Inter-regional forums on migration (IRFs) are State-led, informal and non-binding dialogues on migration usually connecting two or more regions.
ISCMs bridging regions are called interregional forums on migration.
The term “interregional forum on migration” was used for the first time in 2008. The distinguishing feature is that these types of ISCMs connect two or more regions.
In the past all consultative processes on migration even if covering more than one region were referred to as “regional consultative processes”. To provide clarity, and to denote the difference between consultative processes in which participating States are located within a specific region and those where participating States are from different regions, they are now (since 2010) referred to as IRFs.
Like other ISCMs, IRFs share information and experiences and seek to find common solutions in the area of migration management and governance. They essentially have the same impact and value-add on migration management and governance as other ISCMs.
Characteristics of IRFs ( in addition to main characteristics of all ISCMs on https://www.iom.int/inter-state-consultation-mechanisms-migration )
- Interregional forums on migration (IRFs) bring together Member States from two or more regions.
- Sometimes these Member States join an IRF as a group of States or constituencies of a political and economic union.
- IRFs can be designed to bring together States along a "corridor migration ', Such As the 5 + 5 Dialogue on Migration in the Western Mediterranean which included ten countries, five on Each Side of the Mediterranean.
- IRFs may bring together groupings of countries, for example the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC) , which is comprised of the “traditional destination” countries.
- IRFs may be created by bringing together countries as regions of a concrete political and economic union and therefore involve in their dialogue these formal entities as well. In such IRFs inter-State discourse goes together with inter-institutional discourse on migration (for example the Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process ) facilitates dialogue among its 56 member States but also between the EU and the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Similarly the EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (Khartoum Process) is a dialogue of 40 States but it also facilitates EU-AU policy dialogue. This has allowed the Rabat Process and the Khartoum Process to be chosen to do the monitoring of the Joint Valletta Action Plan (JVAP)).
- IRFs may have a more varied constituency with their Member States representing different regions at times representing different ends of a migration corridor (destination countries and countries of origin).
- Due to this non-homogeneousity, member States in an IRF may have different , at times conflicting policy interests . The larger and varied membership, substantive differences in terms of migration dynamics, interests and desired outcomes make it more difficult to reach consensus and IRF discussion and documents may be even more informal and non-binding than those of RCPs comprised of countries in regions with high regional integration.
- Given that they consist of States in different geographic regions, the scope of their impact is significantly increased. IRFs are instrumental in shaping convergent approaches to the same migration issue across the regions. Their discussion benefit from effective practices of different regions and they facilitate discourse aimed towards interregional problem-solving.
IRFs share information and experiences and seek to find common solutions in the area of migration and the migration-development context. They thus also offer useful good practices and “lessons learned”. The IRFs address various areas of migration management: labor migration, migration and development, irregular migration, migrant's rights, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, etc. While it may be difficult to directly link IRFs to formal agreements at either regional or global levels, IRFs continue to play a significant role in enhancing policy coherence between participating States as well as at a broader global level, which often pave the way for subsequent formal agreements.
The largest active IRF is the Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process) bringing together 56 States from Africa and Europe.
The smallest active IRF is the 5 + 5 Dialogue on Migration in Western Mediterranean with 10 Member States from Europe and Africa.
The oldest currently active IRFs are the InterGovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC) [the latter is the oldest ISCM established in 1985] and the Budapest Process [established in 1993]. The most recently established IRF is the Pan-African Forum on migration (established in 2015). Another IRF, the Migration Dialogue for the Indian Ocean Commission Countries (MiDIOCC), is in the process of formalization in 2020.
IRFs addressing a concrete area of migration management include the Bali Process (with 45 Member States from Europe, Asia, Americas and the Middle East) dedicated to countering migrant smuggling, human trafficking and related transnational crime and the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (bringing together 18 Member States from Asia and the Middle East, 12 out of which constitute another RCP, the Colombo Process ) addressing labor mobility.
IRFs per region
- Currently active IRFs
Africa - Europe
5 + 5 Dialogue on Migration in the Western Mediterranean
EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (Khartoum Process)
Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process)
Asia - Europe
Europe - Asia - Americas
InterGovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC)
Europe - Asia - Americas - the Middle East
Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime
- Emerging IRFs
- Dormant IRFs (per region)
Africa - Asia - Americas - Europe
African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) - European Union (EU) Dialogue on Migration (ACP-EU MD)
Africa - Europe - the Middle East
Mediterranean Transit Migration (MTM)
EU-Caucasus Cluster Process
Soderkoping Process / Eastern Partnership Panel on Migration, Mobility and Integrated Border Management
IOM's Role in IRFs
At the request of participating States, IOM participates in several IRFs in various capacities, either as member or observer organization, as secretariat, and as technical expert - undertaking research studies, implementing agreed project activities, providing policy advice and carrying out capacity building activities.
