Despite increasing recognition of global migration’s impact on development, there has been far less discussion regarding how to incorporate migration into plans for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This special issue of Migration Policy Practice, guest-edited by Jessica Hagen-Zanker and Katy Long, explores how migration intersects with a number of key development areas, and how these relationships affect the delivery of the SDGs. It draws from a series of 12 policy briefings by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) that analyse the interrelationships between migration and key development areas, namely, poverty, decent work, urbanization, gender, education, health, social protection, water and sanitation, energy, citizenship, technology and climate change. The five articles included in the special issues look into a specific area in which migration intersects with development, setting out the case for including migration in SDG planning in persuasive terms.
First, Michael Clemens – taking a historical lens – argues that there is an urgent need to stop thinking of migration as a consequence of poor development outcomes and instead see rising migration as not only the result of improved development but also a catalyst for further positive change.
Next, Katy Long, Elisa Mosler Vidal and Amelia Kuch set out the case for why ensuring long-term migrants’ access to citizenship is crucial in order to prevent this group’s exclusion from community opportunities for development and social protection, which can otherwise result in multigenerational marginalization.
In the third article in this issue, Jessica Hagen-Zanker and Elisa Mosler Vidal discuss the importance of social protection and make a strong case for why migrants’ access to social protection, including through improved portability of benefits, also helps strengthen State governance and increase the resources available to support development in host and origin countries.
Next, Fiona Samuels explores the particular challenges faced in incorporating migrant populations into healthcare responses and explains why such inclusion is vital if public health SDGs are to be met.
Finally, Marta Foresti steps back from the specific issues raised in these different development silos to deliver an overview of how migration and its links to development fits into not only the SDGs but also the wider global political process, including the Global Compact for Migration, the terms of which were agreed in July 2018.