08.03.2013 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

UNESCO Lecture on Migrants and the Right to the City

© M. Hainry/UNESCO

To discuss the issues and challenges faced by internal migrants in urban settings, UNESCO will be conducting a lecture on “Migrants and the Right to the City” for the students of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi on 21 March 2013. The audience of the lecture will comprise 30 students in the third year of study of their Bachelor’s of Planning Degree, coming from a wide range of academic backgrounds, reflecting UNESCO’s will to develop multi-disciplinary knowledge and approaches on the issue of internal migration. Ms. Marina Faetanini, Programme Specialist, Social and Human Sciences Sector, UNESCO New Delhi Office will deliver the lecture, stressing for moving towards a better inclusion of internal migrants in India. Within the overall course framework of planning and managing the informal sector, the lecture will examine how migrants provide a low-cost flexible workforce for the urban informal economy, but often work in poor conditions, devoid of social security and legal protection. It shall raise questions on the lack of recognition of migrants’ contribution towards the economic development of cities, and shall seek to reverse the negative portrayal of migrants in society. The lecture will highlight that the right to the city - which encompasses rights and access to food, housing, education, health, work, and local democracy - should also apply to migrants, and that the inclusion of migrants in cities is necessary for a sustainable urban development based on cultural diversity, social cohesion and human rights.

This activity seeks to mainstream the question of social inclusion of internal migrants by sensitizing future urban planners to the need and multiple advantages of building a socially inclusive model of city planning, at cultural, social, economic and political level. In the future, UNESCO intends to create awareness on inclusion of migrants in urban planning through the elaboration of a module to be added to the existing academic curriculum of Schools of Planning and Architecture.

This event marks the first steps in consolidation and dissemination of the research findings and policy recommendations on internal migration of the Internal Migration in India Initiative (IMII). The IMII aims to raise the profile of internal migration in India and to propose policy changes and creative practices for a better inclusion of internal migrants in the economic, social, political and cultural life of the country.

For more information please contact: Marina Faetanini


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