E.g., 06/22/2022
E.g., 06/22/2022
International Program

International Program

Two adults and two children wearing face masks at a migration health centre in Nigeria
IOM/Natalie Oren

Many countries are reopening for international travel and migration after the shutdown forced by the pandemic. Yet there is still no consensus on whether and how to use travel measures to prevent the spread of future variants of COVID-19 or respond to the next public health crisis. This commentary lays out four guiding principles for building an inclusive and effective global mobility system.

A woman in a winter coat receives food from a woman in an orange safety vest at a train station in P
Subcarpathian Voivodeship/IOM

Recent displacement crises—ranging from Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Myanmar, South Sudan, to most recently Ukraine—have imposed huge stresses on the humanitarian protection regime. Yet individual countries and regional organizations have been innovating to meet the challenge and expand the options available for protection, in some cases bypassing beleaguered asylum systems. This commentary traces the rise of more ad hoc approaches.

Woman wearing a white sweater and face mask and carrying luggage looks at airport information board
Maria Korneeva/iStock.com

Despite high hopes that international movement would be revived in 2021 after the deep chill in 2020 with designation of a global pandemic, cross-border mobility remained limited as migrants and travelers faced complex rules, high costs, and uncertainty as new COVID-19 variants emerged. This report assesses global mobility in 2021, including changing use of travel restrictions, their impacts on mobile populations, and efforts to safely restart migration and travel.

Three women, one in a headscarf and holding a baby, walk in the countryside in Devon, UK
© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

Public opinion of refugees and asylum seekers is often portrayed as a binary, reflected in stories of them as “threats” or “benefits.” Yet in reality, people can hold a variety of competing beliefs and concerns about forced migrants and their impacts on society. This report explores these different narratives, the contexts in which they flourish, and the types of initiatives that have been used to try to boost solidarity and ease tensions.

Participants in a horticultural development project, organized by the IOM Coordinating Office for th
Natalie Oren/IOM

Emigrants and their descendants can play a critical role in the development of their countries of origin or ancestry. In fact, many such countries have policies that seek to leverage their diaspora’s contributions. Much less attention has been paid to how destination countries with large international development programs are engaging their resident diasporas—or could be engaging them—in the development of countries of origin.

Woman holding a passport and mobile phone with a vaccine credential app in her right hand and yellow
iStock.com/portishead1

Digital health credentials that verify a person’s COVID-19 vaccination, testing, or recovery status are a central part of efforts to restart international travel and migration. This report explores these credentials’ use to date and persistent challenges, including those related to international coordination and technical compatibility between systems. It also recommends strategies to more fully leverage their potential and make them more inclusive.

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Reports
November 2018
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Kate Hooper and Meghan Benton
Coverthumb GlobalCompact Returning Migrants
Policy Briefs
October 2018
By  Kathleen Newland and Brian Salant
Coverthumb GlobalCompact SkillPartnerships
Policy Briefs
September 2018
By  Kate Hooper
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Reports
July 2018
By  Sarah Pierce, Jessica Bolter and Andrew Selee
Coverthumb MigrationAndDevelopmentPartnerships
Policy Briefs
July 2018
By  Kate Hooper and Kathleen Newland

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Photo of India gate in Delhi, India featuring names of protestors killed in anti-Citizenship Act demonstrations

The Modi government's push for a Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens sparked deadly riots and chilled India's 200 million Muslims, who fear being relegated to second-class citizenship—and for some, even statelessness. This article explores actions by Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, the significance of Bangladeshi illegal immigration as a driver, and what a register of citizens in Assam might mean for India.

AfricanUnionMinisterialConferenceonMigration

While migration once was a lower-priority topic for African governments, the last decade has seen a deepening in governance. Policymakers have integrated migration into their national development strategies and mainstreamed it across policy domains such as health and education. The actions are promising on paper, yet questions remain about the extent to which they will translate to more effective migration management.

Turkish and EU flags

The high-stakes gambit taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to allow tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants free movement to the Greek border demonstrated the fragility of the EU-Turkey deal and the European Union's broader approach to outsource migration management to third countries. This article examines the causes for the tensions, the EU approach to external partnerships, and a hardening European attitude towards unwanted arrivals.

Digital fingerprint

As governments seek to push their borders out by amassing ever more data on travelers and migrants, their creation of increasingly complex border surveillance systems and use of risk-assessment technologies could ease mobility for some while rendering other groups immobile based on hypothetical risk profiles and decisions that are not publicly known and cannot be challenged, as this article explores.

