E.g., 03/04/2024
E.g., 03/04/2024
International Program

International Program

A woman in Nigeria smiles while using her mobile phone
iStock.com/Wirestock

Remittances are a vital lifeline for migrants’ families around the world and an important source of revenue for many low- and middle-income countries, especially in times of crisis. As more people turn to digital financial technologies for these money transfers, this shift holds the potential to shake up the rigid remittance industry and boost development benefits. But it also brings new challenges, as this report explores.

Three refugee students at airport security check
© UNHCR/Alessandro Penso

Travel documents are critical facilitators of mobility. But for refugees, who cannot safely use a passport issued by their origin country, the lack of a usable travel document can shut them out of work, study, or other opportunities beyond their first country of asylum. This policy brief examines alternative documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement, key barriers to acquiring them, and strategies for overcoming these challenges.

Ukrainian adults and children arrive at a train station in Hungary
IOM/Muse Mohammed

The massive and rapid displacement of Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians presented neighboring countries with an impossible task: providing legal status and assistance, even though their asylum systems lacked the capacity to handle such a large influx. This report examines the costs and benefits of the flexible approaches taken to providing status in these three cases, identifying lessons for future crises.

A migrant worker cuts through a metal rod at a construction site in Qatar
Apex Image/ILO

With more people moving abroad for work and events such as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar highlighting the risks migrant workers can face, questions about how international recruitment occurs have received increased scrutiny. This policy brief explores the notable progress that has been made in establishing fair and ethical recruitment standards, and identifies key areas for future attention by governments, employers, and recruiters.

Motorcyclists and pedestrians travel a road between buildings in Arua, Uganda
© Cities Alliance

Small and mid-sized cities are some of the fastest growing in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. Yet life in these cities can present a variety of challenges for migrants and displaced persons. This report examines these challenges in secondary cities in Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda, and how local, national, and civil-society actors are working to address them.

A Venezuelan man holds a passport in front of a sign for Ecuador's regularization process
IOM/Gema Cortes

Venezuelan displacement has prompted countries across Latin America and the Caribbean to launch policies and programs to register, regularize, and support the integration of arriving Venezuelans. However, the extent to which regular status has helped Venezuelans find work has varied from country to country, as this report discusses.

Recent Activity

Registration of Nigerian migrants for voluntary return
VenezuelansCucutaStreets ProveaONG Flickr
Top10 2018 No2 AfD
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Sign left by No More Deaths activists in Arizona
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Migrants returning to Ethiopia
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Reports
January 2009
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Annette Heuser
cover TCM_Demographic&humancaptrendsE.Europe&SubSaharanAfrica
Reports
November 2008
By  Wolfgang Lutz, Warren Sanderson, Sergei Scherbov and Samir K.C.
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Reports
November 2008
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Will Somerville and Hiroyuki Tanaka
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Reports
November 2008
By  Lesleyanne Hawthorne
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Reports
October 2008
By  Elena Zúñiga and Miguel Molina
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Reports
October 2008
By  Michael J. White and Inku Subedi

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Recent Activity

Articles

The European Union's focus on formal readmission agreements with migrant-origin countries to manage the return of irregular migrants and failed asylum seekers has given way since 2016 to informal arrangements. This article explores the potential effect that nonbinding readmission pacts could have on migrant returns to sub-Saharan Africa, where return rates from EU Member States have been low.

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With an estimated 3 million people having fled the failing Venezuelan state, and predictions another 2 million could join them in 2019, the capacity of South American neighbors to welcome the arrivals became increasingly stretched in 2018. While the region has largely maintained generous reception policies, there were signs during the year that its tolerance was being tested.

Articles

2018 proved a banner year for far-right populist movements in Europe and the Americas. They claimed the presidency of Brazil, sparked the collapse of the Belgian government, and—whether in or out of office—put a harder-edged stamp on migration and asylum policies in Austria, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, and beyond.

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Hardline migration and asylum policies in the United States and Australia in 2018 hit turbulence when their effects on the most vulnerable—young children—provoked widespread public revulsion and prompted a retreat, at least temporarily. Still, public outcry over the treatment of child migrants and asylum seekers often runs up against the intractability of the problems facing governments and the lack of good solutions.

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As industrialized countries are adopting harder-edge immigration and asylum policies to deal with real and perceived crises, humanitarian actors have sought to blunt the effects of those policies by launching rescue missions at sea, rendering direct aid to migrants in need, and offering legal assistance. A concerted pushback to this resistance emerged in 2018, with governments using legislative, legal, and other tools to fight back.

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Questions of how, when, and under what conditions migrants and asylum seekers can be returned to their origin countries have featured prominently in international discussions of migration in 2018. Crucially, so too has an increased interest on the part of both destination and origin countries in making reintegration assistance more effective to help ensure that return is sustainable.

Commentaries
December 2018

While the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration was formally adopted by 164 of the UN's 193 Member States, it's worth asking how it became a point of contention and ultimately was rejected by more than a dozen countries. The answer? A long lag time between negotiation and adoption, during which overheated claims against it went largely unanswered, as this commentary explores.

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Faced with absorbing vast numbers of asylum seekers who headed to Europe during the 2015-16 migration crisis and the ongoing arrival of much smaller, but steady flows of Central Americans at the U.S.-Mexico border, EU Member States and the United States in 2018 took or explored significant steps to narrow asylum and harden policies.

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