World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


Migration from and towards MENA region (311) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: THU 22, 11.30 am-1.30 pm

· NOT_DEFINED institution: Institut National de Statistique et d'Economie Appliquée (Maroc)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Lahlou Mehdi

· NOT_DEFINED language: English / Français

· NOT_DEFINED description: The MENA region knows an ambivalent situation as regards the migratory phenomenon. Knowing a great disparity in terms of national income generated by its various economies, it’s divided regarding to the migratory issues in rich countries – generally oil producers - which are also countries with reduced number of inhabitants, for which the foreign manpower needs are very important, and in countries with important population, such as Egypt or Morocco, but with reduced incomes, whose unbalanced labour market is a big factor of emigration of a significant part of their youth, primarily towards Europe.
To this global configuration - which admits some exceptions such that of Algeria, large producing country of oil and, among more populated Arab world, but which is still knowing a relatively important emigration – one has to add the fact that this same area, located between two strongly unbalanced continental spaces from an economic, social and political standpoint, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, became during the last decade (particularly in Maghreb region) a space of transit migration for a growing number of migrants seeking to reach, in an irregular way, one of the various countries of the EU.
This way, MENA region constitutes at the same time a migratory space and a zone of transit towards Europe. It is also, as regards its richest countries an area ` ' of reception `' for migrants coming from Asia and, as regards Libya, originating mainly from sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb...
If the human, legal and social conditions in which migrants are received by the Arab countries of reception are well degraded and increasingly prone to criticism, the migrations starting and/or transiting throw MENA region towards the EU are today - because of the conditions where they are taking place - sullied with hundreds of human dramas and an increasing precarisation of the migrants, as they are at the origin of multiform political conflicts between the two banks of the Mediterranean.
This panel will be devoted to give a large view on the situation of migration towards,, and starting from MENA region by treating the following main issues:
- Global view of immigration/emigration situation and movements in MENA region: statistical data, situation by country, migratory roads, etc…
- Evolution of the relationships between Europe and the area, mainly between the EU and the Maghreb, about the migrations. These relationships will be analyzed from the double point of view, European and Maghrebian/south-Mediterranean.
- Living conditions of migrants in the countries of the Gulf: Legal, human rights, economic and social conditions. The approach on this level will relate to as much Asian migrants as those which are originating from other Arab countries such as Morocco.

Paper presenter: Catherine W. De Wenden, Institute of Political Studies (Institut des Etudes Politiques). Paris “Citizenship in a globalised world of mobility”
The globalisation of migration and mobility all over the world has many consequences for the definition of citizenship related to the nation State. In immigration countries, we observe an extension of the jus soli even in countries which did not consider immigration as a settlement.
Most European countries have changed their nationality codes at the turning of the XXI century to reform it in the sense of an extension of jus soli. In emigration countries we observe at the contrary a reinforcement of the links of jus sanguineous in order to lead Diasporas policies across their immigrant populations abroad. Multiculturalism has also begun one of the elements in citizenship in several immigration countries of settlement alike Australia, Canada and even European countries. Citizenship is being dissociated from nationality in the countries which have granted local political rights to foreigners.
’’Associationism’’ is becoming a trans-national business. All these transformations will be analysed with field studies examples.

Paper presenter: Jean-Pierre Cassarino, European University Institute, Firenze. ‘’Bilateral Cooperation on the "Return" of Migrants in the Euro-Mediterranean Area and its Implications on Migrants' Reintegration in their Country of Origin‘’
The rationale for this paper is two-fold. On one hand, it strives to demonstrate why and how the issue of return, as it stands now in current migration policies, has been dealt with while drawing attention to the mechanisms that (should) support the reintegration of migrants in the MENA region, particularly the North African region. On the other hand, such a top-down approach will be combined with a bottom-up approach to return migration with a view to analyzing the manifold factors that actually shape return migrants’ patterns of reintegration back home. Finally, this combination is key to demonstrate that current return policies are predominantly aimed at securing the effective departure of migrants while narrowly viewing return as the end of the migration cycle. Among others, this narrow (and dominant) vision as applied to return has serious implications on the propensity of MENA countries to cooperate on the issue of return with countries of destination.

Paper presenter: Manolo Abella “’Three Decades of Asian labour migration to the Gulf”
The paper traces the development of the labour migration system starting from the oil crisis of 1974 when mainly construction labour were imported to rapidly modernize the region's physical infrastructure to current movements when Asian workers are in almost every sector. Over the past three decades the countries of the region have drawn on immigration for a seemngly inexhaustible supply of cheap foreign labour to undertake almost every activity except perform governmental functions. The workers in the private economy are almost all temporary foreign workers brought in through an abuse-prone system of sponsors (khafeels), while employment in the public or state sector is the preserve of nationals who enjoy protection and heavy subsidies. A dual labour market has emerged which resists reforms and efforts to restructure the economies of the region in ways consistent with its abundant capital but tiny labour resources. Social consequences have also been significant because of the overwhelming presence of foreign workforces who are kept separate from the native population.

