CURACAO, Willemstad — On April 2nd, a meeting on the forthcoming Symposium on Migration was held between the Prime Minister of Curacao, the Hon. Eugène Rhuggenaath, and a technical delegation of the Social and Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao.
The aim of the meeting was to update the Prime Minister on the progress of the organization and content of the symposium, and to discuss participation and funding.

Last year the Prime Minister reached out to SER Curaçao to provide assistance on the issue of population and migration policies. Since then a lot of progress has been made, amongst others resulting in the cooperation between SER Curacao, SER Aruba and SER Sint Maarten regarding organizing a two-day symposium on labor migration.

The three countries are confronted to a greater or lesser extent with the same issues in the areas of population policy and socio-economic development. The challenges present themselves in – among other things – a prolonged stagnating economy, increased aging, brain drain, a social welfare system that is under pressure, an unequal labor market, the socio-economic crisis in Venezuela and the issue of irregular migrants in general. The countries can support each other in the field of developing strategic migration policies, based on ‘lessons learned’ and ‘best practices’ of the Kingdom, the region and elsewhere.

October 26th, 2019, a protocol was signed by the Prime Ministers of Sint Maarten, Aruba and Curacao, that stated that the three countries will collaborate on strategic policy development thereby exploring the opportunities and benefits of migration, and in particular labor migration within the context of a sustainable socioeconomic development of the three countries, and that they support the initiative of the Social and Economic Councils of the three countries to organize a symposium on this theme.

The aim of the symposium is to explore, together with stakeholders, policy options with respect to the question ‘how to optimize the benefits and minimize the costs of labor migration in relation to sustainable socioeconomic development of the three countries?’

During the symposium the following topics will be addressed:

  1. Opportunities and challenges of migration (management): myths and misconceptions; controversies, the liberal paradox; changing the narrative
  2. Migration and sustainable development: (global and regional) evidence-based findings on the relationship between migration and sustainable socio-economic development. How to optimize the benefits and minimize the costs?
  3. (Global) Trends in labor migration policies and refugee policies: lessons learned on effectiveness of policies & best practices.
  4. Caribbean perspective on effective migration policies. How can we best govern migration to enhance socioeconomic development?

More information on the symposium – program, speakers and approach– will be made available on the website of SER Curacao soon. ( )