E.g., 09/23/2017
E.g., 09/23/2017

Middle East & North Africa

Middle East & North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa span both poles of migration: as countries of migrant destination, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and as countries of migrant origin. The region has a large supply of young, active workers, with more than 20 million migrants working elsewhere in the region or in Europe. The research here focuses on labor migration to the region, including the policies and regulations that govern such migration and the role of recruiters; the humanitarian flows that have resulted from wars and political instability; diaspora engagement; and more.

Recent Activity

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Reports
October 2003
By Joanne van Selm
Reports
June 2002
By Kathleen Newland, Joanne van Selm, Erin Patrick, and Monette Zard

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Online Journal

Morocco has evolved into one of the world’s leading emigration countries. European immigration restrictions did not stop migration, but rather pushed Moroccan migrants into permanent settlement, prompting large-scale family reunification. Morocco is also becoming a destination country, and the growing presence of immigrants confronts Moroccan society with an entirely new set of social and legal issues typical for immigration countries, as this country profile explores.

Online Journal
With more than 2.2 million Syrians who have already sought refuge abroad and more than 4 million others displaced internally, the challenges that the international community are facing from the Syrian humanitarian crisis continue to mount.
Online Journal

Qatar's dependence on foreign workers is expected to intensify over the coming decade as it steps up its preparations to host the World Cup in 2022. Migrant workers already dominate Qatar's labor force, comprising 94 percent of all workers and 86 percent of the country's total population of nearly 2 million — the world's highest ratio of migrants to citizens.

Online Journal
United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff talks to MPI about the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis and the role of UNHCR in assisting countries that have taken in large numbers of Syrian refugees. One looming concern: how will UNHCR and other actors change their refugee crisis-response models and mechanisms to adapt to this and future emergencies?
Online Journal

The United Arab Emirates has the fifth-largest international migrant stock in the world, with 7.8 million migrants out of a total population of 9.2 million. Heavily reliant on foreign labor to sustain economic growth, the UAE government in 1971 introduced a temporary guest worker program. This article examines the economic, social, and political challenges and implications of the program for the government, Emirati nationals, and migrant workers in the UAE.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
September 2013
Skilled migration is often thought to have overwhelmingly negative effects on countries of migrant origin. Yet recent research and policy experience challenge this assumption and offer a more nuanced picture, as this brief explains. Countries of origin and destination can in fact benefit from skilled migration when it is correctly structured, and efforts to restrict skilled nationals’ ability to leave their countries of origin may have unintended costs, in addition to being ethically problematic.
Books
July, 2013

This edited volume develops a pragmatic approach to the engagement of highly skilled members of the diaspora for the benefit of their countries of origin. The book, edited by a World Bank senior economist, is based on empirical work in middle-income and high-income economies.

Video, Audio
May 9, 2013
With global mobility on the rise, the international community is finally grappling with the challenge of stranded migrants, which is one of the main agenda items for the High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development in the UN General Assembly in October 2013.
Video, Audio
January 14, 2013
A delegation of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) visited Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq in late November to discuss the humanitarian crisis with refugees, officials from host and donor governments, representatives of international humanitarian organizations and local nongovernmental agencies; and to get a firsthand look at the work of IRC partners and staff who are directly involved in providing assistance to the refugees and to Syrians trapped inside the country.
Policy Briefs
August 2012

This issue brief examines Asian labor migration to the Middle East—a region distinguished by its major dependence on migrant workers, the overwhelming majority from Asia. The author focuses on the role of private recruiting agencies as key facilitators of temporary labor migration and perpetrators of exploitative practices.

Video, Audio
July 11, 2012
A discussion with Dr. Noppawan Tanpipat, Vice President, National Science and Technology Development Agency; Frank Laczko, Head, Migration Research Division, IOM; Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias, Regional Research Officer, IOM, and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute (MPI); and Kathleen Newland, Director of Migrants, Migration, and Development, Migration Policy Institute (MPI).
Policy Briefs
July 2012

This brief provides a background on the displacement and evacuation of migrant workers caught in the Libyan civil war. It highlights questions raised as a result of this crisis regarding the response of the international community, discusses lessons learned from the Libyan experience, and identifies policy recommendations for addressing the protection needs of labor migrants during humanitarian crises. 

Video, Audio
June 26, 2012
This discussion highlights the best practices and experiences of different countries in engaging and maximizing the contributions that diasporas can and do make to the development of their country of origin, and more broadly the experience of policymakers in both sending and receiving countries and the related challenges and opportunities they face.

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