Paper presenter: Radhika Kanchana, Institut d''Etudes Politiques, Paris Sciences Po, "Labour import policies of the Gulf Cooperation Council states (GCC) and their foreign expatriate population"
The Gulf Cooperation Council states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain practice the labour (import) policy under the Jus sanguinis principle. The six Islamic countries exclusively emphasize the "labour" policy and reject any association with an "immigration" policy. The policies are geared to cater to the "flows" of migrants and explicitly insist on the temporary status of the migrants. The absence of any residence or naturalization policy is marked in these countries, especially in the light of the current demographic scenario where the expatriate population in the Gulf region is substantial compared to the native population. The current status quo also exposes a contradiction vis-à-vis the official temporary status of the migrants and some of the resident expatriate communities such as the Egyptians, Indians and so on. The goal of the paper is a critical analysis of the labour policies adopted by the the GCC since its formation in 1981 and also an identification and comparison of the local variations in application of the policy in the six member countries.The paper would comprise a component of the PhD research of the participant titled "The Gulf region and the Indian expatriates: analyzing the consequences of the practice of de jure temporary or guest worker policy, in the existing reality of certain de facto resident population". The whole of GCC region with its six member states is home to foreign expatriates estimated at nearly 12.5 million out of the total population of about 34 million (in 2004). They comprise almost 70 per cent of its labour force with significant inflows per annum. The foreign labour of varying nature is predominantly South Asian in composition although it also receives the labour from Southeast Asia, the wider West Asia, and also from Europe and America. The "guest worker" or temporary labour policy is commonly implemented among all the GCC states and is strictly in place, without any available options to other than the Arab natives for the acquisition of citizenship or residency irrespective of the duration of stay or place of birth. However, there are recent instances of the Gulf nations conferring citizenship to specific individuals and as something novel, a few states have introduced a set of qualifying criteria for individuals seeking residency. The paper might make a useful contribution to the Forum from the point of relevance for migration studies in the Gulf-Asian context by its evaluation of the labour laws in this region and by tracing their important trends and direction.

Paper presenter: Audrey Jolivel (Centre d''Etudes sur l''Afrique Noire (CEAN), Institut d''Etudes Politiques de Bordeaux et Groupe d''Etudes Africaines (GEA), Université Autonome de Madrid), "Sub-Saharan Migration and Politics of (in)security implemented in Morrocco and Senegal".
This paper is analysing connections between State and ‘international migrations’ in Senegal and Morroco. I will focused on why politics of (in)security implemented by Morocco within the framework of sub-saharan migration have not been implemented the same way in Senegal. It requires analysing connections between the state and its population, referring to the transnational paradigm (non state actors role, state sovereignty relativity) and to citizenship (links between a population and a state). Therefore, the paper will take into account contributions of sate-centred theories (realism-idealism debate) as well as contributions of transnationalism studies (Sindjoun). Both approaches are needed to explain the complexity, nature and scale of mobility and its connections with the state, as it is the case for forced migration (refugees) or trans-communities migrations, which have specific territory practices that cross boundaries. In many ways, practices of mobility may corroborate the discourse of the end of the State (Badie), but the paper tries to go beyond the strict separation between state and transnational actors in order to understand their interdependencies (Krasner) and how it is changing citizenship and the notion of the state itself. Moreover, it is important to quote that those interdependencies are acting in the specific context of West Africa where dynamics and logics such as settled way of life, individualism, communities’ way of life, localism, nationalism and cosmopolitanism become intermingled. The main difficulty remains to consider that sociological bases of any state are the existence of a “safe and recognized” international borders (Gonidec) where ‘floating population’, defined by its mobility (smugglers, refugees, seasonal migrant’s workers?) represents a potential threat to the state ? (Bennafla). Then how to interpret the extraterritoriality of Diaspora issues or the absence of a national migration policy? Indeed, in practice, the state of Senegal is not looking for “determine who belongs and who does not belongs, who can come and leave, and make those distinctions intelligible and applicable” (Torpey). Should we deduce that the State of Senegal has no real scope facing transnational movements? In fact, mobility is considered essential for the state and is part of its identities where state’s discourses and practices on migration have consequences on citizenship (defined as a status, a practice and a process). Citizenship is central in the study of transnational relations (analyzed in this case as individuals and networks mobility) to explain its interdependencies with the state. To conclude and to clarify my objectives, I will say that the paper aims at examining “the disarticulation of the national and international order, jostling principles of state sovereignty, territoriality and citizenship” (Appadurai) through politics of (in)security related to ‘international’ migration in Senegal and Morocco.