30.08.2018 - UNESCO Office in Harare

International conference on migration set for South Africa

South Africa will host the international conference on migration dubbed, “Southern Perspectives on Migration: Addressing Knowledge Production, Policies and Cooperation”, from 5-7 September 2018 in Johannesburg.

The conference is explicitly interdisciplinary, intending to break from strict academic and policy silos to promote crosspollination and critical consideration of how information on migration is generated, considered, and employed. It is particularly concerned with the creation and mobilisation of migration knowledge across Africa where, like much social research, agendas are largely determined by domestic and policy makers and donors.

While the politicisation of migration issues has sharpened the criticism of strictly policy-driven research, knowledge of migration in Africa is still conceptually thin, empirically fragmented, and often disconnected from wider theoretical or policy debates. Some of the most comprehensive research on African migration is conducted by people looking at the continent from outside. With the goal of exploring the linkage between theoretical perspectives on international migration and the implementation of public policies, this event will offer a reflective and critical space to identify and bridge existing gaps between the supply and demand sides of migration data and knowledge-production. To this aim, the conference organisers are eliciting inputs from established and emerging scholars and researchers within and outside the academy. Papers are expected to go beyond case studies or situation reports to engage with broader conceptual and methodological themes and debates. Particular preference will be for those working topics, regions, or from perspectives that remain marginalized or under researched.

The conference will take stock of the state of knowledge, identify conceptual and empirical gaps, and seek to identify new directions for research and engagement beyond the academy. Complementing the scholarly debates, a high-level panel will host senior representatives from government, the UN and Regional organizations. This will provide some context and input on migration dynamics and politics; on the policy challenges and opportunities it provides; and reflections on the research-policy nexus.

UNESCO Assistant Director General for Social and Human Sciences, Ms. Nada Al-Nashif will attend the conference and speak at the high level panel on the role of international organisations and priorities for Africa in 2019.

For more information, please contact: c.ahmimed(at)unesco.org or n.jeiroudi(at)unesco.org or c.mapfumo(at)unesco.org.

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