Joint Programme Support to National Efforts for the Promotion of Youth Employment and Management of Migration

The Joint Programme (JP) supported national and local institutions to implement policy and operational measures that will increase youth employment in Serbia and reduce the negative impact of return and irregular migration. IOM, ILO, UNDP and UNICEF implemented the JP with institutions mandated to address youth, employment, migration and social policies. Total budget was USD 8 million of which the USD 6 million was provided by the MDG Spanish Funds and the Government of Serbia contributed with USD 1.9 million. IOM share in this joint programme was USD 1 million and the YEM was implemented in period May 2009-May 2012.

The JP was cantered on a three-pronged strategy touching upon policies, institutions and programmes that concur to the delivery of integrated employment and social services targeting disadvantaged young women and men exposed to migration, especially young returnees. It builds on three interlinked outcomes aimed at:

  • mainstreaming youth employment and migration policy objectives into national development strategies
  • strengthening the capacity of national institutions to develop integrated labour market and social services, and
  • implementing a package of programmes on employment and social services

Programme interventions targeted disadvantaged youth in the 35 municipalities that make up the districts of South Backa, Belgrade and Pcinjski.  Each district has been targeted because of having high rates of youth unemployment and poverty and because they are the expected re-settlement destination of many returnees. Local institutions were supported to pilot innovative employment programmes and social services.

Inclusion of youth employment and migration policy objectives into national strategies, development of integrated labour market and social services to support young migrants and implementation of integrated employment programmes and social services targeting young returnees and other disadvantaged young women and men, has improved policy tools for migration management, strengthened communication between relevant national stakeholders in this field, eased transfer of policy tools from central to local level, increased awareness about importance of migration issues and tested means of assistance to vulnerable youth at local level.

The Joint Programme contributed significantly to the recognition of migration management as an important developmental issue, and as a proof of influence is the raised capacity of national stakeholders to deal with migration problems, raised awareness of local stakeholders on vulnerability of young migrants, improved policy framework for migrations as well as increased number of refugees and internally displaced included into employment programmes.

The greatest achievement of the JP migration component is an increase of visibility and of measurability of migration flows and diversification of the concept of labour migration, as well as use of migration indicators in strategic documents and transfer of outputs to the local level through YO capacity building and information campaign. The 2010 White Paper: Towards Developing a Policy on Labour Migration in the Republic of Serbia has made significant inroads in addressing these gaps and in providing the Government with a reliable framework for policy and programme development. This document informed the design of the new National Employment Strategy (2011-2020), provided inputs to the Government’s Action Plan on Migration Management and was used to draft a technical cooperation initiative on migration management to be financed by the EU Instrument of Pre-Accession Assistance. The White Paper proposes that the thirteen migration indicators developed within the framework of the Joint Programme be used to monitor migration management interventions. Migration indicators are organized into six categories: mismatches between labour supply and demand; brain-circulation, monitoring of returns; labour migrants in Serbia; Serbian labour migrants abroad; and social inclusion of hard –to- employ individuals affected by migration.

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