In 2014 governments in Europe, North America, and Australia reacted to significant mixed flows of humanitarian, economic, and family-stream migrants with a range of new policies. These came as some migrants presented themselves to authorities for processing rather than trying to evade U.S. or European border controls, with the knowledge that backlogs and little political will for the removal of vulnerable populations might allow them to stay for extended periods.
The number of people around the world forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution reached its highest total since World War II, with more than 51.2 million fleeing their country or displaced within it, the UN refugee agency reported in 2014. An estimated 13.6 million people have been displaced by conflicts in Syria and Iraq alone, constituting what the UN High Commissioner for Refugees dubbed a mega-crisis.
Fears regarding the spread of the deadly Ebola virus following an outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone prompted governments around the world to regulate travel from and within West Africa. Travel bans, airport health screenings, closed borders, and traveler quarantines were among the policies implemented. International organizations argue such restrictions drive possibly symptomatic travelers to illegally bypass borders and encourage dishonesty in the exit screening process.
Increasing numbers of Westerners heading to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist organizations like ISIS have governments concerned about possible attacks at home by returning fighters. Several thousand fighters from Europe and other Western countries are believed among the foreign nationals involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Lawmakers scrambled in 2014 to respond with new policies, including seizing passports, stripping citizenship, and criminalizing travel to "no go" zones.
2014 marked the quiet demise worldwide of the traditional points system for selecting skilled immigrants. Canada, which in 1969 invented the points system, in 2015 will join other countries in adopting a hybrid system that places more emphasis on a demand-driven system. This article examines how following the economic crisis, governments have revamped, hybridized, or ended such programs.
Driven by rising migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, the Bay of Bengal, the Red Sea, and elsewhere, as well as by the challenges to border-control policies implicit in maritime migration, representatives of states, civil society, and international organizations gathered in December 2014 under the auspices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to discuss ways to limit the loss of life and foster international cooperation. This commentary explores the issues and challenges surrounding irregular maritime migration.
A day-long conference in Brussels, co-sponsored by the International Labour Office and the European Commision’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion, where panelists discuss the dynamics by which migrants get stuck in low-skilled work, and the role of training and employment services in helping them progress in their occupations. The conference concludes a project and series of reports prepared on the Labor Market Integration of New Arrivals in Europe.
This report is the final one in an MPI-International Labour Office series that examines the employment prospects of migrants in the EU (focusing on the case-study countries of the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), as well as the effectiveness of integration and workforce development policies in helping these workers overcome barriers and ascend out of low-skilled work.
It is crucial for children of migrant background in Europe to become proficient in their host country's main language of instruction. This MPI Europe policy brief provides key points and good practice examples on what comprehensive language support in Europe might look like.
For children of migrant background, school quality is critical to ensuring academic success. This MPI Europe policy brief examines how European policymakers can support school quality in four key areas: language diversity, the learning environment, social psychology and acculturation, and community connections.
Mentoring programs can target many core needs of children with an immigrant background that schools are not equipped to address, by providing specific and personalized support on the road to academic success. This policy brief prepared for the SIRIUS Network explores how European Union policymakers can make mentoring projects an integral part of the educational landscape at the EU level.
Whilst many European countries have well-established education systems, children with a migrant background are disproportionately among the underperformers and face a number of critical education needs that mainstream education policy does not currently meet. This policy brief prepared for the SIRIUS Network provides an overview of how education policies can be improved for children of migrant background.
Against the backdrop of an aging population and shrinking labor force, German policymakers have been giving greater priority to policies that ensure that immigrants are able to make their way into middle-skilled work. This report assesses recent policy developments designed to facilitate the labor market advancement of new arrivals in Germany.