E.g., 06/21/2022
E.g., 06/21/2022
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.

Recent Activity

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Coverthumb_EU CrisisResponse
Reports
June 2018
By  Elizabeth Collett and Camille Le Coz
Coverthumb_BrexpatsDeal
Reports
April 2018
By  Meghan Benton, Aliyyah Ahad, Michaela Benson, Katherine Collins, Helen McCarthy and Karen O’Reilly
Coverthumb_ECECforRefugeeChildren
Reports
April 2018
By  Maki Park, Caitlin Katsiaficas and Margie McHugh
Coverthumb_FamilyMigrationBrief
Policy Briefs
April 2018
By  Kate Hooper and Brian Salant
Scaling up Refugee Resettlement in Europe
Reports
March 2018
By  Hanne Beirens and Aliyyah Ahad
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Reports
February 2018
By  Aliyyah Ahad and Meghan Benton
Designing Civic Education for Diverse Societies
Reports
February 2018
By  Per Mouritsen and Astrid Jaeger

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Source Smugglers 2020

As highly industrialized countries ramp up their border controls, human smugglers are playing a central role in moving migrants through key migration corridors around the world. Despite the illicit nature of their work and being cast as villains in the public eye, smugglers have complex, multifaceted relationships with their clients. At times, the relationship can be mutually beneficial or even lifesaving; at others, it can be predatory and dangerous, as this article explores.

Tajik women working in a field

More than 1 million Tajiks migrate to Russia every year—a sizeable outflow for a country of about 9 million people. These high levels of emigration have had major effects for Tajikistan, especially in the generation of remittances that help lift everyday Tajiks out of poverty but have also made the country increasingly dependent on Russia. This article explores challenges faced by Tajik migrants in Russia and the effects of emigration on Tajikistan’s economy and society.

DarienMigrantBoats

Growing numbers of African and Asian migrants are moving through Latin America, many hoping to reach the United States or Canada after expensive, arduous, and often dangerous journeys that can take months or even years. As more extracontinental migrants transit through South and Central America, Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica have developed the most comprehensive policies to manage these flows, sometimes working in coordination with the U.S. government.

Asylum seekers cross into Canada

Nearly 50,000 asylum seekers have entered Canada irregularly via land crossing from the United States since spring 2017—contributing to a doubling in the overall number of asylum requests seen in 2016. Based on interviews with asylum claimants, this article analyzes their motivations for making the journey and the political implications of rising irregular migration to Canada.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

The recent rise in xenophobia in Hungary stands in marked contrast with the country's rich migration history. After 390,000 migrants and asylum seekers arrived in 2015, the government of Viktor Orbán issued policies to significantly limit migration and enacted a law criminalizing humanitarian assistance to migrants. This country profile examines Hungary’s migration past and present, tracing the country’s multicultural heritage to the current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment.

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cccm episode_3 title for web
Expert Q&A, Audio
December 16, 2020

Confronting environmental change, whole communities sometimes relocate from one area to another. This purposeful, coordinated movement, while currently rare, is referred to as managed retreat. In this episode Architesh Panda, from the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, explains how this climate adaptation strategy works in India.

MovingBeyondPodcast Ep.5 GamlenEpisodeTile
Expert Q&A, Audio
December 9, 2020

With news that viable COVID-19 vaccines are on the horizon, what might 2021 hold in store for the global movement of people, whether for tourism, business travel, or more enduring forms of migration?

Migration and Welfare image
Video, Audio
November 18, 2020

This MPI Europe webinar reflects on the implications of this current moment for European economies and societies and the role of immigration and immigrant integration policy, and highlight research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre on the fiscal and demographic impacts of migration.

Desherbinin Speaker CHANGINGCLIMATE3
Expert Q&A, Audio
November 17, 2020

The relationship between climate change and migration is long and complex. Human civilizations have been affected by environmental conditions for centuries, but we should be wary of arguments that huge numbers of people are inevitably destined to migrate in response to specific climate threats.

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Video, Audio
November 9, 2020

MPI and OECD experts discuss the impact of the coronavirus on migration and mobility systems, findings from OECD’s International Migration Outlook 2020, opportunities for innovation, what labor demands may emerge, and the role of migration in North America and Europe at this challenging point in history.

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Recent Activity

Articles

Canada is one of the world’s top countries for resettling refugees, relying on individual Canadians and nonprofit groups—not the government—for much of this resettlement. This article examines Canada’s unique system of private sponsorship, which has become a model for other countries as they seek to increase capacity for refugee resettlement at a time of record global need.

Video, Webinars
June 3, 2021

This conversation marks the release of an MPI policy brief and reflects on how mobility systems in sub-Saharan Africa have adapted to meet the public health challenges posed by COVID-19, and what lessons can be learned.

Articles

Countries across the globe have considered novel ways for diasporas to directly invest in national development by purchasing diaspora bonds. Israel has raised billions through its Israel Bonds over the last 70 years, and India has had some success with its diaspora bond efforts. But other countries have faced challenges, as this article explores.

Commentaries
June 2021

As the United States embarks on a new strategy to address the root causes of migration and displacement from Central America, there is much that it can learn from Europe's experience in linking up migration and development aid. This commentary examines the experience of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), drawing five key lessons directly applicable to the situation in Central America.

Articles

A disproportionate number of Central American migrants traveling through Mexico to the United States come from Honduras, driven by government corruption, impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and hurricanes that have devastated communities and livelihoods. This article examine the multiple factors behind migration from the country, drawing from interviews with migrants en route.

Commentaries
June 2021

The European Commission marks a new chapter in EU cooperation on migration with third countries with the launch of its Talent Partnerships, which seek to combine mobility schemes for work or training with investments in third countries in related areas, such as vocational education and training. The success of these partnerships will hinge on the degree of support they can win from Member States, the private sector, and third countries.

Articles

Between Brexit and COVID-19, Europe’s 31-country zone of free movement has been profoundly tested. Still, the area has constantly evolved over the last 70 years, to include new groups of individuals who can freely move for work, study, or leisure, as well as cover larger geographic areas. This article examines the history and challenges to free movement, a crowning success of the European project.

Policy Briefs
June 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged public health and migration management infrastructures in sub-Saharan Africa, as never before. It revealed important lessons about how countries in the region can adapt mobility systems in ways that protect public health while also allowing people to safely access work, humanitarian protection, and their communities.

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