IGC

Type: Interregional forum on migration (regions covered: Europe – Asia – Americas)

Formal association with regional or multi-stakeholder organization: None

Established: 1985

Objectives
The Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC) is an informal, non-decision-making forum for inter-governmental information exchange and policy debate on all issues of relevance to the management of international migratory flows.  IGC is considered as the first inter-state consultation mechanism on migration. 

Current Thematic Focus
IGC places its principal focus on the exchange of national strategy, policy, best practices and data. Areas of thematic focus include:

  • Asylum and refugees
  • Border management, technology, admission, control and enforcement
  • Data (asylum, removal) and forecasting, Country of origin information
  • Immigration
  • Integration, settlement and citizenship
  • Multidisciplinary Approach (country- and theme-specific)
  • Return, reintegration and readmission

Members [referred by IGC as “Participants”]

Member States [called by IGC “Participating States”] (17 States)

Australia
Belgium
Canada
Denmark
Finland
Germany
Greece
Ireland
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Spain
Sweeden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States of America

Note: Founding Members: Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and UK. 

Member organizations [called by IGC “Participating organisations”) (3 organizations)

Chairing Country
Current Chair: Norway
Incoming chair: Spain (2018-2019)
Past chairs: Belgium (2015-2016), Australia (2014-2015)

Observers
Observer States ​(1 State)
   Portugal                                      
​Observer organizations
European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex)

Working Groups
IGC has the following working groups:

  • Asylum and Refugees Working Group
  • Country of Origin Information Working Group
  • Admission, Control and Enforcement Working Group
  • Technology Working Group
  • Immigration Working Group
  • Integration Working Group

Secretariat
IGC Secretariat is administratively hosted by the International Organization for Migration, under the terms of an Administrative Agreement.

Contact Information
Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Consultation on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC)
Rue de Vermont 37-39
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel:  +41 (0) 229196600
Fax: +41 (0) 229196610
E-mail: admin@igc.ch

