Migration today is fast growing in numbers, as well as in complexity and impact. It is a multi-dimensional phenomena with far reaching implications given global trends in development, human rights, peace and security and climate change.
Migration is therefore a newly emerging frontier issue, from which the full benefits can only be derived if it is managed and managed well.
Migration and human mobility will continue to present complex policy challenges requiring effective, innovative and sustainable solutions.
Governments must develop appropriate public policy to well manage and govern their national migration systems; this is a commitment they have already made under target 10.7 of the SDGs.
In order to do so, governments should base their migration policy on credible data, accurate information and analysis, and from that research devise and implement carefully calculated policy options.
Unfortunately however, public policy development — especially in the field of migration — is not always an objective exercise, and there are many recent examples of policies being driven not by evidence, but by populist rhetoric.
This approach to migration policy has to change.
The toxic political narrative that so often drives migration policy development should be replaced with a more positive and constructive outlook.
This is especially important given the ongoing state-led process to develop a new global compact for migration (GCM). The GCM has to be based on fact, not fiction, reality, not myth.
For this reason, IOM has brought together senior migration experts from around the world as part of its Migration Research Leaders’ Syndicate.
The Syndicate consists of 36 members with diverse geographic origins and backgrounds. It has been designed as an inter-disciplinary body and includes researchers with diverse, multidisciplinary migration policy and expertise.
We hope that the work of this Syndicate can be used to support evidence-based, strategic and constructive discussions to make migration work for all.
The Syndicate has produced 26 papers addressing a number of particularly difficult policy issues related to migration.
Focused on practical implementation at the global and regional levels, these contributions suggest innovative, effective and sustainable ways to promote better migration governance.
Only through constructive, evidence-based dialogue and research can we live up to the ambition of promoting orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration.
The report of the Migration Research Leaders’ Syndicate, Ideas to inform international cooperation on safe, orderly and regular migration, is available online here.
*Ashraf El Nour is the Director of the IOM Office to the United Nations. This article is based on a speech delivered to the event Effective and Sustainable Solutions for Migration Management that took place at UN Headquarters on 3 April 2018.