According to the latest report of the International Organization for Migration (IOM, Geneva, 2005), migrants represent no more than 2.9% of the global population – between 185 and 192 million people. Migration flows have decreased all over the world in the last 30 years, with the exception of those towards the United States and the Russian Federation.
Human mobility is a constant throughout history, but it takes on increasing complexity today in the context of globalization. UNESCO, through its Social and Human Sciences programme, seeks to provide analytical tools for national policies on migration in both sending and receiving countries, to reflect on mechanisms for protecting the rights of migrants, to promote the value and respect of cultural diversity, to strengthen the capacity of diaspora networks and to provide alternatives to “brain drain”.
Starting from the present international geopolitical situation, participants will examine political, sociological and demographic aspects of migration and trace current trends and the outlook for the future. They will highlight the development potential of this social phenomenon, in a world where migration and integration become synonymous with opportunity and hope, at the same time for migrants, for their countries of origin and for Europe.
Several speakers will address the issue of women, long considered the “invisible half” of migration, when they represent 49% of migrants according to estimates by the United Nations Population Division.