Webpage
www.igc.ch

Meetings
December 14-15, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Mini Full Round. Focus on IGC Chair’s theme on “Preparing for Future Migration Scenarios: IGC States’ Response to Large Scale Migratory Movements”  second pillar on “Management of Individual Cases in Time of High Level Migration Flows”, and update on Global Compacts for migration and on refugees.
December 5-7, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Country of Origin Information Working Group Meeting “COI management, COI communication and Country specific workshop on Bangladesh”.
November 21-22, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Immigration Working Group Meeting “Selective skilled migration”.
November 2-3, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Working Group Meeting “Integration – approaches to communicating”.
October 30-31, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Technology Working Group Meeting “Smart Borders, data management, protection, sharing and governance, technology linked to identity management and verification and the automation of business processes”.
October 25-26, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Asylum and Refugees Working Group “Investigations in asylum determination with a focus on the use of social media”.
October 11-13, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Combined meeting of the Admission, Control and Enforcement Working Group “Future of Borders, Intelligence and Information Sharing management” and the Workshop on “Control Issues Workshop – Risk Profiling and Abuse of Documents”.
August 31 – September 1, 2017, London, United Kingdom, Workshop on Effective Approaches to Tackle Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Smuggling
May 30-31, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Country of Origin Information WG Meeting “Selected/emerging management issues, Task force on collaboration and sharing, impact of country guidance on COI production, Fast COI”.
May 16-17, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Integration Working Group meeting “Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants: role of language integration, focus on language and the work place, testing and other assessment techniques, educational support”.
May 2-5, 2017, Svalbard, Spitsbergen, Norway, Full Round. Focus on IGC Chair’s theme on “Preparing for Future Migration Scenarios: IGC States’ Response to Large Scale Migratory Movements” first two pillars on Current and future perspectives on migration flows and National Preparedness and Emergency Planning, and update on Global Compacts for migration and refugees.
April 6-7, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Admission, Control and Enforcement Working Group Meeting “Detention, return, readmission: return to selected countries, focus on forced returns, return of criminals”.
March 30-31, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Immigration Working Group meeting “Low-and Less-Skilled Migration: trends, visa procedures, outcomes”.
March 23-24, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Technology Working Group Meeting “Developments in Biometrics (facial recognition, alternative to fingerprinting) and Smart Borders, Automated support to case processing, Follow up on big data, data analytics and governance”.
March 21-22, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland, Asylum and Refugees Working Group Meeting “Safe Country Concepts in IGC States, Country guidance and uses of COI”.
December 13-14, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, IGC Mini Full Round. Focus on the Chair’s theme “Management of Borders in Light of Contemporary Migration Challenges” – final discussion, Return and Readmission, and the Global Compacts for migration and refugees.
November 8-9, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Asylum and Refugees Working Group Meeting “New Issues in Refugee Law”.
November 3-4, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Chair’s theme workshop “Assessment of Border Management Approaches and Programmes”
November 2-4, 2016, Nuremberg, Germany, Integration Working Group Meeting “Cooperation with Employers in Supporting Integration”
November 2-3, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Admission, Control and Enforcement Working Group Meeting “Smuggling, Trafficking, Deterrence, Disruption, Intelligence Sharing (back to back with Chair’s Theme Workshop)”.
October 26-27, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Identity Establishment in Migration Procedures Developments on the meaning of identity, legal and operational challenges in identity resolution, effective practices, opportunities for improved cooperation (data sharing).
October 21, 2016, London, UK, Technology Working Group Meeting “Biometrics, Identify and Border Control, System Renewal and Overhaul (back to back with the Biometrics Conference)”
October 13-14, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Immigration Working Group Meeting “Business, Entrepreneurs and Investors Migration”
May 24-25, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Meeting of the Admission, Control and Enforcement Working Group.
May 18-20, 2016, Ghent, Belgium, IGC Full Round. Focus on IGC Chair’s theme on Management of Borders in Light of Contemporary Migration Challenges – Registration, Screening and Risk Management, Global Shared Responsibility for Protection and Migration Management, and Return and Reintegration.
April 27-28, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Meeting of the Integration Working Group “Integration of Adolescents and Young Adults”
April 21-22, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Immigration Working Group Meeting “Family Migration Policies and Practice”.
April 19-20, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Meeting of the Asylum and Refugees Working Group “Management of Borders in Light of Contemporary Migration Challenges from the Perspective of Asylum and Protection.
March 17-18, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Technology Working Group Meeting.
December 14-16, 2015, Geneva, Switzerland, Mini Full Round. Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the IGC. Focus on Challenges to International Protection and Asylum Policies: 30 years Overview, I GC States Responses to Massive Displacements, Borders and International Protection - Practical Solutions and Innovative Approaches, and Responses to Mass Displacement: Managing the Impact on Host Societies
April 28 – May 1, 2015, Sydney, Australia, Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Strengthening Public Confidence in Migration Policy and Practices, in particular the two pillars on Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships.
February 2-3, 2015, IGC Plus Consultations on the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative (MICIC).
November 19-21, 2014, Geneva, Switzerland, Mini Full Round. Focus on the Chair’s theme Strengthening Public Confidence in Migration Policy and Practice, with discussions on the Role of Evidence Base in Strengthening Public Confidence and Organisational Capability: Leadership and Crisis Resilience. Assisted Return and Reintegration Programmes, and Migration and Security were also discussed
November 4, 2014, Senior Official Workshop on Protection at Sea.
October 21, 2014, Workshop on Syria.
June 25, 2014, Workshop on Eritrea.
May 19-21, 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark, Full Round Meeting, focus on Increasing Economic and Trade Relations with Emerging Economies: Consequences for Immigration Systems.
December 12-13, 2013, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s Theme on “Increasing Economic and Trade Relations with Emerging Economies: Consequences for Immigration Systems” and discussion on Current and Emerging Protection Challenges.
April 21-25, 2013, Auckland, New Zealand. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Role and Influence of Employers in Migration,”- in particular the migration, integration and enforcement aspects, Transnational Crime and Migration, and preparations for the 2013 UN High Level Dialogue on Migration.
December 10-11, 2012, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the Chair’s theme on “The Role and Influence of Employers in Migration strategic discussion on chain management, and use of private actors for delivering immigration services, discussion on Chain Management, and Use of Private Actors for Delivering Immigration Services, and Update on Syria.
