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English

Making Migration Work for Everyone

As different categories of migration have begun to overlap, governments have struggled to adapt, pointing to the need for a new framework to manage this key domain of the global economy. With the right norms and mechanisms in place, the far-reaching benefits of immigration can be realized, and the attendant social concerns alleviated.

GENEVA – In a globalized world, migration is a fact of life that should be governed accordingly. To that end, it is time to establish what I call “Migration Order 3.0,” a new framework that would make migration work for everyone.

Until World War II, transnational human mobility was subject to Migration Order 1.0: immigration controls were established solely at the national level by governments. After the war, international institutions such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the forerunner to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were created to manage refugee and migrant flows, primarily from and within Europe. During this era of Migration Order 2.0, the movement of people across national borders was governed by mutually agreed norms, standards, and practices.

Large-scale cross-border movements of people, however, have exposed fault lines in that post-war framework. We now know that Migration Order 2.0 is inadequate to the task at hand. According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, most migrants tend to move within their own continents, and not necessarily toward the destinations that one would assume.

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