E.g., 11/27/2020
E.g., 11/27/2020

International Program

International Program

Travelers arrive at a U.S. airport wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic
Glenn Fawcett/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Around the world, governments are grappling with how to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while also managing the economic fallout of policies put in place to stop the virus’ spread. Global migration has dropped sharply amid border closures and travel restrictions. This reflection takes stock of policy responses to the pandemic thus far, and of the challenges (and some opportunities) on the horizon for migration systems, labor markets, and integration of newcomers.

Syrian refugees receive COVID-19 tests from IOM before resettlement to Europe
Muse Mohammed/IOM

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a range of (im)mobility challenges that the international community has few tools to address. This policy brief examines the valuable guidance offered by the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration on short-term emergency response and the longer-term reopening of international migration. It also considers how the pandemic is affecting the relationship between migration and development.

Venezuelan migrants and refugees at the border between Colombia and Ecuador
Angela Wells/IOM

More than 4 million Venezuelans have moved to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, raising concerns about how these arrivals are affecting receiving communities. Some politicians and pundits have asserted that migration is leading to an increase in crime—a claim this issue brief finds misplaced based on examination of official data from Chile, Colombia, and Peru.

Venezuelans waiting at the Peru border for their documents to be processed
Muse Mohammed/IOM

As Latin American and Caribbean countries face a dual challenge—managing large-scale Venezuelan arrivals alongside the COVID-19 pandemic—reliable data on the characteristics of newcomers are essential to policymaking. This MPI-IOM fact sheet offers a profile of refugees and migrants in 11 countries in the region, including their demographics, labor market participation, remittance sending, access to health care, trip details, and intention to return to Venezuela.

Falk Lademann

Most EU Member States closed their borders to travel from neighboring countries in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. While internal borders in the Schengen zone largely reopened in time for summer holidays, there is a lingering sense they could snap shut anew. Though the reflexive introduction of border controls speaks to an inherent lack of trust between states, the 2015-16 migration crisis offers lessons on how to begin to rebuild trust, as this commentary explores.

Jens-Olaf Walter

COVID-19 has chilled many forms of human movement, from travel to temporary and permanent migration, refugee resettlement, and returns, among them. While a safe restart of travel is a precondition for a return to economic and societal normalcy, restarting mobility will not be like flicking a switch, particularly amid disagreements over the costs societies can and should absorb in the name of protecting public health, as this commentary explains.

Recent Activity

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
October 2016

The movement of more than 1 million refugees across the Mediterranean in 2015 brought much-needed attention to the inadequacy of the global humanitarian system and starkly underlined the need for new approaches to protection. This policy brief examines the extraordinary series of refugee-related international summits and meetings convened in 2016, their accomplishments and limitations, and outlook for future action.

Articles

Hong Kong is home to more than 340,000 foreign domestic workers, who can be found in one of every seven households. Despite efforts by the governments of Hong Kong and top sending countries, these workers remain uniquely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. This article examines the conditions foreign domestic workers face, the policies governing their employment, and the challenges in protecting their rights.

Reports
October 2016

Tech communities in Europe and North America have been spurred into action by the refugee crisis, developing apps and other tools that can be used along the journey, immediately upon arrival, and for longer-term integration into the host society. This report maps several types of emerging tools and considers how policymakers responsible for refugee integration might play a more active role in supporting the most promising.

Reports
October 2016

A key question confronting German policymakers has been how to successfully integrate asylum seekers into the labor market after record numbers arrived in 2015. This report examines the challenges newcomers face in getting jobs at their skill level as well as accessing language and training courses. The report outlines the many integration initiatives created in Germany, and offers recommendations for greater effectiveness.

Books
October, 2016

With maritime migration the subject of significant policy and public focus in Europe, Australia, and beyond, this timely volume reviews the policy responses to irregular maritime arrivals at regional, national, and international levels. The book includes case studies of the major global hotspots—the Mediterranean, Gulf of Aden, Bay of Bengal/Andaman Sea, Australia, and the Caribbean—and examines trends and policy responses.

Reports
October 2016

Countries receiving large numbers of asylum seekers are facing huge challenges in meeting newcomers' immediate needs, yet longer-term integration issues could prolong the crisis if not addressed. This report assesses the barriers refugees and asylum seekers face getting into jobs, and particularly at their skill level. The report identifies policies that support labor market integration, including early skills assessment and training. 

Reports
October 2016

With the rapid increase in the number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide, this report examines the role that legal labor and study mobility might play in connecting refugees with better opportunities, and how such mobility could work in concrete terms and as a complement to the traditional protection system.

Audio
September 16, 2016

This discussion focuses on how governments and actors in the Mediterranean region can work together to expand durable solutions for refugees and coordinate efforts to build welcoming communities for newcomers.

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