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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

The Challenges of Humanitarian Protection in the 21st Century

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, World of Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 14th, 2021

Are the challenges of humanitarian protection more complex today than they were 20 years ago? And is a protection system that emerged after World War II still fit for purpose? In this conversation, Migration Policy Institute Co-Founder Kathleen Newland and Senior Policy Analyst Susan Fratzke discuss the challenges, but also the innovations in the refugee resettlement and asylum spaces, as countries around the globe cope with record displacement, mixed migration, climate pressures, and more.

Making Migration Policy in an Ever More Complex World

Posted in Labor Migration, Mobility and Security, International Migration, World of Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 14th, 2021

What was the field of migration policy like in 2000, and has it become more complicated to work in this space, given the growing politicization of immigration and the advent of trends including greater humanitarian pressures, mixed migration flows, and climate-induced migration? And has the role of generating evidence-based research changed in this new era of mis/disinformation? Migration Policy Institute co-founder Demetrios G. Papademetriou takes on these and other questions, including whether the role of think tanks has evolved over the last two decades, in this conversation with MPI’s Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan. They also look ahead to the future challenges that will dominate immigration policymaking in the years ahead.

Revisiting the Role of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions in Light of Delta and Other Variants

Posted in International Migration, Moving Beyond Pandemic by Migration Policy Institute on October 14th, 2021

No one expected the travel restrictions imposed early in the COVID-19 pandemic to last so long or remain such a messy patchwork, in part because of the arrival of more contagious variants such as the delta variant – with significant effects on family reunification and humanitarian protection, travel for business and pleasure, and international migration. More than 18 months on, debates continue over the effectiveness of these measures in meeting public-health goals. Experts are working, though, to learn from the COVID-19 response to improve decision-making for handling future cross-border pandemics. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Kelley Lee, head of the Pandemics and Borders initiative at Simon Fraser University in Canada, about what the future holds, and whether decisionmakers truly learn to adapt or instead pull out the playbook from the last crisis.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Impacts of Extreme Heat: Global Warming and Migration

Posted in Migration and Development, Labor Migration, International Migration, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 11th, 2021

Global warming and extreme heat are behind many of the phenomena linked to climate change. Hotter weather also has an impact on migration and on migrants, particularly in destinations such as the Middle East and parts of the United States. In recent years, there has been more attention paid to cases of migrant workers dying from the heat. In this episode, we speak with Tord Kjellstrom, a physician and researcher who has closely studied the relationship between extreme heat and population health, about what extreme heat means for migrants.

s, M, l, xl ¿Cómo es la bienvenida de los migrantes en las ciudades de tamaño mediano en la región?

En respuesta a los cambios en tendencias migratorias, y el desplazamiento de venezolanos y centroamericanos a países de otras partes de la región, los gobiernos locales de América Latina y el Caribe están discutiendo un nuevo conjunto de interrogantes políticas en torno a la integración de inmigrantes.

Los gobiernos nacionales de la región han instituido una serie de políticas para integrar a quienes huyen de crisis en sus países de origen en el mercado laboral y el sistema educativo, tratando a quienes ocasionalmente llegan como refugiados como parte integral de sus comunidades. Pero ¿cómo se están traduciendo estas agendas políticas nacionales en ciudades que están manejando una afluencia de inmigrantes? ¿Qué políticas se están aplicando a nivel local con respecto a la integración de los migrantes en el mercado laboral y los sistemas de educación, salud, vivienda y servicios sociales? ¿Qué se puede aprender de esfuerzos recientes para dar la bienvenida a los inmigrantes en las comunidades locales?

En el primer webinario de una nueva serie de eventos que analiza cómo las ciudades de América Latina y el Caribe están abordando estos problemas, esta conversación con líderes de ciudades medianas examina la respuesta social de la región que ha resultado en la integración de nuevas llegadas de migrantes en comunidades locales. Los ponentes ofrecen reflexiones sobre sus experiencias en la gestión de la migración en el nivel local, la obtención de recursos financieros, la coordinación con los gobiernos nacionales y estatales, y el desarrollo e implementación de políticas de integración local.

