E.g., 02/23/2024
E.g., 02/23/2024
International Program

International Program

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.

Motorbikes and cars travel down a road in a storm
Marcel Crozet/ILO

Reintegration after return is often a challenge, and doubly so for migrants returning to communities affected by climate change and environmental degradation. This brief explores the emergence of "green" approaches to providing reintegration assistance, including project types implemented to date, common challenges, and strategies for building a stronger case for climate-responsive reintegration programming.

Recent Activity

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November 2008
By  Wolfgang Lutz, Warren Sanderson, Sergei Scherbov and Samir K.C.
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November 2008
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Will Somerville and Hiroyuki Tanaka
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November 2008
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October 2008
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October 2008
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Will Somerville and Hiroyuki Tanaka
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October 2008
By  Elena Zúñiga and Miguel Molina

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Recent Activity

Articles

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.

Articles

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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The world’s first international agreement on migration was approved by 164 countries in December 2018, but not without turbulence. U.S. withdrawal from the nonbinding Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, on grounds it could impinge on sovereignty, triggered similar actions by others, particularly in Eastern Europe. Amid ongoing political ripple effects, attention now turns to implementation of the deal's goals.

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