* Senior Migration Policy and Research Specialist, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Geneva and Senior Migration Specialist, International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations they work for.
This article posits that evolution of law and its application in the field of migration are inseparable from the economic and political context in which they exist. This exposé first describes the contemporary dilemmas of the rule of law and human rights as a dialectic with evolving economic and political challenges driven by the dynamics of globalization. It highlights issues of refugee protection, decreasing solidarity with uprooted people, exploitability of migrants in conditions of deregulatory globalization, the impact of the crisis, and questions of economic and social development. The article underlines the applicability of international human rights and labour standards, and briefly reviews the principal international and regional standards that form the basis for a “rights-based approach” necessary to address the challenges posed by migration today. The article then discusses contemporary policy conundrums, including arguments and approaches constraining implementation of legal standards. It concludes by proposing a “ten-point programme of policy and action priorities” for enhancing effective governance of international migration.