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  • Mainstreaming Migration Into National Development Strategies Country Overview

Country Overview


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International migration has been an integral part of the historical and contemporary experience of most Jamaicans and is a feature of the country’s demographic landscape. The Government of Jamaica (GoJ) has recognized that with a population of approximately 2.7 million at home and a relatively large diaspora in destination countries, international migration has the potential to contribute to economic growth while reducing poverty and improving the well-being of individuals in countries of origin, transit and destination.

The GoJ has taken steps to harness the potential of migration for development, primarily by integrating international migration into the Vision 2030 Jamaica-National Development Plan. Specifically, international migration in the development context refers to the fact that migrants make positive contributions to the countries of origin, transit and destination. International migration should be viewed as a dynamic process of growth, empowerment and progress. The migration and development nexus is based on the premise that migration has the potential to increase human capabilities, enlarge the scope of human choices, and create safe and secure environments for citizens and migrants.  The process of mainstreaming international migration into national development can enhance productivity, dignity and equality for all, while preventing and suppressing internal and external trafficking and promoting respect for human rights.

Therefore, the GoJ has taken a proactive approach to leverage the benefits of migration for enhancing development and building capacity and inter-institutional coherence in policymaking.  The migration and development nexus represents an opportunity to focus on evidence-based planning, policymaking and capacity-building in a systemic and strategic manner.

The policy premise presupposes the need for a more systematic approach to the integration of international migration into development policies, plans and programmes of the government. This is a paradigm shift from the negative perception of the role of international migration on developing states.

Policy and Institutional Framework

The development of the draft national policy on International Migration and Development (IMD) was the primary output of the Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Project, which was launched on May 5, 2011. The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), as the central planning agency of the GoJ, is the lead agency, uniquely positioned to facilitate and foster dialogue and collaboration among local and international migration stakeholders and partners. The involvement of diverse stakeholders in the process is facilitated through such governance structures as the establishment of the International Migration and Development Monitoring Board, the National Working Group on International Migration and Development (NWGIMD) and its four subcommittees. Other key public-sector entities involved in migration and development are: Office of the Prime Minister; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Ministry of National Security; Ministry of Labour and Social Security; Ministry of Finance and Planning; Ministry of Justice/Attorney General’s Department and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

Nationally Identified Migration and Developmental Priorities

National Focal Points