E.g., 08/14/2020
E.g., 08/14/2020

Migrants, Migration, and Development

Migrants, Migration, and Development

UN General Assembly endorses Global Compact for Migration
Manuel Elias/UN

Migration and development policy discussions have edged closer to each other on the international stage. The adoption of the Global Compact for Migration in December 2018 marks an important milestone. As all eyes turn toward the compact’s implementation, this brief examines some of the key topics states have pledged to work more closely on—from labor migration and migrants’ rights, to returns and reintegration.

December 2018 Intergovernmental Conference on the Global Compact for Migration
Karim Tibari/UN

The vast majority of UN Member States in December 2018 adopted the first-ever international agreement to cooperate on migration. This policy brief traces the trajectory of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration's negotiation and endorsement. It also explores the factors that will determine whether the compact lives up to its aim of improving how states cooperate on international migration.   

Refugees in the Kakuma refugee camp.
Anna Chudolinska/EU ECHO

Development actors are well positioned to help close the gap in refugee protection system capacity that exists between high-income countries and those that have fewer resources. With 85 percent of the world's refugees in low- or middle-income countries that lack the means to support them fully, strengthening protection systems would benefit from new thinking and tapping the expertise of well-placed actors to assure a more comprehensive approach.

Mehmet Alkan

While the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration was formally adopted by 164 of the UN's 193 Member States, it's worth asking how it became a point of contention and ultimately was rejected by more than a dozen countries. The answer? A long lag time between negotiation and adoption, during which overheated claims against it went largely unanswered, as this commentary explores.

International Organization for Migration

In recent years, questions of whether, when, and how to return failed asylum seekers and other migrants to their origin countries have dominated migration debates in many countries. These issues were also taken up in the negotiation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, moving the discussion beyond the typical bilateral one. This policy brief outlines how states might more constructively work together on returns and reintegration programs.

Filipino nurse and patients
J. Reyes/ILO

While partnerships to facilitate skilled migration have had mixed success in the past, the Global Compact for Migration is advancing a new approach that may change this. This policy brief compares this new partnership model with the traditional one, highlighting the questions policymakers will need to answer if they are to encourage mobility, sustain employer engagement, and see development benefits in countries of origin.

Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
July 2018
By Kate Hooper and Kathleen Newland
Reports
March 2018
By Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak, and Michelle Mittelstadt
Policy Briefs
January 2018
By Kathleen Newland and Andrea Riester
Policy Briefs
January 2018
By Susan Fratzke and Brian Salant
Policy Briefs
November 2017
By Kathleen Newland

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Policy Briefs
December 2015
By Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza
Reports
November 2015
By Irial Glynn , Tomás Kelly , and Piaras Mac Éinrí
Reports
November 2015
By Graeme Hugo , Janet Wall, and Margaret Young
Policy Briefs
September 2015
By Kolitha Wickramage, Chesmal Siriwardhana, and Sharika Peiris
Reports
May 2015
By Kathleen Newland

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The region encompassing Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union is the source of a sizeable share of international migrants today, yet many of these countries' development efforts do not benefit from strong diaspora ties.

With the goal of building and sustaining economic growth in mind, some countries have intensified their efforts to court investments from their nationals and co-ethnics abroad, recognizing that diaspora entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to spot opportunities in their countries of origin and capitalize on them.

Development practitioners have long been aware of the change-making potential of diasporas, but only recently have begun to design programs that convert their latent talent and enthusiasm into results. This article by Tedla W. Giorgis and Aaron Terrazas examines the Ethiopian Diaspora Volunteer Program (EDVP) as a powerful example of how diasporas, donors, and developing countries work together to build from individual strengths and address common challenges facing the developing world.

For many developing countries, migrants are considered valuable contributors to future development. As proof of their commitment, they have invested in diaspora institutions with responsibilities ranging from protecting migrants to encouraging investment. MPI's Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias analyzes 45 such institutions across 30 countries and breaks them down by type.

The world's second most populous country also has a vast diapora spread across nearly every continent. Daniel Naujoks provides a broad overview of Indian migration flows and major populations worldwide, and discusses India's diaspora policies, refugees and asylum seekers from the region, and illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

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Audio
November 24, 2015

A discussion on how governments and societies can retain their most valuable workers, turn emigration challenges into opportunities, and capture more of the potential benefits of emigration.

Audio
September 24, 2015

This discussion, at the Bangkok launch of an MPI-International Organization for Migration issue brief, explores the social and health impacts of international labor migration on the children who remain at home when one or both their parents emigrate.

Video, Audio
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.

Audio
March 26, 2015

Marking the release of the 12th MPI-IOM Issue in Brief, this event in Bangkok examined the emerging trends in women’s labor migration in the Asia-Pacific region, and the related opportunities and challenges. The audio does not include opening remarks and begins with the author's presentation.

Audio
December 16, 2014

This Bangkok launch of the MPI-IOM Issue in Brief "A ‘Freer’ Flow of Skilled Labour within ASEAN: Aspirations, Opportunities and Challenges in 2015 and Beyond" explored the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community and its vision of a freer flow of skilled labor, as well as other migration issues affecting the region.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
July 2018

As policymakers look for ways to address the drivers of illegal immigration, many have called for migration aims to be incorporated into development work and development tools into migration partnerships. This policy brief analyzes the benefits and risks of heightened cooperation between actors in these fields, and identifies areas where joint initiatives may prove fruitful.

Articles

Over the past decade, migration has emerged as one of the most pressing issues facing governments around the world. Nearing the end of his tenure as Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Ambassador William Lacy Swing sat down with MPI Senior Fellow Kathleen Newland to reflect on his ten years leading IOM, as well as the international community's role on migration going forward.

Video, Audio, Webinars
March 21, 2018

This webinar focuses on patterns of home language use across different early childhood education and care (ECEC) program types, and the potential of the Sobrato Early Academic Language model to improve instruction and outcomes for DLLs in superdiverse settings. 

Reports
March 2018

This useful online guide links users directly to the most credible, high-quality data on immigrants and immigration in the United States and internationally. The easy-to-use guide includes more than 220 data resources compiled by governmental and nongovernmental sources, covering topics ranging from population stock and flow numbers to statistics on enforcement, public opinion, religious affiliation, and much more.

Policy Briefs
January 2018

Although in many countries immigrants fill labor gaps in fields such as agriculture and construction, few legal migration pathways exist for low-skilled workers. As states meet to negotiate a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, this policy brief takes stock of the channels available for such workers to move legally and take up work abroad, highlighting promising practices and policy gaps.

Policy Briefs
January 2018

Development assistance may be a blunt tool for reshaping migration patterns—and indeed one that could increase flows over the short term. Shifting the focus away from increasing individuals’ skills and assets toward investments in the broader economic or governance structures that are a prerequisite for growth and stability may offer more alternatives to emigration in the long run.

Audio, Webinars
December 12, 2017

To reflect on the outcomes of the stocktaking meeting in December 2017 on the progress made towards conceptualizing the Global Compact for Migration, MPI hosted a conversation with Eva Åkerman Börje, from the office of the UN Special Representative for International Migration, and Ilse Hahn, from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Policy Briefs
November 2017

Migration and development are intimately linked, but they have not always shared the international policy stage. As UN Member States kick off negotiations for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration—and with adoption planned for 2018—this brief examines the evolving relationship between these policy areas and considers what a global compact has to offer, if well designed.

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