E.g., 06/22/2022
E.g., 06/22/2022
International Program

International Program

Two adults and two children wearing face masks at a migration health centre in Nigeria
IOM/Natalie Oren

Many countries are reopening for international travel and migration after the shutdown forced by the pandemic. Yet there is still no consensus on whether and how to use travel measures to prevent the spread of future variants of COVID-19 or respond to the next public health crisis. This commentary lays out four guiding principles for building an inclusive and effective global mobility system.

A woman in a winter coat receives food from a woman in an orange safety vest at a train station in P
Subcarpathian Voivodeship/IOM

Recent displacement crises—ranging from Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Myanmar, South Sudan, to most recently Ukraine—have imposed huge stresses on the humanitarian protection regime. Yet individual countries and regional organizations have been innovating to meet the challenge and expand the options available for protection, in some cases bypassing beleaguered asylum systems. This commentary traces the rise of more ad hoc approaches.

Woman wearing a white sweater and face mask and carrying luggage looks at airport information board
Maria Korneeva/iStock.com

Despite high hopes that international movement would be revived in 2021 after the deep chill in 2020 with designation of a global pandemic, cross-border mobility remained limited as migrants and travelers faced complex rules, high costs, and uncertainty as new COVID-19 variants emerged. This report assesses global mobility in 2021, including changing use of travel restrictions, their impacts on mobile populations, and efforts to safely restart migration and travel.

Three women, one in a headscarf and holding a baby, walk in the countryside in Devon, UK
© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

Public opinion of refugees and asylum seekers is often portrayed as a binary, reflected in stories of them as “threats” or “benefits.” Yet in reality, people can hold a variety of competing beliefs and concerns about forced migrants and their impacts on society. This report explores these different narratives, the contexts in which they flourish, and the types of initiatives that have been used to try to boost solidarity and ease tensions.

Participants in a horticultural development project, organized by the IOM Coordinating Office for th
Natalie Oren/IOM

Emigrants and their descendants can play a critical role in the development of their countries of origin or ancestry. In fact, many such countries have policies that seek to leverage their diaspora’s contributions. Much less attention has been paid to how destination countries with large international development programs are engaging their resident diasporas—or could be engaging them—in the development of countries of origin.

Woman holding a passport and mobile phone with a vaccine credential app in her right hand and yellow
iStock.com/portishead1

Digital health credentials that verify a person’s COVID-19 vaccination, testing, or recovery status are a central part of efforts to restart international travel and migration. This report explores these credentials’ use to date and persistent challenges, including those related to international coordination and technical compatibility between systems. It also recommends strategies to more fully leverage their potential and make them more inclusive.

Recent Activity

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Reports
September 2005
By  Philippa Strum and David Biette
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Reports
July 2004
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Kevin O'Neil and Maia Jachimowicz
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Policy Briefs
December 2003
By  Gregor Noll and Joanne van Selm
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Fact Sheets
November 2003
By  Deborah W. Meyers and Maia Jachimowicz
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Reports
October 2003
By  Joanne van Selm

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Recent Activity

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.

Reports
September 2016

With the reality that a sizeable share of refugee situations can continue for many years, if not decades, there is growing focus on ways to better integrate refugees into countries of first asylum, particularly by ensuring they have access to livelihoods and economic opportunities. This report explores the pitfalls and promise of livelihood programs.

Articles

Although long one of the world's top migrant destinations, only in the recent past has Germany come to acknowledge and adjust to its role as a country of immigration. Its welcoming approach—a relatively new development—has been put to the test amid massive humanitarian inflows beginning in 2015. This country profile examines Germany's history on immigration and highlights current and emerging debates.

Articles

In contrast to increasingly restrictive approaches to migration in the global North—and recent skepticism towards Europe's free mobility project—South America is taking steps in the other direction, toward free movement for regional migrants. This article examines the emerging South American model and discusses its implications for migration in the region and for free movement in general.

Audio, Webinars
July 14, 2016

The UK vote to exit the European Union has given new momentum to euroskeptic, anti-immigration movements elsewhere. Experts discuss the political and policy lessons that can be learned from Brexit and applied to debates in Europe and North America, including how to address public anxiety over immigration and identity while managing migration in a globalized economy.

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