IOM is a member organization of the Bali Process , the Budapest Process and the IGC .
IOM is an Observer organization of the 5 + 5 Dialogue on Migration in the Western Mediterranean ; the Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process) ; teaEuropean Union - Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (Khartoum Process) ; Ibero-American Forum on Migration and Development (FIBEMYD) ; the Ibero-American Network of Migration Authorities (RIAM) ; Abu Dhabi Dialogue ; Pan-African Forum on migration (PAFOM) , as well as the Migration Dialogue for the Indian Ocean Commission Countries (MiDIOCC) .
IOM serves as the technical secretariat to the Ibero-American Network of Migration Authorities (RIAM) , is the de facto secretariat of the Bali Process and administratively hosts the IGC Secretariat.
- ISCM Key Documents
- 2016 Compendium of RCP / IRF Updates
- ISCM Map
- ISCM Table
- Brochures on ISCMs
- (EN | FR | ES | RU | AR)
- GRCP Brochure (EN | FR | ES | RU | AR)
- References to ISCMs in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and the Global compact for migration Modalities Resolution
- ISCM Factsheet (EN | FR | ES | RU | AR)
- Overview of Principal ISCMs
- Summary of the Results of the Survey on ISCMs’ and partners’ contribution to the global compact for migration
- Significant International Statements on Migration: A Thematic Compilation (Geneva: IOM, 2004, CD-ROM)
- The contribution of regional consultative processes on migration to the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (2017)
- IOM guidance note on GCM regional consultations (2017)
- References to Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms on Migration in the Zero draft Rev 1 of the Global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (2018)
- References to Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms in Migration and Other Regional Actors in the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” (2018)
- References to Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms in Migration and Other Regional Actors in the Resolution on International Migration Review Forums (2019)
- Roundtable Session 3.3: How Can Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) and Inter-Regional Fora (IRF) Best Include the Migration
- GFMD RT Session 3.3: Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs), Inter-regional Consultative Fora and Regional Organizations and Economic
- Expert Paper on Interstate Consultation Mechanisms “International Migration Management through Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms. Focus on Regional Consultative Processes on Migration, IOM’s International Dialogue on Migration and the Berne Initiative” (2005)
- MRS 3: The Role of RCPs in Managing International Migration (2001)
- MRS 38: Assessment of Principal RCPs (2010)
- MRS 45: Regional Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms on Migration: Approaches, Recent Activities and Implications for Global Governance of Migration (2013)
- The role of inter-State consultation mechanisms on migration in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (2018) (EN | FR | ES | RU | AR)
- Advancing a common understanding of migration governance across regions. GRCP 8 Summary Report (2019)
- Advancing a common understanding of migration governance across regions. ISCM Assessment Report (2019)
- Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms on Migration (ISCM) and the Review of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM): Summary Report of the High-level Webinars (2020)
- ISCM Calendar
- ISCM Highlights Newsletter
- Regional consultative processes on migration
- African Union Horn of Africa Initiative on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling (AU HoAI)
- Almaty Process on Refugee Protection and International Migration
- Arab Regional Consultative Process (ARCP)
- Central American Commission of Migration Directors (OCAM)
- Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT Process)
- Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA)
- Migration Dialogue for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Region (MID-IGAD or IGAD-RCP)
- Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA)
- Migration Dialogue from COMESA Member States (MIDCOM, formerly COMESA RCP)
- Pacific Immigration Directors’ Conference (PIDC)
- Prague Process
- Regional Conference on Migration (RCM or Puebla Process)
- Regional Consultative Process on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia (Colombo Process)
- Regional Ministerial Forum on Harmonizing Labor Migration Policies in East and Horn of Africa A United Approach on Safe, Regular and Humane Labor Migration (Nairobi Process)
- South American Conference on Migration (SACM)
Global processes on migration
- Asia-Pacific Consultations on Refugees, Displaced Persons and Migrants (APC)
- CIS Conference (Regional Conference to Address the Problems of Refugees, Displaced Persons, Other Forms of Involuntary Displacement and Returnees in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and Relevant Neighboring Countries)
- Manila Process
- Migration Dialogue for Central African States (MIDCAS)