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14 January 2016

International Migration Flows to and from Selected Countries: The 2015 Revision (UN DESA, Population Division)

International Migration Surged 41 percent Since 2000: UN

United Nations -  The number of people who migrated to foreign countries surged by 41 percent in the last 15 years to reach 244 million in 2015, according to a United Nations study, writes Alexandra Olson for the Associated Press.

Of those people, 20 million are refugees. The UN is planning a series of meetings in 2016 to address migration, including a March 30 gathering in Geneva where countries can pledge to take in Syrians fleeing civil war. But while the Syrian refugee crisis has gripped the world's attention, it is just a drop in the sea of international migration.

The United States is the country with the largest portion of the world's migrants: 47 million or a fifth of the total. Germany and Russia shared the No. 2 spot with about 12 million each, followed by Saudi Arabia (10 million), Britain (9 million) and the United Arab Emirates (8 million.)

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Syrian refugees and migrants cross the Serbian-Croatian border. © Francesco Malavolta/IOM 2015

EU Failing to Deliver on Migration Plans

European Union member states and institutions are lagging behind on promises to better manage refugee flows, amid a growing public backlash, writes Nikolaj Nielsen in euobserver.

By contrast to the slow pace of joint measures, EU countries have taken snap unilateral measures, including border lockdowns in the heart of the Schengen free-travel zone, and tighter asylum laws in places such as Denmark, Germany, and Sweden.

With migrants increasingly stranded in Greece, the main point of entry to the EU, the European Commission has repeatedly voiced its frustration. Results need to be delivered in the coming "weeks and months”, according to Commission VP Frans Timmermans.

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Quote of the day

"Well-managed migration brings important benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants and their families." – Wu Hongbo, UN DESA Under-Secretary-General. More here.


Migration in the News

  • AP reported that Europe is continuing to see a high pace of migrant arrivals this year. Over 23,000 people have reached Greece and Italy by sea this month, according to IOM.

  • World Post ran an article by Simone Cipriani, founder of the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative, on the potential of migrants – both in Europe and when they return home.

  • Vocativ reported that with winter well underway, migrants and refugees have circulated warnings on Facebook urging others to avoid traveling via to Greece from Turkey by sea due to harsh weather conditions.

  • AFP and Latino Fox News reported that 180 of nearly 8,000 Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica have arrived in Guatemala by bus, bringing them a step closer to a new life in the US.

  • Nigeria’s Naij ran a photo story on the plight of internally displaced families in Maiduguri, Nigeria, uprooted by the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast of the country.

Trending on the Internet

  • New York Times reported on a statistical study showing that in the United States immigrants are far more law-abiding than natives, regardless of race, class or education.

  • Thomson Reuters reported that French authorities in Calais have provided new housing for migrants made from converted shipping containers to try to improve conditions and bring some order to the town’s notorious "jungle" migrant camp.

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