21 Mar 2011
Books/ Book Chapters
Interfacing the Temporary Movement of Workers in “Mode 4 of GATS” with Bilateral Migration Agreements
Chapter by Marion Panizzon, forthcoming in the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Proceedings, Vol. 104 (2010)
During the last decade, bilateral migration agreements have seen a renaissance as instruments for managing labor migration. This contribution discusses their rise in the context of post-9/11 immigration law reforms in many migrant destination countries in Europe. It considers to what extent these bilateral agreements correct the multilateral liberalization of the temporary movement of persons in the so-called “mode 4” of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and its high-skill bias. We observe a fragmentation of international migration law into different types of agreements dealing with migration. Underlying this fragmentation is the desire to maintain the flexibility to choose a type of agreement depending on whether the movement of persons shall be fast-tracked and facilitated or restricted and contained. This selectivity, however, may exacerbate an unjustified discrimination between migrant worker categories in terms of nationality-, skill- or age levels. When drawing conclusions for the development of an international law of economic migration, it may be advisable to identify legal principles, which may reduce the discriminatory effects such selectivity may have. Human rights guarantees and the most-favored nation clause of the WTO/GATS are advanced as such catalysts for building coherence among migration-related agreements.