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The Sixth Forum of the African Union Commission on International Law on the Theme: “The Legal, Political and Socio-Economic Consequences of Migration, Situation of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa” 4 - 5 December 2017 Malabo, Equatoria

December 04, 2017 to December 05, 2017

The Sixth Forum of the African Union Commission on International Law on the Theme: “The Legal, Political and Socio-Economic Consequences of Migration, Situation of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa” 4 - 5 December 2017 Malabo, Equatoria

I. INTRODUCTION

1. The annual Forum of the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) is a key activity that provides a platform for the International Legal Community, to discuss
and interact on contemporary issues of International Law of interest to Africa and the world at large.

2. The Forum, now in its sixth edition will be organized under the theme "The Legal, Political and Socio-Economic Consequences of Migration, the Situation of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa”, will take place from 4 to 5 December 2017 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

II. CONTEXT

3. According to the International Organization on Migration (IOM), a migrant is “any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of (1) the person’s legal status; (2) whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; (3) what the causes for the movement are; or (4) what the length of the stay is”.

4. In its 2015 International Migration Report, the United Nations indicated that the number of international migrants had reached 244 million, which represented a 41% increase from the year 2000. The global population of forcibly displaced people has grown from 33.9 million in 1997 to 65.6 million in 2016, and it remains at a record high.

5. Migration within, from and to African countries and beyond through both regular and irregular channels are fueled by factors that range from political, socio-economic and environmental factors. Migration and human mobility has a variety of benefits including facilitating transfer of knowledge and skills that boost the labor market, establishing networks that spur innovation and economic growth and enhancing the flow of trade, investment and remittances, which goes a long way towards achieving the Agenda 2063 of the African Union and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that currently guide the global implementation of development activities.

6. In spite of that, misperception and negativity continues to surround migration, the most common being that migrants place an unnecessary burden on national resources thus reducing opportunities for natives of the countries they migrate to. Resultantly, migrants have been the targets of xenophobic attacks and exclusion through discriminatory practices. Migrants have also fallen prey to smugglers and traffickers and been subject to violence including sexual and gender violence.

7. It is therefore crucial to take a closer look at migration in terms of its linkages with development and to assess the adequacy of exisisting instuments in protection of the different catagories of migrants. The Forum will also evaluate recent ongoing intiative such as of the African Union Common African Position (CAP) on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and draft Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment.

III. OBJECTIVE

8. Far from the passionate and over-politicized debates, the Sixth Forum of AUCIL will provide a unique opportunity to take stock of the international law applicable to the different categories of migrants in order to better understand the content, foundations, gaps, and the possible evolution of the laws, without losing sight of the socio-economic dimensions.

9. Through the survey of international and regional perspectives of migration and analysis of the adequacy of existing legal frameworks, the following will be the outcome of the Forum:

i. A publication compiling the contributions to the Forum in order to provide the public, both from Africa and elsewhere, with tools for analyzing and understanding issues related to the Forum theme;
ii. A reframing and analysis grid to understand and analyze migration and population displacements;
iii. Ensure the undertaking of adequate consultation prior to the adoption of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in 2018, at the level of the United Nations; and
iv. Proposals for the application of migration policies to emerging challenges for the attention of the deliberative organs of the AU, its member states, partners and other stakeholders.

IV. METHODOLOGY AND PRACTICAL MODALITIES

10. The Forum will adopt a participatory and interdisciplinary approach to facilitate a broad exchange of views among participants.

11. Each session will consist of the following:

i. Five (5) presentations per session on the basis of a detailed paper of not more than twenty (20) pages, single spaced with a font size of 12;
ii. There will be a moderator for each session and the presenters will be given ten (10) minutes to present their work, following which the floor will be open for discussions;
iii. At least forty minutes (40) will be reserved for general discussions by the Forum on the sub-theme under consideration;
iv. A summary of the presentations will be made on Power Point.

12. There will be simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish.

V. USEFUL INFORMATION

13. Entry visa and stay in Malabo: The list of Equatorial Guinea Diplomatic and Consular Missions abroad as well as comprehensive information on the entry visa and stay in Equatorial Guinea can be found at https://www.embassypages.com/equatorialguinea
VI. CONFIRMATION OF PARTICIPATION

14. Participants are kindly requested to fill the attached Forms and communicate their attendance to the Secretariat of the African Union Commission on International Law:

Papa Diop
Documentalist
Office of the Legal Counsel,
Email: DiopP@africa-union.org
Tel: + 251 (11) 518 2312

Mr. Tamiru Dejene
Clerk
Office of the Legal Counsel
Email: TamiruD@africa-union.org
Tel: +251 (11) 518 2325

Ms. Bethlehem Arega Asmamaw
Legal Consultant
African Union Commission on International Law
Office of the Legal Counsel,
Email: BetelhemA@africa-union.org
Tel: + 251 (11) 518 2328

In all correspondence, please copy:

Mr. Adewale Iyanda
Acting Executive Secretary
African Union Commission on International Law
Office of the Legal Counsel,
Email: Adewalei@africa-union.org
Tel:+251 (11) 518 2307

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