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Key Commitments:

In the Sea Island Action Plan: Applying the Power of Entrepreneurship to the Eradication of Poverty G8 leaders committed to arange of actions covering labour migration and remittances, including the simplification and reduction of transaction costs, improved access to financial services and increased information on remittances. These were reiterated at the Heiligendamm Summit Declaration on Growth and Responsibility in Africa, which also pledged to address challenges of‘brain drain' and the retention of health staff in Africa. Similar commitments were made again more recently in Hokkaido Summit Leaders Declaration, including the creation of a Global Remittances Working Group.

Declarations made by the EU give labour migration prominence. Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement laid out the framework of dialogue on migration between the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and Africa. Subsequent commitments are based on this framework andpledge to enhance dialogue. The Presidency Conclusions of the December 2005 European Council, for example, adopted its ‘Global approach to migration', with commitments to work in partnership with Africa and regional communities in monitoring migration, reducing transaction costs of remittances and addressing Africa's loss of skills, as well as concerns of illegal immigration and border control. In its European Consensus on Development the EU committed to take a series of actions to make migration a ‘positive factor for development'. This theme was reiterated in the EU strategy for Africa, with particular concern for the human resources crisis in Africa's health-care sector, while the Africa-EU Partnership, went further with commitments to work jointly to promote legal mobility and address the so called negative aspects of migration such as illegal migration, human trafficking and brain drain.

The protection of the status of refugees is given in anumber of international covenants such as the United Nations (UN) Refugee Convention and Convention on the Rights of the Child. Respect and protection of the rights of migrants is detailed in the UN Millennium Declaration reiterated at the UN World Summit Outcome in addition to safeguarding the principle of refugee protection. The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights recognizes freedom of movement, while African Union (AU) human rights declarations such as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the African Protocol on the Rights of Women pledge countries to protect the rights of refugees.

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