A scrutiny report published today on the Government’s work on a new population policy has recommended that more needs to be done to ensure diversity of members of the Migration Policy Development Board and that the Board ensures that children and young people are given a voice in the Board’s work.
The Migration Policy Development Board was established by the Chief Minister in February 2019 to develop a population and migration policy for Jersey and published an interim report in October 2019. The report, published by the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel, focuses on the structure, remit and work of the Board and makes a number of recommendations to improve its governance and ultimate output.
The Panel received 21 submissions from Ministers, members of the public, and other relevant stakeholders, and held 9 public hearings with Ministers and stakeholders to gain a greater understanding of the various views Islanders had on this issue. The Panel found that stakeholders were keen to be consulted on these issues and wanted to have their say, and has recommend that the Board engages with and actively seeks out the views of members of all economic sectors in Jersey to gain their perspectives.
Based on the evidence it received, the Panel has recommended that the Migration Policy Development Board makes a number of changes to its composition, remit, and methodology, and aims to engage and seek as large a range of views as possible. This includes giving more consideration to the diversity of the Board, committing to examining the human rights implications of a new Migration Policy, and doing more to engage children and young people in developing a new migration policy.
Deputy Jess Perchard, the Panel’s lead member for this review, commented: "We are in dire need of a new Population and Migration policy. There is no doubt that the introduction of such a policy, when it comes, will be welcome. However, in addition to simply having this policy, the content will be of paramount importance to the future economic success of businesses, the environmental sustainability and state of the island, and the mental health and political engagement of Islanders.
Whilst the Panel appreciates that the Board is at the early stages of its work, we are concerned that this policy is not being led by a clear vision for the future population of Jersey. At present, it seems that there is not an agreed upon view from the Government on what it wants to achieve in terms of the population size.”
Scrutiny News Release.