E.g., 12/03/2020
E.g., 12/03/2020

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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Reports
July 2012
By  Michael Jones-Correa
Reports
April 2012
By  Raymundo Campos-Vazquez and Horacio Sobarzo
Reports
February 2012
By  Randall Hansen
Reports
February 2012
By  Will Kymlicka

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Recent Activity

Audio, Webinars
September 30, 2016

MPI experts discuss outcomes from the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, the Leaders Summit on Refugees, and related private-sector meetings and how these efforts may gain momentum to change international responses to the complex threats refugees and migrants face.

Video, Audio
September 28, 2016

Back from a recent trip to the region, Human Rights Watch researchers discuss the situation of refugees at the Dadaab camp in Kenya and findings from on-the-ground interviews, along with recommendations for the Kenyan government and international community. 

Commentaries
September 2016

World leaders convened two summits in New York last week focusing on multilateral responses to the growing challenge of refugee crises and unmanaged migration flows, which have surged to the top of the agenda at the highest levels of government around the world. While score cards for these types of events are difficult to keep, it is clear that the summits offered reasons for both disappointment and hope.

Reports
September 2016

Even in a region characterized by mobility, Eritrean refugees stand out for the frequency and distance of their onward movement. With more than 411,000 Eritreans in refugee-like situations, this report outlines how they access protection, the routes they take, and how their high rates of mobility challenge traditional concepts of refugees as static populations and raise questions about how to provide effective protection.

Reports
September 2016

Human displacement, asylum movements, refugee and stateless populations, and irregular labor migration flows have long posed challenges for Southeast Asia. This report analyzes migration flows in and through the region and the policy challenges and responses to these flows, particularly the May 2015 humanitarian crisis resulting from the maritime migration of Rohingya and Bengalis in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.

Reports
September 2016

Turkey hosts more refugees than any other country, having taken in more than 2.7 million Syrians since 2011. Despite Turkey’s generous humanitarian approach, long-term integration prospects for these refugees remain limited. This report assesses the current policy approach to managing the refugee influx and asks what is needed to ensure the long-term stability and success of both refugees and their host communities.

Articles

Two years on, the Australia-Cambodia refugee relocation agreement—the first of its kind involving a traditional resettlement country relocating refugees to a country with no resettlement track record—has proven to be underwhelming in its outcomes. Only five refugees have been voluntarily relocated under the deal, of whom just one remains in Cambodia. This article explores where the deal went wrong and what lies ahead for Australia’s detained asylum seekers.

Commentaries
September 2016

The United Nations will convene a summit on large movements of migrants and refugees on September 19th in New York. Though the summit itself is not scheduled to produce significant new commitments, it sets the stage for a process that could prove tremendously important, as former Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff explores in this commentary.

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