News

World Migration Report 2013 on Migrant Well-being Calls for Attention to South-South Migrants

iomlogo13 September 2013: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released the seventh report in its World Migration Report series, for the first time focusing on the well-being of migrants as individuals.

The report draws on findings of a Gallup World Poll conducted with over 25,000 migrants in more than 150 countries. The research compares measures of migrant well-being across different migration pathways: North-South, South-South, South-North and North-North. North-North migrants reported the greatest gains from migrating, and South-South migrants the greatest degrees of struggle. The report says that, while most attention has focused the situation of migrants in countries of the North, South-South migrants are most vulnerable.

IOM Director-General William Lacy Swing called for more evidence regarding emerging trends in migration and their implications for the post-2015 development agenda.

The organization emphasized the need to rethink traditional views of migrants as being predominantly South-North labor flows in search of income, noting that just 8% of migrants working in the South and 27% of those in the North report sending remittances to family overseas. The report shows that people migrating from countries of the global South to countries of the North make up 40% of the total, 33% move between countries of the South. A further 22% move between countries of the North, and 5% from the North to the South.

The report notes that migration is experienced differently among different categories of migrants, for example, students, labor migrants, irregular or undocumented migrants, and those stranded through conflicts or disasters.

The report calls for: placing migrants at the center of the debate; maintaining a focus on human wellbeing in development discussions; understanding migration as more than a South-North phenomenon; and recognizing that many migrants around the world still struggle. It argues for understanding migrant well-being through comparisons with individuals of similar profiles in their home countries, as well as with native-born individuals. It proposes that a global barometer of migrant well-being be developed using the Gallup World Poll for regular monitoring. [Publication: World Migration Report 2013: Migrant Well-being and Development] [Overview]  [IOM press release]