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What’s the Future for Migration Management in the Caucasus?

Young people from Azerbaijan and Georgia work with global experts to consider challenges and opportunities.

An important exchange of information between Azerbaijani and Georgian young people on the issue of migration has been taking place in the Kakheti region of Georgia, at the end of a major project that has helped secure visa-free travel for Georgians in Europe.

Experts, academics and lawyers from around the world travelled to the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) summer school in Kvareli to work with the young professionals and researchers to develop regional expertise on migration – one of the most important political issues of modern times.

The team included migration experts from Oxford University in the UK, Maastricht University in the Netherlands, the Sorbonne in as well as practitioners in international human rights law. The summer school, which dealt with media, economics, international development, human rights law and research methods was part of the EU-funded ENIGMMA project in Georgia – which ends today (Friday July 7th) and ongoing MOBILAZE project in Azerbaijan. Both projects focus on effective migration management.

Violeta Wagner, Project Coordinator at ICMPD for both projects said: “Migration is a hot-topic in global debates, and it is vital that the young people of Georgia and Azerbaijan – who represent the future of these countries – have a clear and nuanced understanding of this complex issue. ICMPD’s work on migration in these countries has helped bring them together and closer to the EU.”

Collaboration between the two countries on migration management can bring benefits to both – for example, there may be opportunities for Azerbaijan to learn from Georgia’s successful returnee reintegration programme, which is now in its second year.

Robert McNeil, from Oxford University’s Migration Observatory added: “Debates about migration around the world are often ill-informed and based on assertion rather than evidence. This summer school, and ICMPD’s projects in Georgia and Azerbaijan are creating a new generation of informed and thoughtful young people, who are prepared for the challenges of the future.”

Journalists, civil society organizations and other groups with an interest in migration issues can contact ICMPD using the details below for technical explanations and broader analysis.