Dr. Alex Juica, above, delivers his presentation at the Center on Rights Development's annual symposium.
By Nirvana Bhatia
Master's candidate in Human Rights
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Speakers recalled Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" at the Josef Korbel School for International Studies Center on Rights Development's recent annual symposium, noting that freedom from want and from fear were the main motivators in migration decisions.
The 11th annual event, entitled "Globalization, Human Rights, and Migration," included speakers with interests spanning the globe and dissected migration issues from health, economic and security perspectives.
"There is good and bad globalization," said Dr. Alex Juica of the United Nations. "Migration creates threads of inequalities all over."
Juica's lecture on "Inequalities, Migration, and Remittances" was of particular interest to the Denver community and was attended by several members of the Consulate General of Peru. Concerning the subject of remittances -- money sent home by immigrant workers -- he advocated for the long-term investment of these funds.
Remittances often provide a significant amount of capital: Migrants send home approximately $2,600 in payments annually to Latin American countries, and in 2007, 45.5 percent of Tajikistan's GDP came from remittances.
"We have to develop the country in a sustainable way," Juica said. "How do we use the remittances? In what kind of policies? The process of migration has great potential for diversifying the economy."
Juica's talk was followed by a presentation from Tony Tapia, senior program director for the Western Union Foundation, which is headquartered in Denver. He complemented Juica's opinion by stressing the need to move away from remittances for immediate consumption toward building lasting savings and capital investment in developing countries.
"Migration needs to become a choice, rather than an economic necessity," Tapia said.
Presenters also included keynote speakers Kathleen Newland, co-founder of the Migration
Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.; and Dr. Ralph
Wilde, a member of the Faculty of Laws at University College London. The sold-out
event was attended by approximately 100 people.