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14 Oct 2020

Making the Case to Integrate Human Mobility into Cross-border Trade and Trade Facilitation

Trade, migration and cross-border human mobility are inherently interconnected; without people, goods and services would be unable to cross borders and contribute to formal economic development. Cross-border traders, due to their frequent crossing of international borders, are mobile populations and therefore of interest to IOM. This think piece examines the interrelationship between cross-border trade and human mobility across borders. It argues that the link between migration, human mobility and trade is neglected. This think piece on case studies looks at examples and practices from four COMESA Member States – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is the intention of this piece to contribute to policy and operational responses that integrate human mobility and border management into trade facilitation responses from an immigration and border management perspective.

  • Acknowledgements
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Background and introduction
  • 1. Regional integration, free movement of persons, border management and free trade agreements
  • 2. Cross-border traders as mobile populations
  • 3. Available migration-related data on traders
  • 4. Policy harmonization on trade, migration, border management and integrated/coordinated border management approaches
  • 5. Six pillars: Integrating human mobility into cross-border trade facilitation
    • 5.1. Pillar 1: Facilitation of the movement of persons across the border through effective border management
    • 5.2. Pillar 2: Health, trade and cross-border population mobility
    • 5.3. Pillar 3: Mainstreaming gender and protecting vulnerable groups including cross-border traders
    • 5.4. Pillar 4: Empowering and capacitating cross-border traders
    • 5.5. Pillar 5: Humanitarian response – Facilitating cross-border trade in times of migration crisis
    • 5.6. Pillar 6: Security at borders– Ensuring the bona fide movement of goods and persons
  • 6. Conclusion