The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration was established in the year 2000 with the aim of building consensus on the key opportunities and challenges associated with migration, including refugees, asylum seekers and other displaced persons. The organisation was initially formed in the context of an international, multidisciplinary Project on the ‘Future of Asylum and Migration’ (FAM) carried out by The Netherlands Chapter of the Society for International Development (SID NL).
The aim of THP in its first phase were to clarify and change current perceptions of the ‘refugee, asylum and migration’ issue from a complicated and difficult problem to a ‘normal’ issue of international as well as regional, national and local development.
More than 500 global experts were consulted to develop a ‘Declaration’, from governments, migrant and refugee organisations, NGOs, faith groups, academics and business. The ‘Declaration of The Hague on the Future of Refugee and Migration Policy’ was delivered and launched on 22nd November 2002 at the Peace Palace in The Hague and was endorsed by leading international figures, including then UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan.
The 21 principles of the Declaration provided a solid assessment of the driving issues in migration and refugee policy, but further action was necessary to explore new ways of addressing these.
In order to execute this ambition a high level multidisciplinary think tank, The Club of The Hague was founded in 2003 and a number of specific initiatives were developed to engage the financial sector, regional parties, big cities, the business community and other societal groups and governments, to take a more active role in the shaping of migration and refugee policy.
In March 2005 the initiative was given a stronger institutional and legal footing through the establishment of the Foundation ‘The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration’. This allowed for further professionalization of the activities conducted under the auspices of The Club of The Hague.
In 2009-10, following the advice from its donors and advisory council, the ‘Club of The Hague’, THP developed a new strategy and approach to reflect developments in the field of migration.
The 2010-2015 Strategic Plan included a more focused short-to-medium-term Action Plan targeting priorities identified from past strengths of THP, as well as current key areas of impact in the field of migration and development. THP contributed to global initiatives such as the Global Forum on Migration and Development, the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Migration. The organisation developed a specific focus on the nexus of migration/refugees and urbanisation in the context of globalisation and from the perspective of businesses and local government.
The 2010 – 2015 objectives are to:
Rationalize the migration debate by building a more solid evidence base for migration and mobility policies
Increase constructive communication and engagement at all levels to achieve effective, actionable solutions while reducing the duplication of efforts and the resources necessary by individual stakeholders
Reduce the barriers to migration that hinder individual, labor, economic and community development
Increase the implementation of adequate policy and monitoring systems globally
Accelerate the pace of policy-to-practice implementation of practical solutions
By addressing these objectives, THP aims to contribute to the following outcomes:
Reduce the legal voids that enable human trafficking
Increase protection for victims, migrants, refugees, IDPs (human rights)
Increase access for migrants and refugees to adequate housing, education, health coverage and employment opportunities
Reduce considerably the risk of social unrest
Contribute to the reduction of poverty
Increase the opportunities for the social and economic development of communities affected by migration
From 2011 – 2012 THP conducted a series of Expert Consultations for Business and Cities on Migration and Urbanisation in cities around the world and organised a Global Hearing on Refugees and Migration in 2012 where over 200 individuals from over 60 states came together at the Peace Palace to discuss pressing issues in refugee and migration policies and outline a strategy for the coming decade.
As a direct result of the outcomes and recommendations of the 2012 Global Hearing, THP has a new thematic focus and has centered its efforts on addressing the role of two key stakeholders in addressing migration and refugee challenges; the private sector and cities.
Our vision is a just world where refugees and migrants contribute to economic and social development, cultural richness and diversity without suffering discrimination and human rights violations.
To facilitate globally coordinated collaboration in the field of migration, in all its forms, with a focus on protecting human rights through policy development and engendering effective policy-to-practice solutions. Our Mission:
To create a truly comprehensive and fully representative network of all stakeholders affected by and affecting migration in all its forms at local, regional and global levels
To facilitate and increase constructive communication within and between all stakeholder groups
To create more informed awareness and engagement in stakeholder settings and leverage existing networks for positive change in the perception of migration
To create a strong knowledge base of research and issues in the field of migration through monitoring, identification, coordination, prioritisation and dissemination within and outside of the network
To develop actionable solutions enabling orderly and beneficial mobility, tailored to the issues and stakeholders in question through coordination of expertise and resources
To accelerate policy-to-practice solutions by providing access to best practices
To ensure a sustainable working model of the organisation that is flexible to the changing needs of the network and the global environment
The main Areas of Impact / Stakeholders and the intended process
The Club of The Hague is THP’s high-level advisory council. It provides policy direction and discusses key topics on the refugee and migration agenda within a human rights and development perspective.
The Board formally represents the THP Foundation. Its composition ensures that legal, economic, financial, administrative, and communication expertise are present alongside the essential knowledge of refugee, migration, and development issues and international networks.
Expert Consultations for Business and Cities on Migration and Urbanisation
The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration (THP) is oriented towards obtaining practical insights and enabling its partners in the search for solutions in the refugee and migration field. THP is aware of opportunities for a constructive approach that takes as its point of departure the positive contribution of refugees and migrants to economic and social development. With a series of Expert Consultations, started in 2011, THP is addressing the nexus of migration/refugees and urbanisation in the context of globalisation and from the perspectives of businesses and local government 1st Expert Consultation – Johannesburg (South Africa)JUNE 2011 2nd Expert Consultation – Toronto (Canada)SEPTEMBER 2011 3rd Expert Consultation – Manila (Philippines)MARCH 2012 4th Expert Consultation – Istanbul (Turkey)OCTOBER 2012