E.g., 04/25/2024
E.g., 04/25/2024
International Program

International Program

Young boy smiles out the window of a bus at a transit center in Ethiopia
IOM/Muse Mohammed

While human mobility globally has largely recovered from its pandemic-era drop, it is undergoing considerable change. The causes are diverse, from climate shocks and shifting economic conditions to conflict-induced displacement. This report explores how the scale and characteristics of cross-border movement are evolving post-pandemic, featuring case studies from different world regions.

Image of female worker at the Boqueria market in Barcelona making a crepe
Marcel Crozet/ILO

Spain and the United States both receive their greatest number of immigrants from Latin America, and have worked collaboratively together on displacement crises and other migration issues. As shared immigration challenges dominate debate on both sides of the Atlantic, Spain can serve as a vital bridge in the policy conversation, this commentary notes.

Volunteer hands out food to migrant workers returning to their hometowns in Vietnam
IOM/Red Cross Vietnam

The COVID-19 pandemic both shocked the global mobility system and reaffirmed the centrality and resiliency of human mobility. Four years on, public and political attention to COVID-19’s unprecedented consequences for cross-border movement has waned. Yet if countries are to manage mobility more effectively in future public-health crises, this is an important moment for reflection and learning, as this issue brief explores.

A woman in Nigeria smiles while using her mobile phone
iStock.com/Wirestock

Remittances are a vital lifeline for migrants’ families around the world and an important source of revenue for many low- and middle-income countries, especially in times of crisis. As more people turn to digital financial technologies for these money transfers, this shift holds the potential to shake up the rigid remittance industry and boost development benefits. But it also brings new challenges, as this report explores.

Three refugee students at airport security check
© UNHCR/Alessandro Penso

Travel documents are critical facilitators of mobility. But for refugees, who cannot safely use a passport issued by their origin country, the lack of a usable travel document can shut them out of work, study, or other opportunities beyond their first country of asylum. This policy brief examines alternative documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement, key barriers to acquiring them, and strategies for overcoming these challenges.

Ukrainian adults and children arrive at a train station in Hungary
IOM/Muse Mohammed

The massive and rapid displacement of Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians presented neighboring countries with an impossible task: providing legal status and assistance, even though their asylum systems lacked the capacity to handle such a large influx. This report examines the costs and benefits of the flexible approaches taken to providing status in these three cases, identifying lessons for future crises.

Recent Activity

Cover image for The State of Global Mobility in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Reports
April 2024
By  Meghan Benton, Lawrence Huang, Jeanne Batalova and Tino Tirado
A returned migrant with his family in Bangladesh
Articles
People walk through the streets of Hong Kong
Image of female worker at the Boqueria market in Barcelona making a crepe
Commentaries
March 2024
By  Anna Terrón Cusí and Andrew Selee
Housing construction site in California.
Articles
Cover image for Lessons from COVID-19
Policy Briefs
March 2024
By  Meghan Benton and Lawrence Huang

Pages

Cover image for The State of Global Mobility in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Reports
April 2024
By  Meghan Benton, Lawrence Huang, Jeanne Batalova and Tino Tirado
Cover image for Lessons from COVID-19
Policy Briefs
March 2024
By  Meghan Benton and Lawrence Huang
Cover image for Converging Crises
Reports
March 2024
By  Luisa Feline Freier, Andrea Kvietok and Leon Lucar Oba
Cover image for Leaving No One Behind: Inclusive Fintech for Remittances
Reports
February 2024
By  Ravenna Sohst
Cover image for The Mobility Key policy brief
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Samuel Davidoff-Gore

Pages

A returned migrant with his family in Bangladesh

For a young country, Bangladesh has a complex migration history, with periods of forced migration during the partition of India and Pakistan as well as the 1971 war of independence. In recent years, labor emigration has proved a major economic boon to the country. This country profile reviews trends and the impact of emigration, with a particular focus on the effects of remittance sending and receipt.

People walk through the streets of Hong Kong

Hong Kong finds itself in the middle of opposing trends. Amid political unrest, Beijing's increasing security pressure, and pandemic disruptions, many Hong Kongers have left and been replaced by a new group of immigrants, largely from mainland China. The dynamic has raised questions whether Hong Kong will remain a global cosmopolitan hub or instead turn inward to Asia, as this article discusses.

Housing construction site in California.

One-fifth of the planet lacks adequate housing. That scarcity, expected to affect 3 billion people by 2030, is a problem for native-born and immigrant communities alike. The global housing shortage can aggravate tensions over immigration and lead to integration challenges for new arrivals, as this article details.

Afghan refugees in Iran's Semnan refugee settlement.