How Will the Pandemic Reshape Public Health for Migrants?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on September 22nd, 2021

The COVID-19 public-health crisis exacerbated longstanding migrant vulnerabilities ranging from heightened exposure to infection to disproportionate barriers in accessing health services. However, the pandemic also triggered innovations in migration and health policy that may ultimately improve conditions for some migrants—including regularization, increased health-care benefits, and increased use of digital tools to improve health literacy and information provision. The acute understanding that public health requires coverage for the entire community has renewed interest in tackling issues faced by marginalized populations.

With COVID-19 likely to significantly reshape health-care systems in Europe and worldwide, there is a window of opportunity to test new strategies to tackle longstanding migrant health disparities, and ensure that structural changes accommodate the complex needs of diverse populations. What lessons can be learned from strategies that arose during the pandemic and can they inform more inclusive health care post-pandemic? This webinar features experts and policymakers assessing the most promising strategies to ensure migrant health after the pandemic, as well as the related challenges and opportunities. 

Speakers highlight key findings from the ApartTogether study about the impact of the pandemic on migrants, reflect on the implications of the public-health crisis for migrant health, examine practical strategies that countries such as Portugal have taken, and discuss the most pressing challenges and issues facing migrants in European public-health systems today. This webinar is part of the Integration Futures Working Group initiative supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.  A related report from the project — Healing the Gap: Building Inclusive Public-Health and Migrant Integration Systems in Europe — also addresses some of the topics raised on this webinar. 

Opening More Avenues for Protection for Refugees

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, European Migration by Migration Policy Institute on September 15th, 2021

As of mid-2020, more than 20 million refugees were displaced to another country and under the mandate of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. While some may eventually return to their countries of origin or integrate locally into their host community, for the most at risk, resettlement remains a critical tool to secure legal status and access to fundamental rights in a third country. However, the number of resettlement places made available remains far below the level needed and plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This global scarcity in resettlement places has been paralleled by innovation. States have shown creativity in designing resettlement programs and in growing access to protection via complementary pathways, including educational and employment ones. The Three-Year Strategy (2019–2021) on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways, launched following the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees in 2018, aims to achieve more resettlement opportunities for refugees, as well as better access for refugees to complementary pathways. To support the goals of the Three-Year Strategy, the Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Initiative (CRISP), led by UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), provides support to states and key stakeholders to establish, expand, or renew resettlement programs and advance complementary pathways of admission.

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar marked the launch of a report that sets out a series of recommendations for how UNHCR, national governments, civil society, and other partners can most effectively support the growth of resettlement and complementary pathways in the years ahead. The webinar highlighted the recommendations developed by MPI Europe in collaboration with the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub showcased in the report, which was commissioned by UNHCR with CRISP support.

Labor Migration Governance in West Africa in the Wake of the Pandemic

Posted in Labor Migration, International Migration by Migration Policy Institute on September 9th, 2021

COVID-19 has dramatically curtailed opportunities to migrate in West Africa, with far-reaching economic consequences. In 2019, about 10 million West Africans lived in other countries in the region or internationally, and migration has traditionally been a driver for development for the region through remittances, knowledge transfers, and other forms of diaspora engagement. Now, ongoing border closures and travel restrictions coupled with new public-health measures have added an extra layer of complexity to migration management in the region. Competing policy priorities arising from the pandemic have also threatened to sideline recent national efforts to strengthen migration governance and the lifting of barriers to mobility under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on Free Movement. In the cases of Ghana and Senegal, efforts to translate migration policy goals into practice were proving challenging even prior to the pandemic. Among the stumbling blocks: how to build mutually beneficial ties between origin countries and their diasporas, how to balance governments’ commitments to better regulate worker recruitment despite constraints on resources, and how to move the needle on issues such as promoting freedom of movement within ECOWAS while protecting local workers and business. In the wake of the pandemic and related economic downturn, migrants’ potential to support recovery efforts make addressing these questions even more critical. On this webinar speakers discuss a recent policy brief "Deepening Labor Migration Governance at a Time of Immobility: Lessons from Ghana and Senegal" https://bit.ly/2UOPEcZ . Experts and government officials from the region and Europe explore the importance of labor migration for West Africa, related policy efforts by the Ghanaian and Senegalese governments, and how development agencies can best support African countries in resuming mobility and enhancing the development benefits of labor migration.

