Over the past ten years, there has been a significant increase in the number of regional consultative processes focusing on migration. These non-binding fora bring representatives of states, civil society and international organizations together at the regional level to discuss migration-related issues in a cooperative manner. Although regional processes are increasingly mentioned in policy or academic literature, there are few studies on the workings and achievements of the processes themselves. This paper seeks to rectify this omission by providing a comprehensive overview of regional consultative processes, their course of developement, what it is they have to offer and why they have so rapidly
grown in number.
Governments increasingly support regional consultative processes to address migration issues and are working ever more closely with each other under the auspices of such meetings. Regional consultative processes are partly a response to the growing complexity and diversity of international migration. Their emergence attests to the importance that governments attach to a regional approach to migration management.
This reports outlines eleven regional consultative processes and investigates the development and achievements of four in depth. The report tentatively suggests that the development of regional consultative processes can be understood in terms of a four-stage model.