Prepare now for future migration surge, says IOM

Decisions taken by local authorities on land use, building regulations and access to health services probably affect migrants more than decisions taken nationally, “yet in most countries, migration policy is set at the national level with little attention to capacity-building at the local level, where policy is usually implemented,” says the new World Migration Report 2010

The report, published every two years by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), highlights several such gaps, and explores the extent to which countries are prepared for a surge in migration over the coming decades. The current number of 214 million migrants globally, according to IOM, could rise to 405 million by 2050.

It says new trends in migration could be affected by varying rates of population growth (slowing in the developed world and prompting an even greater demand for labour); environmental change; and shifts in the global economy.

The current “lull” in international migration due to economic recession, IOM says, should be used by countries to prepare for larger flows of people: capacity-building and better managed databases could be areas to look at. The report provides a self-evaluation checklist to help countries and organizations assess their preparedness levels.