Mekong Migration Network (MMN) in collaboration with the Lao Women’s Union, National University of Laos, and Asian Migrant Centre organized the Workshop on Migrants, Migration and Development on 15-16 July 2008, Vientiane, Lao PDR. The Workshop was attended by more than 80 participants most of whom are MMN members.
In the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), a number of development projects including road construction, hydropower projects, setting up of economic zones along the border are implemented and more are planned in the coming years. While migration in the GMS is not an old phenomenon, it is expected that these development projects will have a varying impact on migration in the GMS, and possibly create new migration flows.
The MMN saw that this theme (development policies affecting migration in the GMS) has not yet been substantially studied and thus felt it was important for the network to initiate the discussion, thus proposed to organize the workshop with the following objectives: 1) to help develop the capacity of MMN members in analyzing and understanding the issues of development and migration in the GMS; 2) to strengthen the sub-regional response to development approaches; and 3) to develop a collective perspective concerning the migration & development in the GMS.
The program included five plenary sessions and small group discussion. Plenary 1 looked at the migration & development discourse in general as well as in the GMS. Plenary 2 aimed to review development policies and projects in the GMS. In the Plenary 3, the linkage between development projects and migration in the GMS was explored while Plenary 4 looked at the impact of development policies on migration in the GMS. Finally in the Plenary 5, the question of whether or not migration and economic development can go in hand in hand with human development in the GMS. All the participants and resource persons were then broken into small group discussion during which they discussed the priority advocacy and action areas concerning migration & development in the GMS.
MMN General Conference & Research Consultation, 17-18 July 2008
Following the above-mentioned workshop, the MMN General Conference was held attended by more than 50 MMN members. The members collectively discussed the MMN Terms of Partnership and Plan of Action for 2008-2009, among other agenda. In the afternoon of the 18th, the MMN members also discussed the research design for the 2008-2009 MMN collaborative research.