E.g., 11/25/2020
E.g., 11/25/2020

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

Commentaries
September 2015
By  Elizabeth Collett
Articles
Reports
August 2015
By  Faye Hipsman and Doris Meissner
Reports
June 2015
By  Meghan Benton, Helen McCarthy and Elizabeth Collett

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Reports
November 2008
By  Wolfgang Lutz, Warren Sanderson, Sergei Scherbov and Samir K.C.
Reports
November 2008
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Will Somerville and Hiroyuki Tanaka
Reports
November 2008
By  Lesleyanne Hawthorne
Reports
October 2008
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Will Somerville and Hiroyuki Tanaka
Reports
October 2008
By  Elena Zúñiga and Miguel Molina
Reports
October 2008
By  Michael J. White and Inku Subedi

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Recent Activity

Video, Audio
September 14, 2015

A discussion, including the former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, examining the huge strains on the global protection system and how it can better respond to protracted refugee situations and other long-term displacement, focusing on the conclusions of the Transatlantic Council on Migration's recent meeting, Beyond Asylum: Rethinking Protection Policies to Meet Sharply Escalating Needs.

Video, Expert Q&A
September 11, 2015

Demetrios Papademetriou, President Emeritus of MPI and President of MPI Europe, explains the origins of the refugee crisis in Europe and discusses actions that Europe and other regions can take in the near and long term to address the flows.

Commentaries
September 2015

The ongoing chaos being seen in Southeast Europe, as countries grapple with massive inflows of asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere have laid bare the unresolved dysfunctions of incomplete European Union systems, as this commentary from MPI Europe's director explains. The proposal for relocation of 160,000 asylum seekers and other announced measures are a necessary stopgap, but far from an enduring solution.

Articles

From ongoing emigration flows and a surge in asylum seekers, to more than 150,000 returnees, this country profile examines contemporary and historical migration trends in Albania. Driven by extreme poverty and unemployment, more than one-third of Albania's population has emigrated in the last 25 years. The government now seeks to capitalize on diaspora resources by linking migration and development policies.

Reports
August 2015

The in-country refugee processing program launched in Central America by the Obama administration in December 2014 as a response to rising unaccompanied child migration may provide a legal, safe alternative to undertaking dangerous, unauthorized journeys to the United States, albeit a limited one. This report examines the Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program, as well as the history and track record of prior U.S. in-country processing programs.

Video, Audio, Webinars
July 22, 2015

This webinar examines innovative ideas to adapt the global protection system to better meet the growing challenges of forced migration and to empower refugees through development-led responses to displacement.

Policy Briefs
July 2015

Irregular maritime migration across the Bay of Bengal to Southeast Asia entered a period of crisis in spring 2015 as a wave of migrants and refugees crossed, most departing from ports in Myanmar and Bangladesh, with many facing critical danger along the way. This MPI-IOM Issue in Brief puts the crisis into context and offers a consideration of what recent history has to teach about responses to maritime migration crises.

Reports
June 2015

Despite the broad appeal of the concept of "mainstreaming" in integration policy in Europe, few agree on its exact meaning. This report synthesizes the findings of the UPSTREAM project's country case studies, which examined the extent to which governments in France, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom are employing mainstreaming to meet the needs of rapidly diversifying populations.

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