More people then ever before are on the move. Today, there are more than 232 million migrants in the world. People are moving in search of new opportunities or a better life, to save, support or improve their well-being and that of their families, to escape conflict or to adapt to environmental or economic shocks.
Migrants learn and bring with them new skills and energy, fill in labour market gaps and send more of their earnings back to family members and communities in their countries of origin - currently over US $500 billion dollars a year-- than the entire budget for official aid worldwide.
In some countries, migrants have created or own 1 out of 7 businesses and run many more, employing millions of native-born workers all over the world. Migrants work in the full range of jobs, from domestic work, home child and elder care, farm and construction work to research, teaching engineering, medicine and more.
Yet, around the world, migrants face widespread abuse, exploitation, lack of opportunities and discrimination. The current mix of national, regional and international policies is not working, either on paper or in implementation.
Organising for change
Since 2006, a large number of civil society organisations has been coming together to organise for change in policies and practice during and around the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD: 2006, 2013) and annual Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) meetings of governments and civil society.
From the very beginning of organising in and around the GFMD, many civil society groups have called for time and resources to organise national and regional convenings, follow-up and advocacy actions to ensure that changes for migrants and migration are actually implemented on the ground.
The idea of regional and thematic organising was reiterated by the International Steering Committee throughout the years, and on an ad hoc basis thematic working groups and regional consultations were organized by ICMC, the International Steering Committee and the Global Coalition on Migration prior to the GFMD 2012 and HLD 2013.
MADE evolved out of years of GFMD organising, and was launched in 2014, benefitting from initial co-funding from the European Union for three years. The coordination of GFMD civil society activities has now become part of the Migration and Development Civil Society Network (MADE), organised by the Civil Society Coordinating Office, operating under the auspices of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), in partnership with the International Steering Committee (ISC) and MADE regional and thematic coordinators.