The false dichotomy between ‘economic migrants’ and refugees

The international community is faced with a tragic and challenging situation. Raging conflicts, natural disasters, environmental degradation, and blatantly unequal sharing of resources have put tens of millions of people on the move.

Jobs for the Bots

What’s the biggest threat to your job security? A migrant from a developing country who will work for less than you? Or that smart intern, wowing your boss? 

Migration in a Globalized World

By Joost van der Aalst, Chief of Mission, IOM Norway

In April, I spoke at Amnesty Norway’s Euronation festival in Tromsø. It was a great event that spoke volumes about northern Norway’s commitment to international development. As organisations, IOM and Amnesty have much in common: we work in hundreds of countries across the world, we have been operating for over half a century, we are independent and, perhaps most importantly, we exist to promote human rights and international law.

Visualizing Return

By Carina Wint, IOM Norway

Twenty seven year old Besara Simoni and her husband Edmond came to Norway in 2013 in the hope of a building a new life. Besara hoped that Edmond would be able to receive treatment for his serious illness: her plan was to find a good job that would support them both.

Food for thought: Global influences on American Cuisine

By Charles Kinney Jr.

Growing up in upstate New York, I never questioned that Monday night was pizza night. We ate warm bagels with butter, tacos were a necessity and the neighbor’s gołąbki was, sadly, better than ours. In Washington, DC, business lunches with injera or toppoki were normal.

The Disaster Risk Reduction Agenda

By Daniel Salmon 

The Fourth Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) took place between the 21st and 23rd of May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. Recognising the GPDRR as the world's foremost gathering of stakeholders committed to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) IOM participated in the platform highlighting its global Disaster Risk Reduction and migration strategy.

In line with Platform's objectives of information exchange and knowledge and partnership building, IOM underlined how human mobility plays a dual role in determining vulnerability and resilience to disasters. IOM brought to floor the specific protection needs of internal and international migrants caught in disasters, highlighting the importance of preventing forced migration and providing adequate assistance and protection for affected people. 

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The Climate Change Agenda

By Daria Mokhnacheva 

Migration was first formally introduced into the negotiations on climate change under the Cancun Adaptation Framework in 2010, as paragraph 14(f) of the Cancun Agreements explicitly called for more research and coordinated efforts to address "climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation".

Another result of the Cancun talks was the establishment of a new Work Programme on Loss and Damage, opening doors to new areas of research and action, including in relation to climate-induced migration. Loss and damage is a relatively recent topic, and initially a controversial one, as it derives from the recognition that mitigation and adaptation efforts are likely to fail in many situations, inducing economic, social and cultural loss and damage from the negative impacts of climate change. Developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change are expected to be affected most

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Building a common language on environmental migration

By Clara Crimella and Sieun Lee

Factoring migration into environmental and development policies as well as climate change adaptation strategies is seen as being of crucial importance. Facilitating regional exchanges among policymakers and practitioners on migration, environment and climate change was also a priority of the Asia-Pacific Training for Policymakers and Practitioners on Migration, Environment, Climate Change and Adaptation, Republic of Korea (21- 23 March 2013). 

It provided an up to date and comprehensive understanding of the issues from experts on migration and the environment. The training looked into concepts, terminology, legal issues, research tools, funding mechanisms and regional trends. It also explored how migration can be an adaptation practice, how migration can be included in climate and development policies, what are the humanitarian responses to forced migration in the context of natural disasters and complex crisis and how migration fits in disaster risk reduction policies. 

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Briefings from the Field

By Mark Koski with Peter Kern, Elham Pourazar and Bradley Mellicker

Indonesia:  West Java province is disaster prone and heavily populated. IOM Indonesia has developed a programme to strengthen Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacity and to enhance community resilience in seven districts. 

Namibia: With IOM's help, Namibia is enhancing its national disaster risk management capacity. Namibia suffers from floods, drought and fires but has shown strong commitment to increased disaster resilience. Activities are expanding to other countries in southern Africa.

Haiti: Before Tropical Storms Isaac and Sandy hit Haiti in August and October 2012, IOM helped carry out the first and second ever preventative evacuations of exposed communities in support of the government. 

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Newsmaker Interview: Michelle Yonetani

Interview by Mark Koski 

We had an opportunity to speak with Michelle Yonetani, the Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre's (IDMC) Senior Advisor on Natural Disasters about the recent publication of IDMC's annual report: A Global Estimates 2012: People Displaced by Disasters. The following is a brief interview about the publication. 

Could you give us a brief overview of the IDMC report and could you tell us about some of the key findings? 

The IDMC has published its Global Estimates report annually since 2008. The report was initially developed in collaboration with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), with whom IDMC developed a methodology for analyzing data and reporting. Since 2008, the methodology has been refined and the report has expanded the number of sources utilized- in particular through increased cooperation with IOM this year.

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