Managing migration flows is a challenge where cooperation and exchange of information is imperative to achieve an efficient migration policy between Asia and Europe. The 9th ASEM Conference of the Directors-General of Immigration discussed the detection of unaccompanied minors, the detection of irregular migrants, the selection of labour migrants and the selection of students.

Participants gathered and exchanged strategies and ideas on the management of migration issues.

Unaccompanied minors

For decades, unaccompanied minors are of major concern because of the bigger risk of human trafficking and smuggling for different purposes. Already a concern at the international level, this has gotten the attention of the United Nations where the “Convention of the Rights of the Child” was the first legally binding instrument for the protection of the rights of children in which provisions are also included on the protection of unaccompanied children.

The problem with unaccompanied children is that at all instances, they are at risk when they are traveling on their own, or in a group without parents or legal guardians, whatever status they have in the country of origin, transit, or destination. Therefore, it is imperative that transparent procedures are put in place to prevent these children from becoming victims of human trafficking of smuggling.

Irregular migrants

It is a reality that where legal migrants take the offered opportunities to go abroad, there will also always be people who are turning to irregular ways to migrate. In this way, one smaller group is actually causing inconveniences for the majority who respect emigration and immigration laws. These inconveniences can be multiple from longer visa procedures to more thorough checks at the exit and entry points. Also, within the country, police authorities have the legal duty to detect irregular migrants.

With this topic, the conference will touch upon ways and measures to make more efficient migration checks, on one hand the detection of the irregular or pseudo-legal migrants, on the other hand create less problems for those people who have the right documents and the appropriate intentions to enter and stay in their country of destination.

Labour Migrants

During the 8th ASEM Conference of Directors-General of Immigration in Goa, 2009, the participating member-states agreed in the Chair’s Statement that “…improved cooperation to ensure better skills and credentials recognition (…) and ensure better matching of skill sets” is one of the main pre-requisites to have an efficient labour mobility migration.

Selection of students

International mobility for students has developed to a large extent in the last decades. More and more European and Asian students take the opportunity to study abroad to extend their knowledge and expand their experience in other parts of the world. This system of international student exchange should be stimulated and in many countries there are already government policies to manage the migration of students.