E.g., 12/01/2020
E.g., 12/01/2020

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

Pages

Reports
October 2010
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Madeleine Sumption and Aaron Terrazas
Reports
May 2010
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Annette Heuser
Reports
January 2010
By  Rocco Bellanova, Susan Ginsburg, Paul De Hert and Hiroyuki Tanaka
Reports
January 2010
By  Madeleine Sumption and Will Somerville
Reports
October 2009
By  Rita Süssmuth
Reports
October 2009
By  Frank Sharry

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Recent Activity

Articles

Drawn by generous asylum policies and the region's welcoming reputation, hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arrived in Scandinavia in 2015. As the unprecedented flow overwhelmed the asylum systems of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark, lawmakers began to recalibrate their policies, tightening asylum benefits in a number of significant ways, as this article explores.

Reports
February 2016

While emigration increased after Portugal plunged into an economically turbulent period amid the global financial crisis, the country's image as the poster child for post-crisis outmigration may be misplaced. This report explores the scale, drivers, and impact of emigration from Portugal since the turn of the millennium, and examines how the country can stem emigration and promote the return of emigrants.

Audio, Webinars
February 8, 2016

Analysts discuss how private sponsorship programs for refugees, used by Canada and a handful of other countries, could alleviate some of the pressure from the European refugee crisis by allowing individuals, groups, businesses, and other entities to sponsor individual refugees for resettlement.

Reports
February 2016

This report analyzes the evolution of Chinese emigration from the 1970s, when market-oriented reforms began reducing barriers to movement beyond the country's borders, to the present day. High-skilled and high-value emigration is rising fast. Despite liberalized exit controls, low-skilled labor migration is stagnant as a result of complicated and expensive recruitment procedures.

Reports
February 2016

While skilled migration brings widely acknowledged economic benefits for destination countries and migrants, its impact on countries of origin has been the subject of more debate. Despite a growing consensus that origin countries can benefit from emigration and the circulation of skills, enabling this potential to be fully exploited remains a challenge. This report examines initiatives that develop skills and human capital.

Articles

Lesvos became a major focal point in Europe's migration crisis as more than half a million migrants and asylum seekers transited the Greek island in 2015. Describing the work of ad hoc volunteer-led efforts and professional aid organizations, this article delves into the evolution of the aid response across the island and the challenges of integrating humanitarian operations.

Audio, Webinars
January 27, 2016

The Special Representative on International Migration for the UN Secretary-General, Peter Sutherland, and the former UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, preview upcoming high-level humanitarian protection and migration summits in 2016, focusing on likely agendas and what tangible results might occur.

Reports
February 2016

With arrivals of asylum seekers overwhelming the resources and institutional capacity of some European Union Member States, this report examines the reception capacity challenges faced by national reception systems. Authored by the Operational Director of Belgium's reception agency, the report offers recommendations to improve coordination across Member States in ways that could effectively better utilize existing capacity.

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