Parte de una nueva comunidad: la integración de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en América del Sur

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on August 6th, 2021

Con su país en crisis, el 80 por ciento de los más de 5,6 millones de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos que han salido de Venezuela se han asentado en América Latina. Seis años después, está claro que esta situación ya no es temporal y los gobiernos de acogida han comenzado a pasar de la prestación de ayuda humanitaria a los recién llegados a una integración de más largo plazo en el mercado laboral, los sistemas de salud y educación y en las comunidades locales. Estos esfuerzos de integración no solo ayudan a los recién llegados, sino que también benefician a las comunidades de acogida, fortaleciendo el desarrollo económico, la salud pública, y la equidad y cohesión social.
 
Eso discusión presenta un análisis del Instituto de Políticas Migratorias (MPI) y la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM) sobre la integración socioeconómica de los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en Suramérica, utilizando datos de la Matriz de Seguimiento de Desplazamiento (DTM) de la OIM, junto con otras investigaciones. Este perfil sociodemográfico examina los niveles de inclusión económica, educación, acceso a la salud y cohesión social de los venezolanos en los cinco países que en conjunto albergan a más del 70 por ciento de esta población migrante en todo el mundo: Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador y Perú.
 
En este webinar, los oradores exploran el progreso de las experiencias de integración de los venezolanos durante los últimos seis años considerando la evolución de las políticas regionales y nacionales, la pandemia de COVID-19 y la dinámica migratoria cambiante. Al observar estas tendencias y perspectivas, la conversación se centra en las oportunidades y desafíos que existen para apoyar la formulación de políticas efectivas que beneficían tanto a los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos como a las comunidades donde están reconstruyendo sus vidas. 

English Interpretation: Part of a New Community: The Integration of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees in South America

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on August 6th, 2021

With their country in turmoil, 80 percent of the more than 5.6 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees who have left Venezuela have settled across Latin America. Six years on, it is clear this situation is no longer temporary and host governments have begun the shift from the provision of humanitarian aid for new arrivals to their longer-term integration into the labor market, health-care and education systems, and local communities. These integration efforts not only aid the newcomers but also benefit the communities where they live, strengthening economic development, public health, and social equity and cohesion.

This discussion featuring a new MPI-International Organization for Migration (IOM) analysis on the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in South America, using data from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, along with other research. This sociodemographic profile examines Venezuelans’ levels of economic inclusion, education, access to health care, and social cohesion in the five countries that together host more than 70 percent of this migrant population worldwide: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. 

Speakers explore the progress of Venezuelans’ integration experiences over the past six years considering evolving regional and national policies, the COVID-19 pandemic, and changing migration dynamics. Looking at these trends and insights, the conversation focused on the opportunities and challenges that exist to support effective policymaking that will benefit both Venezuelan migrants and refugees and the communities where they are rebuilding their lives.

Part of a New Community: The Integration of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees in South America

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on July 31st, 2021

With their country in turmoil, 80 percent of the more than 5.6 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees who have left Venezuela have settled across Latin America. Six years on, it is clear this situation is no longer temporary and host governments have begun the shift from the provision of humanitarian aid for new arrivals to their longer-term integration into the labor market, health-care and education systems, and local communities. These integration efforts not only aid the newcomers but also benefit the communities where they live, strengthening economic development, public health, and social equity and cohesion.

This discussion featuring a new MPI-International Organization for Migration (IOM) analysis on the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in South America, using data from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, along with other research. This sociodemographic profile examines Venezuelans’ levels of economic inclusion, education, access to health care, and social cohesion in the five countries that together host more than 70 percent of this migrant population worldwide: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. 

Speakers explore the progress of Venezuelans’ integration experiences over the past six years considering evolving regional and national policies, the COVID-19 pandemic, and changing migration dynamics. Looking at these trends and insights, the conversation focused on the opportunities and challenges that exist to support effective policymaking that will benefit both Venezuelan migrants and refugees and the communities where they are rebuilding their lives.

EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration: Switching Perspectives?

Many countries around the globe are grappling with policy questions surrounding the return of irregular migrants and asylum seekers whose claims have been denied. In Europe, policymakers have long been concerned about low return rates. And discussions on how to increase the number of returns (including voluntary ones), while conducting them in a humane way, and achieving sustainable reintegration are high on the European Union (EU) agenda.

