Migrant Rights

Eyewitness to Unspeakable Abuse


By Leonard Doyle

The fate of eighty thousand Ethiopians who risk their lives every year trying to get to Saudi Arabia and the promise of a better life has been put in vivid focus by a report on Newsnight, BBC television’s flagship news programme. The disturbing report highlights the remarkable humanitarian work of IOM staff caring for the traumatised migrants.   

A Very Tall Order for Action

By Leonard Doyle

“Nearly a billion people rely on migration as the best way to increase their personal liberty and to improve health, education, and economic outcomes for their families. If the right policies are put in place, there is clear evidence that states can magnify these positive outcomes, while also generating significant financial and social gains for countries of origin and destination.”

That, in a nutshell, is what Peter Sutherland, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Migration says is at stake in October of this year, when for only the second time in its history, the UN General Assembly will focus on international migration. If it is to succeed, Sutherland says, the summit must generate action on how to reduce the economic and human costs of migration. It also must determine how states and other stakeholders can deepen their cooperation in solving migration-related problems—“all while avoiding the political axe-grinding typical of most migration debates.”

These are nuanced words from a seasoned public figure and they reward careful reading. As Sutherland points out in his article in the just published Migration Policy and Practice for June 2013, migration is one of the hot button issue of international diplomacy.

now read on here

Migration Takes a Bow at Cannes Film Festival


by Kaye Viray (and Agence France Presse)

LAST week’s Cannes Film Festival was an eye-opener for the way migration is now a major theme of our times. 

Films now regularly depict people setting off for a new country, bearing little more than dreams of a better life. But behind the romance of every film touching on migration comes the reality that so many of those moving from their homelands soon discover that reality is not as rose-tinted as they imagined it might be. Many face the perils of trafficking, exploitation, aching loneliness and rootlessness. All of this is grist to the film industry's mill.

Crossing Continents


By Leonard Doyle

TRAVELING by foot, National Geographic writer Paul Salopek is recreating the epic journey of humankind starting at its birthplace in Ethiopia and ending at the southern tip of South America. He walked in the scorching heat of the deserts of Ethiopia’s Rift Valley across the broiling barren landscape of Djibouti to the Red Sea coast. Stranded for weeks. There he encountered IOM's Chief of Mission Bakary Doumbia and a fascinating conversation ensued, much of it on Twitter after Paul moved on to Saudi Arabia.

Terror on the High Seas


By Ray Leyesa

ICONIC Photos, a photo blog, recently featured photographer Chris Anderson’s past work on Haitian migrants who attempted to enter the United States way back in 2000. Together with journalist Mike Finkel, the two documented the journey of 44 Haitians over treacherous waters in their 23-foot boat. Their journey ended disastrously with the boat sinking in the Caribbean.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Migration Makes Us All Richer



By Leonard Doyle

Photo courtesy of of Mashable.com.

As endorsements go, having Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg tell the world about the vital contribution of migration to our economic well-being is hard to top.

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?


By Leonard Doyle

WHEN migration hits the news, the outcome is often unnerving. The way the subject is handled by journalists can be either inflammatory or reassuring and is all too often the former.

When Migrants are Seen as a Blessing not a Scourge

By Leonard Doyle

Lets face it, "migration is the original strategy for people seeking to escape poverty, mitigate risk, and build a better life. It has been with us since the dawn of mankind, and its economic impact today is massive."

That these words were published on the eve of St Patrick's Day, by an Irishman - a country with a long track record in migration - is not a surprise. Sutherland's words resonate in today's globalised world because migrants’ remittances are literally pulling the economies of countries of origin up by their bootstraps.

The Double Danger of Being both a Migrant and a Woman


By IOM Director General William Lacy Swing

In today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world, migration has become an integral part of the lives of over 100 million women. At different stages of their lives, a growing proportion of these women leave their familiar surroundings to study, work, marry, reunite with their families or flee a dangerous situation.

UN High Level Dialogue to Tackle International Migration and Development

By Karoline Popp

If you are interested in how States deal with migration multilaterally, 2013 is a big year. On 3-4 October 2013, Member States of the UN will come together – for the second time in the history of the General Assembly – to debate international migration, in the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.