The registration of irregular migrants and asylum seekers and collection of biometric data in European Union Member States has become increasingly relevant for migration and border management in the European Union. Exchange of data between national authorities in the European Union is facilitated by three main databases – European Asylum Dactyloscopy (Eurodac); (b) Schengen Information System (SIS II); and (c) Visa Information System (VIS) – and supervised by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and data protection authorities of European Union Member States. Eurodac stores, processes and compares the digitalized fingerprints of asylum seekers, migrants apprehended at the European Union external border, and undocumented migrants apprehended within European Union Member States (the latter are not stored). The Eurodac regulation requires all countries to comply with their obligation to collect and transmit biometric data of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers to allow for a robust asylum process, according to European Union data protection legislation and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.Facilitating the functioning of the asylum, emergency relocation and return process in full compliance with fundamental rights, the “hotspot” approach seems to be a model for effective migration data management, highlighting the benefits of collaboration between relevant agencies and the existence of harmonized procedures.The introduction of the “hotspot” approach with the European Agenda on Migration (May 2015) – aimed to facilitate registration and identification of large numbers of migrants and asylum seekers arriving to Europe – contributed to a substantial increase of registration rates in Greece and Italy in 2016, relative to previous years.
The proposal, currently under scrutiny, to expand the functions of the Eurodac system beyond asylum processing to irregular migration and return – as set out in two recent Communications by the European Commission – will imply the need for careful consideration of data protection and fundamental rights issues.
Produced by the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, the report More Than Numbers takes us beyond the well-known challenges of migration data and illustrates its potential value. The authors estimate that better data could boost benefits of migration by at least USD 35 billion based on a number of case examples. The report shows how data enables policymakers to protect migrants in vulnerable situations, fill labour market shortages, improve integration, manage asylum procedures, ensure the humane return of migrants ordered to leave and increase remittances (to name only a few). This report urges governments to put data at the centre of the debate on migration. It describes the value at stake across various dimensions of migration and provides guidance on where investments in data should be directed to deliver the most impactful outcomes. The time to invest in better migration data is now. In 2016, countries agreed to start negotiations, leading towards the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018. Just one year before, migration was included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As countries have joined together on a path towards increased cooperation and action on migration, investment in data will be crucial for its success.
There are specific risk factors associated with increased migrant vulnerability to exploitation, violence, abuse and human trafficking, according to a new report published yesterday (21/12) by IOM, the UN Migration Agency. The report, titled Migrant Vulnerability to Human Trafficking and Exploitation: Evidence from the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Migration Routes, analyses quantitative data on vulnerability factors, as well as personal experiences of abuse, violence, exploitation, and human trafficking collected over the past two years from 16,500 migrants in seven countries. While other IOM reports have documented the scale of exploitation on the main migration routes to Europe, this report is the first to identify key factors associated with increased vulnerability to exploitation and human trafficking during the journey. The data comes from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).
Since 2000, IOM has been producing world migration reports. This World Migration Report 2018, the ninth in the world migration report series is meant to better contribute to increase the understanding of current and strategic migration issues throughout the world. It presents key data and information on migration as well as thematic chapters on highly topical migration issues, and is structured to focus on two key contributions for readers: Part I: key information on migration and migrants (including migration-related statistics); and Part II: balanced, evidence-based analysis of complex and emerging migration issues. The two parts are intended to provide both overview information that helps to explain migration patterns and processes globally and regionally, and insights and recommendations on major issues that policymakers are or soon will be grappling with.
Since 2014, the International Organization for Migration has recorded the deaths of nearly 25,000 migrants. This figure is a significant indicator of the human toll of unsafe migration, yet fails to capture the true number of people who have died or gone missing during migration. This report, the third volume in the Fatal Journeys series, focuses on improving data on migrant fatalities. It is published in two parts. Part 1 critically examines the existing and potential sources of data on missing migrants. Part 2 focuses on six key regions across the world, discussing the regional data challenges and context of migrant deaths and disappearances.
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, today joins the European Union (EU), other European countries and partners throughout the region and beyond in marking the 11th EU AntiTrafficking Day. It is observing the day through a series of events and is releasing two publications on victims of trafficking. IOM today published its “Global Trafficking Trends in Focus” summary, which analyses IOM’s victim of trafficking data from 2006 to 2016. The analysis is based on data from 50,000 victims of trafficking that have been assisted by IOM during this period, which is the largest database of human trafficking case data worldwide. Later this year, IOM and partners will be launching the CounterTrafficking Data Collaborative, which will make more of this data available to the public and will be the first primary, global data repository on human trafficking, with data contributed by counter-trafficking partner organizations around the world. Last month, IOM released Harrowing Journeys, a joint report with UNICEF based on the testimonies of some 22,000 migrants and refugees, including some 11,000 children and youth, interviewed by IOM on the Eastern and Central Mediterranean migration routes. IOM is also publishing the official English version of the Report: “Human Trafficking through the Central Mediterranean Route”, produced this year by IOM Italy in the framework of the activities carried out by Anti-Trafficking teams deployed at landing points in Sicily, Apulia and Calabria. The report highlights how women and unaccompanied children of Nigerian nationality are among those most at risk of being trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The number of Nigerian women and girls that arrived by sea has increased by 600 per cent between 2014 and 2016.
Since 2014, more than 22,500 migrant deaths and disappearances have been recorded by the International Organization for Migration globally. The real figure could be much higher, but many deaths are never recorded. Fatal Journeys Volume 3 – Part 1 provides a global review of existing data sources, and illustrates the need for improvements in the ways that data on missing migrants are collected, analysed and communicated.
The report highlights three key ways in which to improve the collection, sharing and reporting of data on missing migrants. First, a growing number of innovative sources of data on missing migrants, such as “big data”, could be used to improve data on migrant fatalities. Second, much more could be done to gather data to increase identification rates, such as developing intraregional mechanisms to share data more effectively. Third, improving data on missing migrants also requires more thought and improved practice in the use and communication of such data. Improving information and reporting on who these missing migrants are, where they come from, and above all, when they are most at risk, is crucial to building a holistic response to reduce the number of migrant deaths.
This report contains an analysis of the responses provided by migrants and refugees traveling along the Central Mediterranean and the Eastern Mediterranean routes. The Central Mediterranean sample is composed of 2,769 responses of migrants interviewed in 39 different locations in Italy. The Eastern Mediterranean route has a sample of 2,560 interviews with migrants conducted in 21 different locations in Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Egypt has released a publication entitled, Promoting a Common Understanding of Migration Trends which proposes an alternative and innovative methodology for interpreting economic migration flows. The model presented in the publication helps in building evidence-based labour market and demographic scenarios to support countries of origin and destination of labour migrants in improving managing migration flows in an economically efficient and humane way, for the benefit of all. The publication is written by IOM Consultant Prof. Michele Bruni, whose research for over 20 years has focused on the development of stock and flow models and their application to the analysis of the labour market.