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MPI Launches Series on Critical Migration Issues in a Changed World; First Brief Examines Pandemic’s Effects on International Migration Governance
Press Release
Thursday, October 15, 2020

MPI Launches Series on Critical Migration Issues in a Changed World; First Brief Examines Pandemic’s Effects on International Migration Governance

WASHINGTON — The toolbox of international migration governance has few instruments for dealing with the migration-related challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most international agreements on migration are designed to aid people on the move and to assist states in dealing with this movement, whether it is voluntary or forced. Yet a major impact of the pandemic is forced immobility—which threatens the well-being of migrants and their countries of origin, as well as the destination-country economic sectors that depend on migrant labor. It also calls into question the linkages between migration and development that underlie much of international cooperation on migration.

As a result of the current global public-health crisis, the governance of international migration is likely to change substantially, in ways comparable to or even greater than the changes that came about after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, as a new Migration Policy Institute policy brief explores.

In Will International Migration Governance Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic?, MPI co-founder and Senior Fellow Kathleen Newland examines the role that the most recent addition to the migration governance toolbox—the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration—can provide in assisting states as they work to restart international migration safely.

Looking ahead, Newland considers how greater cooperation between states and with multilateral agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector and philanthropies can assist in the immediate pandemic response, as well as in efforts to rebuild lost livelihoods and, eventually, reopen legal migration channels.

“States have been making decisions about how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic unilaterally or, in rare cases, on a regional basis, as in the European Union. No governments have gone beyond that to look at economic recovery on a global scale,” Newland writes. “Yet the failure to act globally will leave every country, and the world, poorer.”

The brief launches the series “Critical Migration Governance Issues in a Changed World,” which results from a partnership between MPI and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Read the policy brief here: www.migrationpolicy.org/research/international-migration-governance-covid-19-pandemic.

Find this and future publications in the series here: www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/international-program/critical-migration-governance-issues-changed-world.

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The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at local, national and international levels.