New Project to Strengthen Data-Informed and Migrant-Centred Migration Management Frameworks in India

New Delhi – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in India, the India Centre for Migration (ICM), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) this week (23/03) formally launched the project Strengthening Data-Informed and Migrant-Centred Migration Management Frameworks in India.

The joint initiative has been developed in response to Government of India’s (GoI) investment in strengthening the availability of comprehensive labour migration data to facilitate gainful labour migration for aspiring migrants.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on labour migration and mobility, IOM’s new project is committed to strengthening the evidence-base on migration to ensure increased preparedness, resilience, and recovery, and to facilitate the transition towards safe and well-managed labour mobility. The project aims to improve migration data collection and management frameworks in India, and create new initiatives to promote and facilitate labour migration from India to emerging markets in Europe.

The virtual project launch was inaugurated by Mr Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV & OIA), MEA and Chairman of ICM. The event was opened by Mr Sarat Dash, IOM Chief of Mission for Sri Lanka and the Maldives and the Director General’s Special Envoy to India, and Mr Abbagani Ramu, Joint Secretary (OIA-I), MEA.

Mr Sanjay Awasthi, Head of Office of IOM India, Dr Surabhi Singh, Chief Administrative Officer of ICM, and Dr. Frank Laczko, Director of GMDAC, introduced the participants to the project framework.

Interventions and insights were provided by leading migration experts and practitioners including Mr Benoît Sauveroche, First Counsellor at the Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan, Dr. S.K. Sasikumar, Senior Fellow at V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, and Dr Sureshkumar Madhusudhanan, Chairman and Managing Director of Seagull Group of Companies, one of the largest international migrant recruitment agencies.

In his inaugural address, Mr Bhattacharyya said “This partnership between IOM and our think-tank ICM will explore global best practices in data management and will boost the availability of timely, accessible, reliable, disaggregated and comparable data which is essential to produce informed policies, action and public opinion,” adding that that the involvement of GMDAC will be an asset in these efforts. Furthermore, he shared, “I am happy that gender related aspects find focus in this project. Achieving a gender balanced migration strategy is a key priority for the government. I hope we shall further mainstream gender sensitive migration policies as well as ensure our migrant workers are equipped with the right skills and tools for the emerging destinations.”

Introducing the project framework, Mr Awasthi highlighted that “through targeted interventions, IOM aims to improve migration data collection and management frameworks, strengthen the available knowledgebase on emerging labour markets and trends in Europe, and foster multi-stakeholder engagement to support the development of data-informed and migrant-centred policies and programmes.” He also added that the project will contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially target 10.7 “to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people,” key objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), and IOM’s Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF).

During the two-year initiative, IOM will work in collaboration with ICM, MEA, GMDAC, and key government, academia, civil society, industry, and migrant community stakeholders. “For such exercises, partnerships and collaborations are crucial, and against this backdrop, ICM is extremely pleased to enter into collaboration with IOM on this project,” added Dr Surabhi Singh, Chief Administrative Officer of ICM.

Dr Frank Laczko, Director of GMDAC, extended his team’s support for the project and added, “As IOM’s data analysis center, [GMDAC] offers an international perspective to this project as we work with many different countries to provide training and guidance on migration data and statistics.”

In his intervention, Mr. Sauveroche extended his best wishes and the European Union’s support for the initiative. He emphasized the importance of common definitions and mutual understandings on migration data as an essential basis for constructive and robust bilateral dialogues, to ensure that policy makers have the ability to make decisions based on evidence rather than assumptions, perceptions and biases.

The Project Brochure can be downloaded here.

For further information please contact Sreyashi Bhattacharyya, IOM Project Officer, Email: