Migration is part of the comprehensive security approach of the OSCE, as was recognized in the Helsinki Final Act (1975). With international migration continuing to increase and more and more countries being affected by migratory movements, effective migration management and international co-operation have become ever more important.
The OSCE participating States have reinforced their interest in this area in several subsequent OSCE documents and commitments, focusing mainly on the rights of migrant workers.
Due to recent migration and demographic trends in the OSCE area, a number of OSCE participating States have become countries of destination, transit or origin for migration, or a combination of all three, with economic, social, cultural and security implications requiring co-operation at many levels to effectively address migration management.
Migration has been one the activities of the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) since 2005, where it is being addressed from an economic and environmental perspective. "Migration management and its linkages with economic, social and environmental policies to the benefit of stability and security in the OSCE region" was selected the theme of the 17th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum. [See more details on the First Preparatory Conference, First Part of the 17th EEF, Second Preparatory Conference, and the Second Part of the 17th EEF.]
Much of the work being conducted by the OCEEA in the area of migration takes its guidance from the Athens Ministerial Decision on Migration Manegement (2009), the Ljubljana Ministerial Decision on Migration (2005) and the Brussels Ministerial Statement (2006). More detailed information on the OSCE commitments on international migration, contextual background information, and data on indicators measuring implementation of commitments can be found in the OSCE-ILO “Strenghtening Migration Governance” publication.
The OSCE/OCEEA can in particular provide its participating States as well as its Asian and Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation with a regional and sub-regional forum for advancing dialogue, experience sharing and political exchange on migration and security issues related to the economic and environmental dimension.
The OSCE's extensive field presence network can also facilitate migration management by carrying out more concrete, result-oriented project activities in the regions of the CIS and South Eastern Europe.
In carrying out its migration related work, the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) has developed close cooperation and partnerships with other OSCE departments and structures as well as with other regional and international organizations active in this field. The main working areas of the OCEEA related to migration management are the following: