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30th Anniversary of The Inter-University Committee on International Migration

10/05/2004 4:30 PM Wong Auditorium
Mamphela Ramphele, Co-Chair, UN Global Commission on International Migration; Senior Advisor to the President of the World Bank

Description: The world needs to come up with a coherent, comprehensive policy on migration, and in short order. Mamphela Ramphele is uniquely positioned to understand and shape such a policy for the new U.N. commission that's studying the issue. She has recently returned to South Africa after years in Washington, D.C. at the World Bank. According to Ramphele, 200 million-plus people are living outside their countries of origin, and this number is bound to increase, under the pressures of globalization, conflict, and economic imbalances. She cites the relentless stream of news stories about migrants dying or suffering unimaginable ordeals to enter countries illegally, and the often intense, negative reaction of nations to the ceaseless flow of non-native workers across their borders. "The world appears to have reached a turning point in relation to issues of migration and mobility," says Ramphele. Upper and middle income states "need cheap labor for unattractive jobs and to compensate for a diminishing, aging workforce" and less developed countries fret that their young professionals are departing "to regions that offer higher standards of living" and that their less educated emigrants are treated as second-class citizens or worse. "International migration has become an issue of contention between North and South," she says. Nations must "come clean and acknowledge the hypocrisy" that allows nations to exploit migrant workers while rejecting basic workers' rights. Ultimately, says Ramphele, "Migration cannot be adequately managed in isolation from the issues of development, demography and democracy."

About the Speaker(s): Mamphela Ramphele is one of four Managing Directors at the World Bank. She is principally involved on matters of knowledge and socioeconomic development. In addition, Ms. Ramphele leads the formulation of the Bank's policies on health and education, and was in charge of integrating, monitoring, and evaluating progress with regard to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She led the formulation of the Bank's policy framework on the social dimension of globalization, including human rights. A South African-born medical doctor, Mamphela Ramphele is also a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. She also holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology, a BCom degree in Administration, and diplomas in Tropical Health & Hygiene and Public Health. As a student she played a key role in the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa. She has received numerous prestigious national and international awards and 18 honorary doctorates and the Medal of Distinction from Barnard College. She has written many books and articles on education, health, and social development for which she has received numerous prizes and awards.

Host(s): School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, Center for International Studies

Tape #: T19028

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

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