Floods, heatwaves, and other extreme weather events have displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Iran, with repercussions for residents including the 3.4 million refugees and other forced migrants, who are restricted to climate-affected areas. Environmental challenges may also be pushing some people to move internationally. This article offers a rare look at the climate and migration dynamics in Iran.

A migrant from Nepal in Qatar.

Countries such as Nepal and the Philippines have grown reliant on sending workers abroad to earn money, skills, and connections that help boost their economies. In these cases, emigration has become a way for governments in the Global South to offer their citizens access to social services and protections that they could not otherwise provide. This article details the emergence of this new mode of state-society relations.

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Market on the dirt road, on a sunny day.
Video, Audio
November 16, 2023

This webinar examines the challenges that refugees and other migrants face in—and place on—secondary cities, municipal capacity to respond to needs, the types of support required at national and other levels, and how development actors can better partner with secondary cities and local actors.

World of Migration Ep 18 - Adhieu Achuil Kueth and Jackie Keegan.p
Expert Q&A, Audio
November 15, 2023

Travel documents play an important role in international mobility, and for refugees serve as an essential gateway to a world of opportunities, from pursuing education and employment to reuniting with family. This episode unpacks the complexities around travel documents and their pivotal role in refugees' livelihoods. 

Twin sisters from Syria shared their experience of living in exile. -  Jesuit Refugee Service International
Video, Audio
November 14, 2023

With the Global Refugee Forum approaching, this webcast explores how municipalities and other key stakeholders can be engaged in informing and delivering on the 2024 resettlement and complementary pathways pledges. 

Expert Q&A, Audio
October 19, 2023

African migrants turn to the strength of kinship-based support systems in pursuit of stability as they settle in a European landscape that is sometimes made precarious by their legal status and shifting policies. This episode discusses use of the kinship networks, including to exchange or broker identity documents between migrants along the migration journey and at destination.

Video, Audio
September 26, 2023

During this MPI webinar, climate experts and regional authorities outline the challenges related to climate change and human mobility that local communities, national governments, and the IGAD region are confronting.

Pages

Recent Activity

Reports
April 2024

While human mobility globally has largely recovered from its pandemic-era drop, it is undergoing considerable change. The causes are diverse, from climate shocks and shifting economic conditions to conflict-induced displacement. This report explores how the scale and characteristics of cross-border movement are evolving post-pandemic, featuring case studies from different world regions.

Articles

For a young country, Bangladesh has a complex migration history, with periods of forced migration during the partition of India and Pakistan as well as the 1971 war of independence. In recent years, labor emigration has proved a major economic boon to the country. This country profile reviews trends and the impact of emigration, with a particular focus on the effects of remittance sending and receipt.

Articles

Hong Kong finds itself in the middle of opposing trends. Amid political unrest, Beijing's increasing security pressure, and pandemic disruptions, many Hong Kongers have left and been replaced by a new group of immigrants, largely from mainland China. The dynamic has raised questions whether Hong Kong will remain a global cosmopolitan hub or instead turn inward to Asia, as this article discusses.

Commentaries
March 2024

Spain and the United States both receive their greatest number of immigrants from Latin America, and have worked collaboratively together on displacement crises and other migration issues. As shared immigration challenges dominate debate on both sides of the Atlantic, Spain can serve as a vital bridge in the policy conversation, this commentary notes.

Articles

One-fifth of the planet lacks adequate housing. That scarcity, expected to affect 3 billion people by 2030, is a problem for native-born and immigrant communities alike. The global housing shortage can aggravate tensions over immigration and lead to integration challenges for new arrivals, as this article details.

Policy Briefs
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic both shocked the global mobility system and reaffirmed the centrality and resiliency of human mobility. Four years on, public and political attention to COVID-19’s unprecedented consequences for cross-border movement has waned. Yet if countries are to manage mobility more effectively in future public-health crises, this is an important moment for reflection and learning, as this issue brief explores.

Reports
March 2024

Some of the strictest COVID-19 pandemic-era limits on human mobility occurred in the Asia Pacific region. Border closures started in East and Southeast Asia in early 2020 and quickly spread through the entire region, in some cases remaining in place for more than two years. This report examines the approaches countries took and reflects on the immense costs and benefits of using border measures to tackle public-health risks.

Reports
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on mobility in the Middle East and North Africa were immediate and wide-reaching. These include the world’s largest and most sustained repatriation efforts for stranded migrants, halted and reversed irregular journeys, and a reckoning with some countries’ reliance on foreign labor. This report examines how these impacts varied across countries in this highly diverse region, as well as the uneven recovery.

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