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‘Robust evidence’ needed to inform better migration policy

22 January 20200 comments

More accurate data and robust evidence is needed to help formulate better migration policy around the globe, according to the head of the United Nations’ migration agency IOM.

Director General of the International Organisation for Migration António Vitorino said migration data was “at the centre” of his vision for the organisation in coming years.

“I have put migration data at the centre of my vision for IOM, and have committed to strengthening the Organization’s engagement in this area over the next years,” he told an International Forum on Migration Statistics (IFMS) this week.

Organised jointly by the IOM, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) brought around 700 delegates from more than 90 countries to its unique space for dialogue, information-sharing and networking for a broad range of actors hosted by the Egyptian Government, which currently chairs the African Union (AU).

“We as experts, practitioners and decision-makers have a collective responsibility to ensure that reliable facts and robust evidence are not only produced but also used appropriately and intelligently to steer policy and programmes and to combat an often-pervasive misinformation about migration,” Mr Vitorino told the forum.

Delegates representing national and regional authorities, NGOs, international agencies and the private sector gathered over three days in Cairo with the aim of building and strengthening migration data capacities around the world.

Hosting the forum, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mr Sameh Shoukry said accurate data would assist international cooperation on migration policy. 

“Owning and relying on data in policy making is a key guarantee of proper international cooperation in the management and governance of human migration, and to enhance the contribution of migrants to development on a basis that respects their rights, legal frameworks and meets the needs of the international labour market, in addition to supporting the efforts of the international community to address some of the root causes of migration such as conflict, economic and social crises and environmental change,” he said.

The Forum is organized around six thematic areas including measuring progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global commitments as well as data innovation. Several sessions will explore the potential of using “big data” to compliment the analysis of human mobility and migration flows as well as ways to address internal displacement through innovative monitoring tools.

The inaugural IFMS took place in January 2018 at the OECD Headquarters in Paris. IFMS aims to foster continuous discussion on global processes and enhance exchange between producers and users of migration data. The event is supported by partner organizations including ILO, UNHCR, UNODC, European Commission, UNFPA, and UNECE.