully contribute to sustainable development in all countries

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is based on 23 objectives. This page provides resources for objective 19 (Create conditions for migrants and diasporas to fully contribute to sustainable development in all countries):

“35. We commit to empower migrants and diasporas to catalyse their development contributions, and to harness the benefits of migration as a source of sustainable development, reaffirming that migration is a multidimensional reality of major relevance for the sustainable development of countries of origin, transit and destination.


To realize this commitment, we will draw from the following actions:

(a) Ensure the full and effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda by fostering and facilitating the positive effects of migration for the realization of all Sustainable Development Goals 27;

(b) Integrate migration into development planning and sectoral policies at local, national, regional and global levels, taking into consideration relevant existing policy guidelines and recommendations, such as the GMG Handbook on Mainstreaming Migration into Development Planning, in order to strengthen policy coherence and effectiveness of development cooperation;

(c) Invest in research on the impact of non-financial contributions of migrants and diasporas to sustainable development in countries of origin and destination, such as knowledge and skills transfer, social and civic engagement, and cultural exchange, with a view to developing evidence-based policies and strengthening global policy discussions;

(d) Facilitate the contributions of migrants and diasporas to their countries of origin, including by establishing or strengthening government structures or mechanisms at all levels, such as dedicated diaspora offices or focal points, diaspora policy advisory boards for governments to account for the potential of migrants and diasporas in migration and development policy-making, and dedicated diaspora focal points in diplomatic or consular missions;

(e) Develop targeted support programmes and financial products that facilitate migrant and diaspora investments and entrepreneurship, including by providing administrative and legal support in business creation, granting seed capital-matching, establish diaspora bonds and diaspora development funds, investment funds, and organize dedicated trade fairs;

(f) Provide easily accessible information and guidance, including through digital platforms, as well as tailored mechanisms for the coordinated and effective financial, voluntary or philanthropic engagement of migrants and diasporas, especially in humanitarian emergencies in their countries of origin, including by involving consular missions;

(g) Enable political participation and engagement of migrants in their countries of origin, including in peace and reconciliation processes, in elections and political reforms, such as by establishing voting registries for citizens abroad, and by parliamentary representation, in accordance with national legislation;

(h) Promote migration policies that optimize the benefits of diasporas for countries of origin and destination and their communities, by facilitating flexible modalities to travel, work and invest with minimal administrative burdens, including by reviewing and revising visa, residency and citizenship regulations, as appropriate;

(i) Cooperate with other States, the private sector and employers organizations to enable migrants and diasporas, especially those in highly technical fields and in high demand, to carry out some of their professional activities and engage in knowledge transfer in their home countries, without necessarily losing employment, residence status, or earned social benefits;

(j) Build partnerships between local authorities, local communities, the private sector, diasporas, hometown associations and migrant organizations to promote knowledge and skills transfer between their countries of origin and countries of destination, including by mapping the diasporas and their skills, as a means to maintain the link between diasporas and their country of origin.”

(GCM, 2018: para. 35)

The Global Compact is rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and recognizes that, especially when it is properly managed, migration contributes to positive development outcomes and to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. How the international community chooses to address migration and diaspora aspects will be a decisive factor in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During this Decade of Action, migration can also be an accelerator to expedite our global progress toward the SDGs. The adoption of the GCM and the creation of the UN Network on Migration presents a significant opportunity to leverage the positive relationship between migration and development. The GCM itself “strives to create conducive conditions that enable all migrants to enrich our societies through their human, economic and social capacities, and thus facilitate their contributions to sustainable development at the local, national, regional and global levels” (GCM para. 12). 

When it is properly managed, migration contributes to positive development outcomes for migrants themselves and their communities, in countries of origin, transit and destination. Migrants often bring significant benefits to their new communities in the form of skills, by strengthening the labour force, as well as through investment and cultural diversity. Migrants in the diaspora also play a role in improving the lives of communities in their countries of origin through the transfer of skills, social capital, and financial resources, which contribute to positive development outcomes. They are therefore essential agents of change and sustainable development in all countries. It is also crucial to recognize that as much as migration has an impact on development, migration is also affected by development. Migrants may move to improve their prospects and those of their communities, and inequalities have a significant impact on migration patterns and on migrants themselves as well as communities of origin and should thus be adequately addressed. 

Creating Conditions for Migrants and Diasporas to Contribute to Sustainable Development in the text of the Global Compact

Objective 19 is also mentioned in the following sections of the GCM:

  • Sustainable development is a cross-cutting guiding principle of the GCM (para. 15e)
  • Preamble (para. 2, para. 3, para. 6)
  • As a core aspect of the GCM’s vision, common understanding, shared responsibilities (para. 8, para. 10, para. 12)
  • Objective 1 (para. 17d, e and k)
  • Objective 2 (para. 18a, b, c, d, e, f)
  • Objective 5 (para. 21c)
  • Objective 9 (para. 25f)
  • Objective 20 (para. 36a, g)
  • Objective 21 (para. 37h, i)
  • Objective 23 (para. 39b, c)
  • Follow up and review (para. 49)

The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) report is available in AR, ZH, EN, FR, RU, ES.

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2 - Minimize adverse drivers

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).