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Migration trend tops discussion

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, November 04, 2017

THE first civil society organisation dialogue on migration was held this week in Nadi where regional NGOs gathered to discuss regional movements of Pacific islanders.

Co-organised by the Citizens Constitutional Forum, the two-day discussions was the result of the UN Declaration on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

CCF chief executive officer Sara Bulutani Mataitawakilai said the UN Compact on Safe Migration was the core focus of the meeting.

"This consultation is one of seven consultations happening around the globe," he said. Migration is not a new thing for us.

"We Pacific islanders identify ourselves as migrants. We have been moving out of our island homes for many reasons.

"Things such as labour migration, climate change which is a big thing so it's very important for the conversation of migration to take place not only at a global level but also at regional and national levels.

"We need to know the issues of migration and our role."

Mr Mataitawakilai said climate change had also fuelled movements across the region.

"For instance, in the area of climate change, the Kiribati Government has bought a land in Vanua Levu. So very soon we will have some strangers who will become members of our community and they will contribute to our economy, to our vanua growth.

"We already have migrants in the country, the Kioa islanders, the Banabans and even those descendants of those who came through the indentured labour system who are now part of us.

"That's the whole notion of this consultation and its importance."

The meeting ended yesterday.

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