E.g., 01/31/2023
E.g., 01/31/2023
International Program

International Program

World map with small planes and major city names
iStock.com/Funtap

Although nearly all countries adopted travel measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, national approaches have varied considerably and often been controversial. In many cases, decisionmakers failed to clearly communicate the rationale for using certain measures. This report looks at how governments and international organizations approached travel-related risk analysis, and what it would take to do this more strategically in future public-health emergencies.

Migrant workers at a textile factory in Jordan
© ILO/Jared J. Kohler

Migrant workers can pay a range of costs when they are recruited and relocate for jobs abroad, accruing significant debt. While many countries, international organizations, and other stakeholders have sought to reduce or eliminate recruitment costs, the pandemic has exacerbated and added to these expenses. This policy brief explores how the costs migrant workers face have changed, and what these developments mean for efforts to promote fair and ethical recruitment.

Aerial view of a flooded residential area in Pakistan
© UNICEF/Asad Zaidi

Multilateral development banks (MDBs) have emerged as major players in responding to climate change, investing in sustainable infrastructure and climate resilience. But while many MDBs have shown interest in projects with positive impacts for climate migrants and host communities, they sometimes struggle to maximize these effects. This report examines MDBs’ role in responding to climate-related migration and displacement to date and opportunities to scale up their work.

Photo of a group of women collecting water from a riverbed in Kenya
IOM/Alexander Bee

Despite years of alarmist discourse that climate change will lead to hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people moving to the Global North, funding the scale of efforts needed to address climate migration remains a persistent challenge. This commentary examines the gaps between climate donors and migration actors and offers recommendations to begin to break the silos.

A blue fingerprint against a dark background with computer code
iStock.com/monsitj

There has been a flurry of digital activity in the asylum field since the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily halted protection operations, and it has led officials to rethink how everything from registration to case adjudication happens. But what does this increasing use of technology mean for the people and processes involved? This report explores this question, as well as the challenges of balancing technology’s potential benefits with measures to mitigate its risks.

A laptop and cocktail on a ledge overlooking the beach
iStock.com/Evgeniia Medvedeva

The number of people who work from home or another location other than a traditional office has been growing for decades, but the pandemic has accelerated this shift—with important implications for immigration policy. This report examines trends in remote work, challenges digital nomads and employers face when navigating immigration systems, and opportunities to adapt immigration policies to keep pace with changes in the world of work.

Recent Activity

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Designing Civic Education for Diverse Societies
Reports
February 2018
By  Per Mouritsen and Astrid Jaeger
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Policy Briefs
January 2018
By  Kathleen Newland and Andrea Riester
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Policy Briefs
January 2018
By  Susan Fratzke and Brian Salant
EU Migration Partnerships: A Work in Progress
Reports
December 2017
By  Elizabeth Collett and Aliyyah Ahad
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Policy Briefs
November 2017
By  Kathleen Newland

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AfricanUnionMinisterialConferenceonMigration

While migration once was a lower-priority topic for African governments, the last decade has seen a deepening in governance. Policymakers have integrated migration into their national development strategies and mainstreamed it across policy domains such as health and education. The actions are promising on paper, yet questions remain about the extent to which they will translate to more effective migration management.

Turkish and EU flags

The high-stakes gambit taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to allow tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants free movement to the Greek border demonstrated the fragility of the EU-Turkey deal and the European Union's broader approach to outsource migration management to third countries. This article examines the causes for the tensions, the EU approach to external partnerships, and a hardening European attitude towards unwanted arrivals.

Digital fingerprint

As governments seek to push their borders out by amassing ever more data on travelers and migrants, their creation of increasingly complex border surveillance systems and use of risk-assessment technologies could ease mobility for some while rendering other groups immobile based on hypothetical risk profiles and decisions that are not publicly known and cannot be challenged, as this article explores.

A nurse assists a woman in a wheelchair

Japan is hoping to bring in as many as 350,000 medium-skilled foreign workers over five years to fill labor market gaps in its rapidly aging society. Yet does this system of Specified Skilled Workers represent an effort to secure a workforce without making long-term settlement possible? And considering its linkage to a Technical Intern Training Program much criticized for abusive practices, does this change represent real reform? This article examines these and other issues.