In April, the European Commission took a step toward the creation of a common EU return system, releasing its first Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration. The strategy aims to increase the number of voluntary returns, but also to improve EU Member States’ coordination on their respective Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programs and make reintegration in origin countries more sustainable. To achieve these objectives, European policymakers need to secure cooperation with migrants’ countries of origin—an often-neglected dimension of AVRR programs. However, these countries may be disinclined towards cooperation, concerned about the loss of remittances, negative public opinion, and increasing pressure on job markets and public service delivery already stressed by the pandemic. Still, voluntary return and reintegration may be one area where there are tangible opportunities for EU Member States and origin countries alike to build on some converging goals.

This MPI Europe event marks the release of a new policy brief EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration: Crafting a Road Map to Better Cooperation with Migrants’ Countries of OriginSpeakers examine origin- and destination-country policy priorities, opportunities for cooperation, challenges and structural limitations that shape what can be achieved, and possible next steps for building on the principles identified in the EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration, starting a new chapter for EU-funded AVRR programs. 

Desde un éxodo humanitario hacia un crecimiento a largo-plazo: El trayecto de América Latina en respuesta al éxodo venezolano

Posted in International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on May 20th, 2021

La convergencia de la segunda crisis más grande de refugiados en el mundo y la pandemia del COVID-19 ha dejado a los más de 5,5 millones de migrantes que han huido de Venezuela en una posición aún más vulnerable. Sin acceso a servicios de salud y frecuentemente al borde de la pobreza, estos migrantes y refugiados han enfrentado desafíos sin precedentes mientras la pandemia ha azotado al mundo entero, cerrando fronteras, presionando sistemas de salud pública y dejando una recesión económica como resultado. La crisis sanitaria también ha agotado los gobiernos de acogida que están intentando proveer servicios humanitarios y canales para la migración venezolana en la región.

En esta discusión organizada por el Banco Mundial y el Migration Policy Institute (MPI), altos funcionarios del hemisferio occidental examinaron los esfuerzos nacionales y regionales que se han llevado a cabo para integrar a los venezolanos de una manera que maximice sus contribuciones de capital humano y sus capacidades de impulsar el crecimiento económico en sus países de acogida. La discusión también considera como la comunidad internacional puede movilizarse para transformar esta crisis en una oportunidad de desarrollo para la región.

Missing Ingredients in Diaspora Engagement in Development: Destination-Country Policies and Integration

Posted in Migration and Development, Immigrant Integration, International Migration by Migration Policy Institute on April 24th, 2021

The role of diasporas in the development of their countries of origin is now an accepted part of migration and development analysis. However, policy recommendations have centered mostly on how origin countries engage their diasporas in development efforts. More than 110 origin countries have created specialized units devoted to facilitating diaspora contributions to development. 

While research and recommendations on country-of-origin policies have advanced in both quantity and quality, two important pieces have been left out of diaspora-and-development discussions: 1) the importance of integration to the capacity of diaspora communities to contribute to development and 2) the ways in which official development cooperation programs in destination countries support diaspora organizations and involve diasporas in official development cooperation.
There is also a growing realization of the connection between the development roles of diasporas and their integration in the countries where they have settled.

This webinar examines what roles diasporas play in the development cooperation programs of countries of destination, as well as the potential challenges and opportunities for policy design. Speakers, from government, civil society, and the diaspora community, explore how integration in destination countries influences diasporas’ ability to contribute to development in their homelands. The discussion includes examples from the diaspora engagement actions and policies of western donor governments and lessons about effectiveness and sustainability, including from Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and United States. The event includes a special focus on Norway, where policy development is looking into how to strengthen civil-society engagement in the field of integration, and exploring the connections to diasporas engagement in development cooperation.

Building Effective Migration Management Capacity in Mexico and Central America (English Version)

In response to shifting migration trends, with more Central Americans and migrants from other regions traveling through and settling in Mexico and Central America, governments in the region over the past 5 years have developed new capacities to manage migration. These efforts, however, have often been fragile, ad hoc, institutionally weak, and more often focused on enforcement than a comprehensive approach. Moving forward, these governments face an unprecedented opportunity to lay the foundation necessary to build a regional migration system that privileges safe, orderly, and legal migration.

