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Promoting safe migration

Ensuring safe, orderly and regular migration requires effective implementation of policies and systems, access to regular channels for migration, well-administered visa and entry schemes, and effective identity management practices. The safety, dignity and human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants should be protected, regardless of their migratory status. Comprehensive data are scarce, which may necessitate a case study approach to assessments of policy development.

Global migration trends

Estimates are that over 1 billion people in the world are migrants, or more than one in seven people globally. This figure includes the stock of international migrants - people residing in a country other than their country of birth - whose number reached 244 million in 2015, up by 41 per cent since 2000; and it includes internal migrants - around 740 million, according to 2009 UNDP estimates (United Nations Development Program, Human Development Report 2009), of whom over 150 million are rural-urban migrants in China (Chan, K.W. 2013. China: internal migration - The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration). The number of people forcibly displaced is rising in absolute terms. Irregular migration is also increasing seen as a challenge.

International cooperation on refugees and migrants

On 19 September 2016, the General Assembly-mandated summit at the Heads of State and Government level on large movements of refugees and migrants was a historic opportunity to develop with a blueprint for a better international response. The Summit was a watershed moment to strengthen governance of international migration and an opportunity for creating a more responsible, predictable system for responding to large movements of refugees and migrants. All 193 Member States signed up one plan for addressing large movements of refugees and migrants: the New York Declaration, which expresses the political will of world leaders to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale.

In September 2016 the International Organization for Migration became a member of the UN-related organization, equipping the UN system with a migration agency. The closer relationship between IOM and the UN will strengthen cooperation and enhance their ability to fulfil their respective mandates in the interest of migrants and Member States. As an outcome of the Summit for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, IOM is taking a lead implementation role in the UN’s anti-xenophobia campaign ‘Together’. At the same time, the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) initiative is a State-led undertaking which seeks to improve the ability of States and other relevant stakeholders to increase the protection and decrease the vulnerability of migrants caught in countries experiencing conflicts and natural disasters.

Migration policy development

A large number of migration-related policy areas have seen development in the last year. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and IOM presented a draft Global Migration Group (GMG) handbook on migration and development data at the annual meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Istanbul in October 2015. A Guidance Note introduces UN Country Teams and government partners to the topic of how migration and displacement can be integrated into the UN Development Assistance Frameworks. To address SDG target 10.7 regarding safe and regular migration, the IOM and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) have published a Migration Governance Index (MGI) based on the Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF). The index, the first of its kind, provides a framework for countries to measure their progress towards better migration governance and offers a means to compare migration policies in a systematic way. The MGI exercise is currently being scaled up to cover a larger number of countries.

The IOM’s support to follow-up and review of the migration-related SDGs included two 2016 workshops organized in the framework of the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM). In 2017 the IDM will be dedicated to the preparatory process for drafting a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, as called for in the 2016 UN summit, wigth meetings planned for New York in April and Geneva in July.

The Ninth Global Forum on Migration and Development Summit Meeting was held from 10 to 12 December 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh on the theme of “Migration that works for Sustainable Development for All: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda”.

ILO general principles and operational guidelines on fair recruitment were adopted by the ILO Governing Body in November 2016. The IOM organized a global conference in December 2016 focusing on how to improve data on international migration, and it launching a Global Migration Data Analysis Centre and a Global Migration Data Portal. Together with the International Organisation of Employers and other stakeholders, IOM is developing the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), a voluntary multi-stakeholder certification system for international labour recruiters that helps promote ethical recruitment and advance the “employer pays” model.