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.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
February 19, 2021

Among the earliest examples of the disruptions that climate change can bring, some low-lying island countries in the Pacific Ocean are facing serious threats from rising sea levels and coastal erosion. Over the long term, atoll nations such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Marshall Islands might eventually need to relocate some or all of their populations.

FLICKR 2021Portugal.eu 2021.01.05   Visit of the President of the European Council to Portugal
Video, Audio
February 5, 2021

With Portugal assuming the EU Presidency in January 2021 and prioritizing progress on the EU Migration and Asylum Pact, this webinar features senior officials from the European Union, Germany (the last holder of the presidency), and Portugal to take stock of where conversations on the pact stand and Portugal’s plans for taking forward the negotiations. 

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Expert Q&A, Audio
February 5, 2021

Climate change is already affecting how, whether, and where people migrate. But environmental change is likely to become more extreme in the coming decades, unless the world takes serious action now. How might changes made now impact what future migration looks like?

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Expert Q&A, Audio
January 12, 2021

Reliable access to food—or lack thereof—can affect an individual’s decision to migrate. Climate change has the ability to exacerbate food insecurity, especially for farmers and others who live off the land, which can have repercussions for human mobility.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
December 30, 2020

Billions of dollars are being spent on projects to help communities mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including those at risk of being displaced by environmental events. This episode features Timo Schmidt, from MPI Europe, in a discussion about the growing field of climate finance and its implications for migration management and displacement prevention.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
October 2021

The U.S. decision to lift border restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers represents the latest move by governments around the world to loosen COVID-19-era travel restrictions. Yet it underscores a major policy shift that has gone almost unnoticed: with vaccination moving from being a fast track to travel to becoming a required ticket. This raises significant equity and technical considerations, as this commentary explores.

Expert Q&A, Audio
October 13, 2021

MPI co-founder Demetrios G. Papademetriou takes on many questions, including whether the role of think tanks has evolved over the last two decades, in this conversation with MPI’s Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan. They also look ahead to the challenges that will dominate immigration policymaking in the years ahead.

Expert Q&A, Audio
October 11, 2021

Meghan Benton speaks with Dr. Kelley Lee, head of the Pandemics and Borders initiative at Simon Fraser University in Canada, about what the future holds after COVID-19, and whether decisionmakers truly learn to adapt or instead pull out the playbook from the last crisis.

Expert Q&A, Audio
October 12, 2021

Global warming and extreme heat are behind many of the phenomena linked to climate change. Hotter weather also has an impact on migration and on migrants, ranging from destinations such as the Middle East to parts of the United States. In recent years, there has been more attention paid to cases of migrant workers dying from the heat. In this episode, we speak with Tord Kjellstrom, a physician and researcher who has closely studied the relationship between extreme heat and population health, about what extreme heat means for migrants.

Commentaries
October 2021

As European countries seek to revive their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, acute labor shortages in a variety of sectors risk stopping the recovery in its tracks. This commentary explores why these shortages are emerging and how immigration policy can form one part of the broader strategy to meet labor market needs.

Reports
October 2021

La cantidad de migrantes africanos que viajan por América del Sur y Central con la esperanza de llegar a la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México para buscar asilo es pequeña, pero está aumentando. Este informe examina los factores que impulsan la migración africana a través de las Américas, las rutas y los desafíos comunes, y las respuestas de países de tránsito en América Latina.

Reports
October 2021

The number of African migrants traveling through South and Central America in hopes of reaching the U.S.-Mexico border, many seeking asylum, is small but increasing. This report examines the factors driving African migration through the Americas, common routes and challenges, and how transit countries are responding.

Video, Audio, Webinars
October 4, 2021

This virtual conference explores how the diverse landscape of partnerships, social enterprises, participatory models, and community-led initiatives spearheading social innovation for inclusion has fared during COVID-19. It also focuses on how this ecosystem can emerge strengthened from the pandemic, and be a vital force in addressing new humanitarian challenges.

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