IOM stresses balanced, well researched account of migration reality

03Dec 2017
The Guardian Reporter
Guardian On Sunday
IOM stresses balanced, well researched account of migration reality

INTERNATIONAL Organisation for Migration (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing has highlighted the importance of providing a balanced, analytically rigorous and evidence-based account

INTERNATIONAL Organisation for Migration (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing

of the current migration realities in a time of information overload and widespread misconstrued ideas on migration.

Launched on Friday by the IOM, a UN migration agency, the flagship publication, the World Migration Report 2018, was presented during the 108th IOM Council in Geneva.

Increasing the understanding of human mobility is paramount given the volume of international migrants, which reached approximately 244 million in 2015. Accounting for 3.3 per cent of the world’s population, the number of international migrants is on the rise.

Addressing the IOM Council, Ambassador Maurizio Serra, Italy’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, commended DG Swing for “a report that urges readers to look forward by engaging with the migration challenges that lie ahead.”

Ambassador Serra emphasised the importance of the new future-oriented approach in order to inform policymakers so that they can design effective policies rooted in evidence, contributing to migrants’ well-being, inclusion and development.

“The report is designed to increase the understanding of migration by compiling a wealth of data, information and analysis that draws on the organization’s 65 years of field experience and migration experts’ critical perspectives,” said Marie McAuliffe, Head of IOM’s Migration Policy Research Division and co-editor of WMR 2018 at the launch.

To capture the latest thinking on migration, the thematic chapters are authored by some of the leading scholars in the field and the report was co-edited with University of Oxford Professor Martin Ruhs.

She said the report ensure WMR provides a high-quality contribution as a major reference report on migration prior to its finalization.

The report, the ninth in IOM’s World Migration Report (WMR) series and the first since IOM became the UN Migration Agency, presents current migration issues in a two-part structure.

It combines an overarching presentation of current migration dynamics with in-depth analyses of complex and emerging issues that have been shaping, and posing challenges to, human mobility.

The report includes chapters that delve into themes such as transnational connectivity, media reporting on migrants and migration, and violent extremism and social exclusion.

The co-editors told the conference that the report avoids duplicating work of describing and assessing policies, which is done elsewhere. Instead, it is a future-focused report that takes the middle ground on controversial migration issues by providing balanced accounts and reality checks on topical issues.

Chief takeaways from the report include the need to understand better and take more into consideration the geographic, demographic and geo-political variations that shape migration realities across the world.

The largest chapter delves into regional dimensions and developments and explores key features, such as intra-regional migration, internal and international displacement, labour migration and remittances, migrant smuggling and human trafficking, integration and irregular migration.

The report also calls for greater recognition of the many interconnections in the analysis and policymaking on migration.

“While the complex dynamics of migration can never be fully measured, understood and regulated, there is a continuously growing and improving body of data and evidence that can help make better sense of the basic features of migration in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world,” said McAuliffe.

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