In an era of ‘post-truth’ politics and ‘fake news’, an accurate explanation of international migration has never been more important.

The term 'migration' describes a wide variety of movements and situations involving people from all backgrounds. More than ever before, migration touches every state in an era of deepening globalization. It provides enormous opportunities for countries, businesses and communities. Not all migration occurs in positive circumstances, however.

In recent years, an increase in migration and displacement has occurred due to conflict, persecution, environmental degradation and change, and a profound lack of human security and opportunity. While most international migration occurs legally, irregular migration causes the greatest insecurities for migrants - and much of the public concern about immigration.

The prominence of migration in the news and as a public policy issue has never been more pronounced. Migration is seen as a high priority policy issue by politicians, governments, and the public. Its relevance to economic prosperity, human development and safety and security ensures it will remain so. This is becoming more pronounced on an international level, too. Incremental advances in international cooperation continue, as states commit to a Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018.

A day rarely goes by without multiple media reports focusing on aspects of migration, and frequently negative ones. The need for balanced accounts of migration, drawing on current evidence and analysis, has never been greater. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has an obligation to demystify migration for leaders, policymakers, practitioners, researchers, students and the general public.

Three new IOM initiatives involving collaboration and knowledge partnerships have been designed to do this:

- Migration Research Leaders’ Syndicate

Migration Transformation Map

The IOM has collaborated on the interactive Migration Transformation Map through our partnership with the World Economic Forum. The map presents the drivers underpinning migration through an interactive digital framework. It synthesizes current analysis of key drivers, such as inequality, uneven development, demographic trends, conflict and insecurity, and their intersection with other transforming phenomena, including urbanization, advances in telecommunications and shifts in security, governance and regulatory environments. It is a visual reference that illustrates how migration is a mega-trend of our time, and how it shapes other areas of global economic and social life.

World Migration Report 2018

This report is the ninth in the World Migration Report series. Since 2000, IOM has been producing the series to increase understanding throughout the world. It provides a balanced account of migration at a time when the space for evidence and knowledge seems to be shrinking, and when facts and expertise increasingly take a back seat to opinion and politics. The series is one of the IOM’s key outputs.

Image: IOM, World Migration Report 2018

The World Migration Report 2018 heralds a revitalized series designed to provide a current snapshot of migration, as well as a strategic view of the complex and emerging migration issues facing us globally. Readers will learn about migration and migrants at both the global and regional level. The report provides an overview of the main producers of migration research and analysis, upon which we all rely to understand and respond to changing migration dynamics.

Several thematic chapters are presented on topics such as global governance, transnational connectivity, migrant journeys, violent extremism and media representations of migration and migrants. A highly collaborative undertaking, the World Migration Report 2018 draws upon IOM’s extensive field work, as well as the expertise of scholars and applied researchers from around the world.

Migration Research Leaders’ Syndicate

IOM has established the Migration Research Leaders’ Syndicate to support the development of the 2018 Global Compact on Migration. We have invited migration experts from all over the world with deep knowledge of a wide variety of aspects of migration to offer evidence-based ideas on encouraging safe, orderly and regular migration. The 36 Syndicate members and 9 advisers come from every continent, encompassing origin, transit and destination country perspectives.

As part of its contribution to the Compact process, we have provided the space and framework for the production of 26 short technical papers by Syndicate members on a range of salient topics. These include: global migration governance challenges; safeguarding migrant workers’ rights; combatting migrant smuggling and human trafficking; enhancing regular migration pathways; return and reintegration; migration narratives; and mobilizing partners for action. The technical papers offer innovative ideas and examples of effective solutions that draw on the existing, substantial evidence base and that are focused on practical implementation at the global and regional levels.