Press release - 611(2008)


Council of Europe calls for an integrated approach to migration issues

Kyiv, 05.09.2008 – At the end of their discussions at the Kyiv conference of 4 and 5 September, the Ministers responsible for migration of the 47 Council of Europe member states called on the Organisation to devise an integrated approach to economic migration, development and social cohesion and assist member states in its implementation.This includes developing mechanisms for regular exchanges of information and training on necessary reforms and inter-ministerial co-operation.

The conference prepared the ground for European governments to strengthen dialogue and co-operation between receiving, transit and origin countries with a view to identifying common priorities, increasing and sharing the benefits of migration through co-development initiatives and transfer of capital, skills and technology by migrants to their countries of origin as well as facilitating integration and reintegration.

The Ministers stressed the need to adopt concrete measures to protect the human rights of especially vulnerable migrant groups, such as unaccompanied children, elderly and isolated women, and to combat racism, xenophobia and violence against migrants.

In order to promote economic and social progress, governments need to review the options for legal migration, promote employment opportunities on the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination in the labour market, and combat more effectively irregular migration, especially where employers and criminal networks profit from irregular migrant labour.

Among measures aimed at improving the integration of migrants and their families, the participants in the conference recommended developing a viable system of validating skills and qualifications acquired abroad in a formal and informal way, to improve effective access to education, health, social protection, employment and housing, and programmes that help migrants learn the language and acquire knowledge of the culture of the receiving society.

The text of the final declaration is available at and

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