With migration numbers set to rise globally, investing in safe migration pathways is key, says UNDP

As global leaders meet for the first International Migration Review Forum, UNDP pledges to scale up its support to migrant and affected communities worldwide

May 17, 2022

The International Migration Review Forum presents a chance to improve policies on migration, including making it safer and more regular, and address the harmful factors forcing people from their homes.

UNDP Photo

New York, 17 May, 2022 – Leveraging the power of migration and the more than 280 million migrants worldwide is an urgent imperative which can benefit all – countries of origin, transit and destination – while also creating opportunities for migrants themselves. But to reap these benefits, the United Nations Development Programme said today concrete coordinated action on migration is essential to reduce risks and vulnerabilities faced by migrants, especially as they move between countries in search of safety and opportunity.

For the first time since the establishment of the landmark Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), adopted four years ago in Marrakech, governments will convene at the first ever International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in New York, to report on progress made in delivering on the Compact. The Forum presents a chance to improve policies on migration, including making it safer and more regular, and address the harmful factors forcing people from their homes.  

Migrants can make a vast contribution to the shaping of stronger, more resilient communities. However, a significant share of international migration takes place outside regular “pathways”. Irregular migration poses multiple challenges not only to migrants themselves, but also to countries of origin, transit and destination. It can also increase xenophobia, stigmatization and discrimination.

“Enhancing regular pathways is the best way to prevent the needless deaths of migrants and reduce the negative repercussions of irregular migration. That includes supporting labour migration, academic mobility, as well as family reunification,” says UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner in a speech on the first day of the IMRF.

Advocating for regular migration is one of the commitments UNDP is making at the IMRF. Other pledges include scaling up its work to better understand and address the negative factors that compel people to migrate, and to assess how targeted interventions can affect people’s decision to migrate through new data collection and analysis tools.

“Through the protection and restoration of millions of sq. km of land, rivers and oceans, UNDP and our partners are helping boost the resilience of countries to climate change and disasters. However, despite such efforts, and as the effects of climate change worsen, it is now imperative to find together innovative solutions to host climate-induced international migrants,” says the UNDP Administrator.

Other areas of work outlined in the UNDP Pledge include fostering migrants’ integration, promoting social cohesion, and strengthening the positive interaction between migration and sustainable development.

UNDP contributes to enhancing the development impact of migration, working with national and local governments, justice, security and human rights actors, other UN agencies, the private sector, civil society as well as with migrants and their communities.

UNDP supports countries such as Bangladesh, Ecuador, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Morocco, Serbia and Tunisia to integrate migration into national development strategies. In Moldova, over 300,000 people are benefiting from better services as a result of migrants’ participation in local planning and financial contributions.

In the Greater Mekong Sub-region, UNDP has been combating trafficking in persons since 2014, building the capacity of regional and national actors, including governments, civil society, and front-line responder to undertake joint efforts to fight trafficking in their region.

Together with partners in the UN Network on Migration, UNDP stands ready to support policymakers in amplifying the empowerment effects of migration and mitigating increased vulnerabilities in view of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030.

For more information, contact:

Aimee Brown, UNDP Crisis Bureau Communications Specialist: aimee.brown@undp.org