A nurse assists a woman in a wheelchair

Japan is hoping to bring in as many as 350,000 medium-skilled foreign workers over five years to fill labor market gaps in its rapidly aging society. Yet does this system of Specified Skilled Workers represent an effort to secure a workforce without making long-term settlement possible? And considering its linkage to a Technical Intern Training Program much criticized for abusive practices, does this change represent real reform? This article examines these and other issues.

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FLICKR 2021Portugal.eu 2021.01.05   Visit of the President of the European Council to Portugal
Video, Audio
February 5, 2021

With Portugal assuming the EU Presidency in January 2021 and prioritizing progress on the EU Migration and Asylum Pact, this webinar features senior officials from the European Union, Germany (the last holder of the presidency), and Portugal to take stock of where conversations on the pact stand and Portugal’s plans for taking forward the negotiations. 

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Expert Q&A, Audio
February 5, 2021

Climate change is already affecting how, whether, and where people migrate. But environmental change is likely to become more extreme in the coming decades, unless the world takes serious action now. How might changes made now impact what future migration looks like?

cccm-ep5-megan-carney
Expert Q&A, Audio
January 12, 2021

Reliable access to food—or lack thereof—can affect an individual’s decision to migrate. Climate change has the ability to exacerbate food insecurity, especially for farmers and others who live off the land, which can have repercussions for human mobility.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
December 30, 2020

Billions of dollars are being spent on projects to help communities mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including those at risk of being displaced by environmental events. This episode features Timo Schmidt, from MPI Europe, in a discussion about the growing field of climate finance and its implications for migration management and displacement prevention.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
December 17, 2020

Pre-COVID-19, we lived in a hyper-global world. There were 1.5 billion international tourism trips annually, nearly 40 million flights, and 272 million international migrants. This raises a provocative question: Does international mobility contribute to the spread of pandemics? In this episode, we speak with Michael Clemens and Thomas Ginn of the Center for Global Development.

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Recent Activity

Articles

The United Kingdom was once a country primarily of emigration, but in recent decades many more migrants have arrived at its borders than have left. This decades-long transition was interrupted by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, and this article describes the inflection point at which the country finds itself.

Video, Audio, Webinars
August 3, 2021

Al reflexionar sobre los desafíos a corto y mediano plazo que enfrentan los venezolanos en Suramérica y el Caribe, líderes de la diáspora venezolana y miembros de la sociedad civil exploran lo que logró la conferencia de donantes y discuten alianzas e iniciativas prometedoras.

Video, Audio, Webinars
July 29, 2021

Featuring the release of an MPI-IOM analysis on the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, this webinar explores the pace of Venezuelan integration considering evolving regional and national policies, the pandemic, and changing migration dynamics. 

Reports
July 2021

Más de cinco años después de que números importantes de venezolanos empezaron a salir de su país, se ha vuelto cada vez más claro que muchos de ellos permanecerán en los países a los que migraron, si no permanentemente, por un largo periodo. ¿Cómo se están integrando en países claves de América del Sur? Este informe evalúa la inclusión económica, el acceso a la salud y a la educación, y la cohesión social, así como las condiciones cambiantes a causa de la pandemia.

Reports
July 2021

More than five years since Venezuelans began emigrating in large numbers, it is becoming clear that many plan to stay abroad for an extended time, if not permanently. How are they settling into life in key South American destination countries? This report explores their economic inclusion, access to education and health care, social cohesion, and more, and how conditions have changed amid the pandemic.

Policy Briefs
July 2021

The pandemic has dramatically curtailed labor migration opportunities in West Africa, as it has around the world. What does this mean for countries such as Ghana and Senegal that have been working to improve their governance of international labor migration? This brief explores the evolution of these countries’ migration policies, efforts to facilitate labor migration, and strategies to engage their diasporas.

Reports
July 2021

More than 18 months since the first COVID-19-related travel restrictions were introduced, the pandemic’s effects on global mobility are still unfolding. With vaccination campaigns picking up speed in some places while only beginning in others, and new variants of the virus emerging, the timeline for restarting international migration and travel remains uncertain. This report explores how different policy choices could result in very different mobility realities.

Articles

Trade between China and Africa has ballooned, reaching nearly $200 billion in 2019. Yet many of the migrant entrepreneurs and traders who contribute to this relationship live in precarious positions in both China and Africa. This article explores the informal systems navigated by many migrants in both regions and the policies that drive the precarity in which many of these traders live.

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