E.g., 09/26/2021
E.g., 09/26/2021
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 millions working elsewhere in the region or in Europe. The research here focuses on labor and humanitarian migration to and from the region, including the policies and regulations that govern such migration, protection and integration issues for the region's refugees, diaspora engagement, migration cooperation and reintegration agreements with European governments, and more.

Recent Activity

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Reports
March 2016
By  Elizabeth Collett, Paul Clewett and Susan Fratzke
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Fact Sheets
November 2015
By  Jie Zong
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Reports
October 2015
By  Selcuk R. Sirin and Lauren Rogers-Sirin
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Commentaries
October 2015
By  Kathleen Newland

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Policy Briefs
April 2007
By  Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza and Kathleen Newland
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Reports
September 2006
By  Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza
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Reports
December 2003
By  Monette Zard
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Reports
October 2003
By  Joanne van Selm
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Policy Briefs
April 2003
By  Monette Zard and Erin Patrick
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Policy Briefs
February 2003
By  Peter W. Galbraith

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With a history of encouraging workers to emigrate to relieve unemployment at home, Tunisia now has 11 percent of its population living abroad. The factors underlying the 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring have also fueled emigration desires for many Tunisians. This country profile explores historical and current trends in Tunisia from colonial settlement to the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and the new focus on migrant rights at home and abroad.

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The number of people around the world forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution reached its highest total since World War II, with more than 51.2 million fleeing their country or displaced within it, the UN refugee agency reported in 2014. An estimated 13.6 million people have been displaced by conflicts in Syria and Iraq alone, constituting what the UN High Commissioner for Refugees dubbed a mega-crisis.

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Mass cases of exploitation and abuse of migrant workers have drawn international scrutiny and criticism of the kafala system in Gulf Cooperation Council countries and private recruitment practices in Southeast Asia. With Qatar under scrutiny amid a frenzied construction boom in advance of the 2022 World Cup, international organizations and human-rights groups in 2014 stepped up their campaign for worker protection reforms.

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Increasing numbers of Westerners heading to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist organizations like ISIS have governments concerned about possible attacks at home by returning fighters. Several thousand fighters from Europe and other Western countries are believed among the foreign nationals involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Lawmakers scrambled in 2014 to respond with new policies, including seizing passports, stripping citizenship, and criminalizing travel to "no go" zones.

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Turkey’s migration identity has shifted from being principally a country of emigration and transit to becoming a destination for immigrants and people fleeing conflict. In response, Turkish policymakers recently enacted a comprehensive migration and asylum law that took effect in April 2014. This article examines the new law, which is intended as a significant step toward managing both legal and irregular migration to Turkey, including humanitarian migration.

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Recent Activity

Reports
March 2016

Although in theory refugees are already eligible to move beyond the circumstances of their displacement through a variety of legal channels, in reality pathways are often blocked by practical, technical, and political obstacles. This report explores existing tools and innovative new ideas to open additional opportunities to refugees, whether in first-asylum countries or via migration elsewhere.

Articles

Global displacement reached a new high with nearly 60 million people worldwide displaced internally or externally in the greatest number since record-keeping began. The trend continued in 2015 as conflicts in places such as Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen drove millions of people to leave their homes and seek refuge in other communities or across borders.

Articles

Faced with a flexible, diverse, and seemingly ubiquitous smuggling industry, governments have struggled to respond. Smuggling and trafficking networks, while hardly new phenomena, were put under a harsh spotlight in 2015 for their role as intermediaries in shaping the scale and flow of migrants and asylum seekers around the world.

Fact Sheets
November 2015

Approximately 86,000 Syrian immigrants resided in the United States in 2014, including 2,261 resettled refugees. This fact sheet provides information on the Syrian immigrant population in the United States, focusing on its size, socioeconomic characteristics, and geographic distribution.

Video, Audio, Webinars
October 27, 2015

In this webinar, the authors of three papers on the experiences of refugee children present their findings, with a focus on how such experiences affect their mental health and education.

Reports
October 2015

The pre-resettlement experiences of refugee children can have significant ramifications on their relationships with teachers and peers and on their academic advancement once resettled. This report explores the educational histories of young refugee children in first-asylum countries and identifies elements that are relevant to postresettlement education in the United States.

Reports
October 2015

Approximately 40 percent of the 4 million-plus Syrians who have fled the country are under age 12, most encountering disruptions and barriers to their education in countries of first asylum. This report examines the experiences of Syrian refugee children, their educational and mental health needs,and possible responses that governments should consider in resettling this vulnerable population.

Commentaries
October 2015

As Congress and others react to the Obama administration’s announcement that the refugee resettlement program will increase from the current 70,000 level to 85,000 next year and 100,000 in 2017, some are objecting on national security grounds. This commentary makes the case that the resettlement program is the least likely avenue for a terrorist to choose.

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