This report release examines migration management in Mexico and Central America, in particular Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama. The report examines growing government attention to migration functions, enhanced immigration enforcement, increased investments in asylum systems and existing protection frameworks, as well as labor migration policies. The discussion explores the report’s findings, along with strategies that regional and U.S. governments, as well as civil society, can employ to better manage migration. As governments in the region are being confronted with rapidly changing migration trends, it is an ever more pressing priority for governments in the region to develop institutional capacity to manage these movements and build an effective, collaborative regional migration system that works in the interest of all countries.

Speakers made their remarks in Spanish and English. This version includes English interpretation. 

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: No “Climate Refugees,” But Still a Role for the UN Refugee Agency

Technically, people forced to move because of climate disasters are not considered “refugees.” But the UN refugee agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, still takes climate issues into account, and since 2020 Andrew Harper has been its special advisor on climate action. We talked with Harper about his agency’s role in responding to climate issues, which regions of the world are most likely to be affected by climate impacts, and why climate is a “vulnerability multiplier” for refugees.

Building Effective Migration Management Capacity in Mexico and Central America

Posted in International Migration, Immigration Enforcement, Migration in Mexico and Central America by Migration Policy Institute on April 16th, 2021

In response to shifting migration trends, with more Central Americans and migrants from other regions traveling through and settling in Mexico and Central America, governments in the region over the past 5 years have developed new capacities to manage migration. These efforts, however, have often been fragile, ad hoc, institutionally weak, and more often focused on enforcement than a comprehensive approach. Moving forward, these governments face an unprecedented opportunity to lay the foundation necessary to build a regional migration system that privileges safe, orderly, and legal migration.

This report release examines migration management in Mexico and Central America, in particular Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama. The report examines growing government attention to migration functions, enhanced immigration enforcement, increased investments in asylum systems and existing protection frameworks, as well as labor migration policies. The discussion explores the report’s findings, along with strategies that regional and U.S. governments, as well as civil society, can employ to better manage migration. As governments in the region are being confronted with rapidly changing migration trends, it is an ever more pressing priority for governments in the region to develop institutional capacity to manage these movements and build an effective, collaborative regional migration system that works in the interest of all countries.

This is the original audio.  Speakers made their remarks in Spanish and English. There is no simultaneous interpretation in this audio.  Spanish and English interpretations will be posted online zoom. 

A Year of Pandemic: The State of Global Human Mobility & What Is on the Horizon

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Labor Migration, Mobility and Security, International Migration, European Migration by Migration Policy Institute on April 11th, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed mobility and cross-border movement in 2020, decimating tourism and business travel, severely curtailing labor migration, and dampening all forms of migration, including refugee resettlement. Since the onset of the public-health crisis, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has tracked the hundreds of travel restrictions, border closures, and health-related travel requirements imposed by governments globally. An IOM-Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report draws from the IOM database to sketch the state of mobility across world regions in 2020, and the range of mobility-related strategies used to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus.
 

This two-panel discussion, featuring introductory remarks by IOM Director General António Vitorino, examines how the pandemic reshaped border management and human mobility in 2020 and what the lasting impacts may be throughout 2021 and beyond. The first panel examines the government actions and regional and international coordination undertaken in 2020, including “travel bubbles” and immunity passports, along with how policymakers balanced health and economic concerns and the needs of vulnerable populations and unprecedented logistical issues in their responses. The second panel explored what policymakers should consider as the world enters into a new, uneven phase marked on the one hand by rising vaccinations, but on the other by the spread of new COVID-19 variants and additional mobility restrictions as caseloads rise in some regions. Speakers discussed what it may take to reopen fully, a possible new border infrastructure focused on public health, what regional and international coordination efforts are showing promise, and a look ahead to major decisions that will need to be made in 2021.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: The Benefits of Climate Migration

Posted in Migration and Development, International Migration, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by Migration Policy Institute on April 2nd, 2021

Popular discussions usually frame climate change-induced migration negatively, often as a strategy of last resort. But migrating abroad can also be an effective way to build resilience against the impacts of climate change. This episode discusses how migration can bring social, economic, and other benefits to migrants and their communities, in conversation with University of Vienna human geographer Harald Sterly.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Is Climate Change Driving Migration from Central America?

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have left Central America in recent years, and climate extremes have been identified as one of the factors that might be driving this movement, along with elements such as political instability and violence. In this episode, we hear from geographer and climatologist Diego Pons, of Colorado State University, to dissect how changing climate, food insecurity, and migration intersect in this region.

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