Association for Protection of Refugee Women & Children. HAMI
انجمن حمایت از زنان و کودکان پناهنده. حامی

Since 2000, IOM has been producing world migration reports. The World Migration Report 2022, the eleventh in the world migration report series, has been produced to contribute to an increased understanding of migration throughout the world. This new edition presents key data and information on migration as well as thematic chapters on highly topical migration issues.

روز جهانی مهاجرت

The vast majority of people continue to live in the countries in which they were born —only one in 30 are migrants.

In most discussions on migration, the starting point is usually numbers. Understanding changes in scale, emerging trends and shifting demographics related to global social and economic transformations, such as migration, help us make sense of the changing world we live in and plan for the future. The current global estimate is that there were around 281 million international migrants in the world in 2020, which equates to 3.6 per cent of the global population.

Overall, the estimated number of international migrants has increased over the past five decades. The total estimated 281 million people living in a country other than their countries of birth in 2020 was 128 million more than in 1990 and over three times the estimated number in 1970.

Available data reflect an overall increase in remittances in recent decades, from $126 billion in 2000 to $702 billion in 2020. Despite predictions of a large decline in international remittances due to COVID-19, 2020 saw only a slight drop (2.4%) from the 2019 global total.

International remittances are financial or in-kind transfers made by migrants directly to families or communities in their countries of origin.

The World Bank compiles global data on international remittances, notwithstanding the myriad data gaps, definitional differences and methodological challenges in compiling accurate statistics. Its data, however, do not capture unrecorded flows through formal or informal channels, and the actual magnitude of global remittances are therefore likely to be larger than available estimates.

In 2020, India, China, Mexico, the Philippines and Egypt were (in descending order) the top five remittance recipient countries, although India and China were well above the rest, with total inward remittances exceeding $83 billion and $59 billion, respectively.

High-income countries are almost always the main source of remittances. For decades, the United States has consistently been the top remittance-sending country, with a total outflow of $68 billion in 2020, followed by the United Arab Emirates ($43.2 billion), Saudi Arabia ($34.6 billion), Switzerland ($27.96 billion), and Germany ($22 billion).

COVID-19-related immobility has become the “great disrupter” of migration.

COVID-19 has been the most severe pandemic in a century, with its combination of high transmission, virus strains and the severity of the disease forcing policymakers into previously uncharted territory.

While the main focus has necessarily been on responding to the global health crisis (e.g. virus testing, disease treatment, and vaccination development and programming), part of the response has involved drastic changes to freedom of movement of people all around the world, which in turn has massively impacted human mobility globally.

Governments around the world implemented various measures to limit the spread of the virus, and a range of restrictions were introduced from early 2020, evolving over time.

New data sets emerged to track policy responses globally, such as the University of Oxford Covid19 Government Response Tracker, which has recorded a wide range of government responses globally, such as “stay-at-home” measures, workplace closures, school closures, restrictions on gatherings, restrictions on internal movements within a country, and international travel control measures.

Overall, COVID-19 travel restriction measures – both internal and international – were quickly put in place by the vast majority of countries around the world, with the peak occurring in late March to early April 2020.

Some countries stopped all entry of foreign citizens, some banned citizens of specific countries, while even further, some countries completely closed borders to stop departure and entry of all people, including their own citizens. Quarantine measures were also introduced by some countries, requiring passengers entering a country to be quarantined in isolation for a minimum period (typically 10 to 14 days) immediately upon arrival.

Both targeted and general movement recommendations/restrictions were put in place by various countries around the world. However, while international travel restrictions of some sort remained in place in all countries globally one year after the World Health Organization’s declaration of the pandemic on 10 March 2020, internal restrictions declined over time.

International travel restrictions were more likely (than internal controls) to have been enacted early in the pandemic. But there was a greater variety of control measures during the initial weeks (including screening early on), probably due to governments needing to assess the severity of the crisis during a period of extraordinary uncertainty. Moreover, measures such as total border closures, enacted by most countries in the early weeks and months of the pandemic, eased over time and by July 2021, most countries had dropped such controls.

Measures to control internal movement between cities/regions came into force slightly later than international travel restrictions. While these measures have declined over time, a third of all countries still had internal travel restrictions in place one year after the pandemic commenced.

Over time, travel/border restrictions and health-related measures have changed as the technology and logistical capacity supporting health-related measures has been developed and rolled out. Pre-travel testing, quarantine and vaccination-certificated entry being rolled out by different countries saw the travel restrictions being overtaken by health-related measures in October 2020, as shown by IOM’s COVID-19 Mobility data.

Europe and Asia each hosted around 87 and 86 million international migrants, respectively – comprising 61% of the global international migrant stock.

These regions were followed by North America, with almost 59 million international migrants in 2020 or 21 percent of the global migrant stock, Africa at 9 per cent, Latin America and the Caribbean at 5 per cent, and Oceania at 3 percent.

When compared with the size of the population in each region, shares of international migrants in 2020 were highest in Oceania, North America and Europe, where international migrants represented, respectively, 22 per cent, 16 per cent and 12 per cent of the total population. In comparison, the share of international migrants is relatively small in Asia and Africa (1.8% and 1.9%, respectively) and Latin America and the Caribbean (2.3%).

However, Asia experienced the most remarkable growth from 2000 to 2020, at 74 per cent (around 37 million people in absolute terms). Europe experienced the second-largest growth during this period, with an increase of 30 million international migrants, followed by an increase of 18 million international migrants in North America and 10 million in Africa.

The proportion of international migrants varies significantly around the world.

The great majority of people do not migrate across borders; much larger numbers migrate within countries (an estimated 740 million internal migrants in 2009). That said, the increase in international migrants has been evident over time – both numerically and proportionally – and at a slightly faster rate than previously anticipated.

Although there is only a small proportion of the world’s population overall who are international migrants (3.6%), there exists wide variation at the country level. In some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, over 88% of the population are international migrants.

Multiple factors have shaped migration “corridors” over the years.

Long-term data shows that international migration is not uniform across the world but is shaped by economic, geographic, demographic and other factors resulting in distinct migration patterns, such as migration “corridors” developed over many years.

Migration corridors represent an accumulation of migratory movements over time and provide a snapshot of how migration patterns have evolved into significant foreign-born populations in specific destination countries

Migration and the lottery of birth

Examining the overall quality of life by country, and the ability to migrate in terms of visa access, reveals that the availability of migration options is partly related to the lottery of birth and in particular the national passport of the potential migrant. It appears, for instance, that some nationality groups are much less likely to have access to visas and visa-free arrangements.

The Henley Passport Index, a global ranking of countries according to the entry freedom of their citizens, for example, reveals that an individual’s ability to enter a country with relative ease is in many respects determined by nationality. Visa access also broadly reflects a country’s status and relations within the international community and indicates how stable, safe and prosperous it is in relation to other countries.

The data also show two other aspects: that there are some significant differences between highly ranked human development countries and others; and that mid-ranked development countries can be significant source, transit and destination countries simultaneously.

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