E.g., 02/28/2021
E.g., 02/28/2021

Middle East & North Africa

Middle East & North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa span both poles of migration: as countries of migrant destination, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and as countries of migrant origin. The region has a large supply of young, active workers, with more than 20 million migrants working elsewhere in the region or in Europe. The research here focuses on labor migration to the region, including the policies and regulations that govern such migration and the role of recruiters; the humanitarian flows that have resulted from wars and political instability; diaspora engagement; and more.

Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
October 2013
By  Kathleen Newland
Articles
Policy Briefs
September 2013
By  Graeme Hugo
Policy Briefs
September 2013
By  Michael Clemens
Policy Briefs
September 2013
By  Kathleen Newland and Sonia Plaza
Policy Briefs
September 2013
By  Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza

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This Q&A explores the dire medical emergency and refugee health concerns resulting from the ongoing Syrian crisis. Source Editor Amber French conducts a Q&A with Dr. Fadi Al Khankan of the Syrian Expatriates Organization and MPI's Kathleen Newland, both panelists at the January 14, 2013 MPI event unveiling the International Rescue Committee's report, Syria: A Regional Crisis.

More than 465,800 Syrians were registered as refugees during 2012 or were awaiting assistance, and another 2 million Syrians were internally displaced as a result of the prolonged armed conflict. On the African continent, difficult humanitarian situations also were unfolding.

The succession of displacement and refugee crises in the Arab Spring, Côte d'Ivoire, Somalia, and Sudan has been characterized as the most troubling in some time.

The Arab Spring exposed critical weaknesses and exacerbated long-held disagreements within the European Union related to asylum, immigration, and external border control policy matters that spilled over into the operation of the Schengen area.

Since mid-December 2010, popular uprisings have taken hold in a number of countries across North Africa and the Middle East in what has been dubbed the Arab Spring. Philippe Fargues of the European University Institute discusses the demographic trends underpinning the recent eruption of unrest in the Arab world, and the likely impact of the revolts on migration.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
October 2013
As hundreds of migrants were drowning in the Mediterranean, the United Nations General Assembly was hours from gathering for only the second time in its history to address international migration. The juxtaposition threw a question into sharp relief: does the world body have any impact on the world’s migrants?
Policy Briefs
October 2013
This policy brief, which concludes a nine-brief series examining what is known about the linkages between migration and development, suggests that the policy framework on migration and development remains relatively weak, and few development agencies have made it a priority to promote the positive impact of international migration.
Articles

The United Arab Emirates has the fifth-largest international migrant stock in the world, with 7.8 million migrants out of a total population of 9.2 million. Heavily reliant on foreign labor to sustain economic growth, the UAE government in 1971 introduced a temporary guest worker program. This article examines the economic, social, and political challenges and implications of the program for the government, Emirati nationals, and migrant workers in the UAE.

Audio
September 18, 2013

The Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, along with the Special Advisor to the UN Special Representative for International Migration discuss what is expected from The UN High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in October 2013 and what impact it may have on the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

Policy Briefs
September 2013
Circular migration has typically been viewed with skepticism by migrant-rights advocates and wary publics alike. But many experts and policymakers in the migration field — and some in development — have come to recognize that well-managed circulation that is respectful of migrants' human and labor rights can bring benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants themselves. For countries of origin, circular migration can relieve labor surpluses; for destination countries, it can provide the flexibility to quickly overcome skills shortages while adapting to long-term labor market shifts. For migrants, circular migration offers the opportunity to earn higher wages and gain international experience.
Policy Briefs
September 2013
Private recruitment agencies orchestrate much of the migration process, from predeparture to return. They provide information, assistance, and even financial support to migrants; facilitate transit to and from the destination; and in some cases employ migrants directly. While recruitment agencies protect migrants, sometimes removing them from abusive workplaces or even organizing repatriation, migrants’ dependence on them for so many services also creates many opportunities for exploitation and abuse. This brief assesses the forms of regulation that are being proposed and enacted to oversee recruitment agencies and identifies several areas for further improvement.
Policy Briefs
September 2013

Diasporas can play an important role in the economic development of their countries of origin or ancestry. Beyond their well-known role as senders of remittances, diasporas also can promote trade and foreign direct investment, create businesses, spur entrepreneurship, and transfer new knowledge and skills. Policymakers increasingly recognize that an engaged diaspora can be an asset — or even a counterweight to the emigration of skilled and talented migrants.

Policy Briefs
September 2013
Skilled migration is often thought to have overwhelmingly negative effects on countries of migrant origin. Yet recent research and policy experience challenge this assumption and offer a more nuanced picture, as this brief explains. Countries of origin and destination can in fact benefit from skilled migration when it is correctly structured, and efforts to restrict skilled nationals’ ability to leave their countries of origin may have unintended costs, in addition to being ethically problematic.

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