Above: State Minister for Foreign Affairs Arnaldo Brown (JIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica must undertake to draft a diaspora and development policy, according to State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Arnaldo Brown.
Jamaica’s government is looking to instate measures which will reduce the disadvantages associated with migration, he said, instead focusing on building migration benefits to Jamaica.
“The need for a policy framework has become very apparent,” he said. “We are determined to look at policy options available to mitigate these challenges.”
Brown was speaking at a conference of migration and development experts from the Commonwealth on Monday in St Andrew.
The government’s approach will include the countries of destination and the migrants and their families, he said, with an aim to implement strategies that will reduce transactions costs in remittance flows as well as safeguarding the human rights and social protection of Jamaica’s migrants, he said.
“More importantly, the policy could not be complete without the invaluable involvement of Jamaicans overseas, as we need to benefit from the Diaspora’s tremendous knowledge and input,” he said.
Since the 1990s, Jamaica’s government has taken “deliberate steps” to capture the development potential of Jamaicans overseas by targeting their human and financial capital — through the creation of enterprises, improved trade cooperation and investments.
“The inextricable link between migration and development has determined that there needs to be an improved partnership and dialogue between the government and the diaspora,” he said.
Jamaica is currently in the process of developing a National Policy on International Migration and a plan of action, according to the Minister.