May 9-11, 2012, Berlin, Germany. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Motives for Migration”, and the Role of Assisted Voluntary Return in Migration Management.
November 29-30, 2011, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the Chair’s Theme on “Motives for Migration”, the Impact of Climate Change on Migration Management, and Return and Readmission.
May 16-19, 2011, Miami, Florida (USA). Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the Chair’s theme on “Humanitarian Responses to Crises with Migration Consequences”, Executing National Security and Humanitarian Missions Concurrently, Transatlantic Trends, and Public Perception of Migrants and Migration.
December 6-7, 2010, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on “Borders of Humanitarianism: Emergency Response and Migration Policy”, Streamlining Asylum Procedures, and Communication and Outreach on Asylum and Migration.
May 5-7, 2010, Helsinki, Finland. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Integration and Citizenship”, Future Challenges in Migration, Asylum and Refugee Protection, and Protection in the Region.
December 7-8, 2009, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the Chair’s Theme “Integration and Citizenship”, and Return.
May 14-15, 2009, Bern, Switzerland. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Skilled Labour Migration: Opportunities for National and International Cooperation,” and discussion on Migration Management in a time of Economic Crises.
December 8-9, 2008, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s Theme “Skilled Labour Migration – Opportunities for National and International Cooperation”, Recent and Future Trends in Labour Migration and the Impact of the Global Financial Crisis, Iraq, and follow-up to the Global Forum on Migration and Development.
May 19-21, 2008, Stockholm, Sweden. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Circular Migration”, discussion on International Migration from a Population Perspective, and Global Forum on Migration and Development.
December 3-4, 2007, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the Chair’s Theme “Circular Migration”, Labour Migration, and Global Forum on Migration and Development.
May 14-16, 2007, Dublin, Ireland. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Designing Effective Immigration Systems and plans for Immigration/Integration Working Group” and the Global Forum on Migration and Development.
December 6-7, 2006, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the Chair’s Theme on Designing Effective Immigration Systems and Follow-up to the UN High-Level Dialogue: the Global Forum on Migration and Development.
May 30-31, 2006, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Whole of Government Approach”, Immigration and Security, and UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.
December 5-6, 2005, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s Theme “Whole of government approach”, and the Report of the Global Commission on International Migration and UN High Level Dialogue.
May 10-12, 2005, Whistler, Canada. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Immigration Management”, New Partnerships for Durable Solutions, and IGC Strategic Review.
December 6, 2004, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. The focus was on Protection in the Region, and Informal Consultation with Global Commission on International migration.
May 12-14, 2004, Longyearbyen, Norway. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the Chair’s Theme, “Return”, Processing of Iraqi Asylum Applications and Return, Bern initiative & Global Commission on Migration, and Reflections from the Chair on the Future of the IGC.
November 18, 2003, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the Chair’s theme  “Return” and  Convention Plus and Protection in the Region.
April 3-4, 2003, Antwerp, Belgium. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the Chair’s theme on Registration, New International Approaches to Asylum Processing and Protection, the Situation of Iraqi and Afghan Asylum Seekers in IGC States.
December 10, 2002, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Registration for Migration Management” and discussion of UNHCR proposals on Convention Plus.
June 27-28, 2002, Oxford, United Kingdom. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Immigration and Security, Return and Readmission, and Future Perspectives on Asylum and Migration (policy evolution, new issues, regional cooperation).
November 29-30, 2001, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Security and Immigration (response to the terrorist attacks on 11 September), discussion of Afghan inflows (secondary movements, processing of claims, and assistance to the region of origin), and Managing Asylum Inflows.
April 9-10, 2001, Katoomba, Australia. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Chair’s theme on “Comprehensive Approach to the Management of People Movements”,  Asylum Systems – cooperation for equity, efficiency and effectiveness, UNHCR Global Consultations, Bern Initiative, Dealing with War Crime and Criminals.
November 21-22, 2000, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Comprehensive Approach to the Management of People Movements, including Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policies to Manage Mixed and Secondary Flows, Asylum systems – Cooperation for equity, efficiency and effectiveness, and Informal dialogue with UNHCR in the context of the Global Consultations.
April 27-28, 2000, Helsingor, Denmark. Full Round of Consultations. Discussions on “Best practices on the management of particularly complex or politically problematic asylum/refugee/migration flows”, and Burden Sharing.
October 18, 1999, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Comparison of Asylum Systems, Managing Asylum Systems, and Treatment of illegal migrants.
March 22, 1999, Bern, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Comparison of Asylum Systems, and IGC Data and Documentation and Co-operation with other fora
September 3-4, 1998, Lucerne, Switzerland. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Managing Asylum Systems, Policies and Practices for dealing with Countries of Origin on Return.
June 12, 1998, Geneva, Switzerland. Mini Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the reasons for the increase/decrease in asylum applications and continuation of discussions on the Framework for a Comprehensive Approach to the Return of Unsuccessful Asylum Seekers.
May 6-7, 1997, Washington, United States. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the theme of “Temporary Protection: Durable Solutions – The Case of Former Yugoslavia,” and discussion on “A Framework for a Comprehensive Approach to the Return of Unsuccessful Asylum Seekers.”
February 1-2, 1996, Berlin, Germany. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on Temporary Protection, Protection in the Region, Burden Sharing, Return, and Methodology for Measuring Illegal Population Estimates.
November 17-18, 1994, Scheveningen, Netherlands. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on East-West Migration, Cooperation with the Budapest Group, and Reception in the Region.
December 9-28, 1993, Westminster, United Kingdom. Full Round of Consultations. Focus on the outcomes of recent work and discussions, including the Country Assessment Approach, Return and Readmission of Rejected Asylum Seekers, Safe Third Countries, Migration and Development, and Smuggling and Trafficking.

 

Documents
What is the IGC?
Asylum Procedures: Report on Policies and Practices in IGC Participating States (2015)
Migration Policy Practice (Volume IV, Number 3, July–September 2014)
IGC Contribution to the High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (2013)
Asylum Procedures: Report on Policies and Practices in IGC Participating States (2012)
Asylum Procedures: Report on Policies and Practices in IGC Participating States (2009)
Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants: Towards the Evaluation of Policy and Practice (2009) (https://rm.coe.int/1680305d1a)
Circular Migration and Return Policies and Practices 2008 (https://www.osce.org/eea/34539?download=true)
IGC Contribution to the 1st Global RCP Meeting organized by IOM - GCIM (2005)