MIGRATION SEMINAR: Where Next for Migration and Development?

Prof. Dr. Ronald Skeldon, University of Sussex

This presentation will look at past thinking about migration and development and bring the debate up-to-date with current political and theoretical positions. The idea that migration can be managed will be critically assessed and remittances and brain-drain issues discussed. The role of the Global Forum for Migration and Development in the current debate will be examined and speculations made on its future. The second part of the presentation will focus on possible migration futures, the factors most likely to influence them and how the international community can best respond. The presentation will argue that a development rather than a migration perspective should dominate the debate and linkages between internal and international migration will become more important.

About the speaker
Ronald Skeldon is a Professorial Fellow in the Department of Geography in the School of Global Studies. From 1 June 2009, he was seconded 40 per cent time to the Department for International Development (DfID) as a Senior Research Fellow. After taking a B.Sc. (Hons) in Geography at the University of Glasgow in 1967, he completed an M.A. and a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, with a dissertation on Migration in a Peasant Society: the Example of Cuzco, Peru. He became a Research Fellow at the New Guinea Research Unit of the Australian National University, later the Papua New Guinea Institute for Applied Social and Economic Research, in Port Moresby, 1974-77. He then joined the United Nations, initially as a census adviser in Papua New Guinea, 1977-79, and later as a population expert based in Bangkok, 1979-82. In 1982, he joined the faculty of the University of Hong Kong, where he remained until 1996, leaving as a Professor of Geography. After four years as an independent consultant based in Bangkok working mainly for United Nations organizations, he joined the University of Sussex in October 2000. He has continued to work as a consultant to international organizations, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the United Nations Population Division and the Social Science Research Council in New York. Research His research is based around issues of population, migration and development, primarily in East and Southeast Asia although, in 2008, he returned to Peru to re-examine changes that had occurred since his research in the early 1970s. His work has focused on migration and development, migration and poverty, the migrations of the Chinese peoples, particularly from Hong Kong, and on irregular movements of migrants in and through Southeast Asia. Other research has concentrated on population mobility and HIV/AIDS in Southeast Asia and on questions of child labour in Asia. At the University of Sussex, he was part of the core team in the DFID-funded Development Research Centre (DRC) on Migration, Globalization and Poverty (2003-2009) with the particular responsibility for the co-ordination of research on skilled migration. More recent work for DFID has focused on drafting papers for the Global Forum on Migration and Development on the impact of the financial crisis (2009) and migration and climate change (2010).

Venue: Conference Room, UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, Keizer Karelplein 19, Maastricht

Date: 27 January 2012

Time: 13:15 - 14:15