Migration research has long been important to IOM, and for decades, this work has been central to the organization’s commitment to fostering migration that is humane, orderly and benefits migrants and society. From its early years, IOM has conducted, promoted and has been informed by "disinterested" or objective research on migration. In addition to enhancing the organization's programme delivery, migration research within IOM is designed to contribute to the broader understanding of migration patterns, processes and the connections between migration policy and practice.   

To this end, IOM’s Migration Research and Publications Division (MRPD), based within the Department of Policy and Research (DPR), frequently collaborates with academic and applied researchers in universities, research institutions and other organizations throughout the world to conduct and support this type of research. These collaborations not only allow IOM to benefit from the diverse knowledge and expertise of various applied researchers and scholars, but also enable the organization to reach a global audience. These partnerships are also key to supporting migration research from all over the world, including contexts that are traditionally ‘under-researched’. Many of the Division’s research outputs are translated into several languages to make them as accessible as possible to audiences around the world.

World Migration Reports

World Migration Reports (WMRs), for example, produced by IOM since 2000, have been enriched by the collaborative partnerships with academic and applied researchers from across the globe. This is particularly the case with the recently revised series (WMR 2018, WMR 2020 and WMR 2022). All three editions were benefited from collaborations with various researchers from diverse geographies, who contributed to the reports as co-editors, co-authors, or reviewers. These reports have also been translated into multiple languages, with the most recent edition (WMR 2020) currently available (either in part or as a full report) in 10 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic and Russian. Chapters 1 to 3 are available in Portuguese, Turkish, German, and Swahili. Translations of the latest edition, the WMR 2022, are ongoing and it is currently available in 5 languages, including English, Spanish, French and Chinese. Selected chapters are available in Swahili and German. Other translations will soon follow.

Migration Research Series

The Migration Research Series (MRS) has been a platform for publication for researchers from a wide variety of geographies for more than two decades, with the first series published in 2000. The series, which welcomes submissions from early career as well as senior researchers, focuses on policy-oriented and empirical research and analysis with the aim to contribute to a better understanding of the multidimensional aspects of migration and inform migration policies at the national, regional and international levels. Click here to find out more.

International Migration

International Migration, one of the first journals to be published on cross-border migration, represents IOM’s long collaboration with the academic community. First published in 1961, the journal covers the entire field of policy relevance in international migration, giving attention not only to a breadth of topics reflective of policy concerns, but also attention to coverage of all regions of the world. Geographic diversity and contributions based on multi-disciplinary research are particular priorities of the journal. The journal is currently edited by Prof Ahmet İçduygu, Prof Jan Rath, Prof Deniz Sert and Dr Ayşen Üstübici.

Migration Research @ Lunchtime and Webinars

MRPD’s collaborations also involve welcoming researchers to present and discuss their research on some of the most salient migration issues today. The migration research at lunchtime seminars, for example, are a platform through which various researchers – working on a range of topics – present their work at IOM headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. These presentations and discussions are another way for IOM to be informed about emerging research on migration. Videos of past seminar presentations can be accessed here.

The Division has also organized multiple webinars with researchers and experts, including most recently on COVID-19 and the transformation of migration and mobility globally. The webinars, which are open to the public, cover a range of topics, including:

Migration Research and Publishing High-Level Advisers

The Migration Research and Publishing High-Level Advisers (HLAs) consist of senior researchers, publishers and other migration experts from around the world who partner with IOM Research to produce balanced, accessible, rigorous and evidence-based research and analysis of international migration and displacement. They also engage with IOM staff on research collaborations, peer review, participation in IOM events and migration-related publications and other communications. Most recently, several HLAs contributed short pieces on COVID-19 and the transformation of migration and mobility.

Migration Research Leader's Syndicate

In 2017, IOM designed the Migration Research Leaders' Syndicate to support in the design of the 2018 global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration by sharing their expertise and knowledge on a wide range of migration topics. A final publication comprising Syndicate members' contributions was later launched during IOM's 108th Council, in November 2017.

Research Partners

Click here to see a list of some of our migration research partners from around the world we are proud to collaborate with, including universities, research institutes, think tanks and others.

Contact information

For further information, please contact us:

Email: research@iom.int
Follow us on Twitter: @IOMResearch and @migration
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