Berlin Conference to improve global migration data

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IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin is today hosting a conference to advance discussion on how countries can agree to a common set of principles, approaches and priorities to improve data on international migration.

Over 150 data experts from governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector are expected to attend “Improving Data on International Migration – Towards Agenda 2030 and the Global Compact on Migration”, which is taking place on 2-3 December. Topics will include what is missing in migration data and how data collection and analysis can be improved.

“We need to speak not only about the fundamental need for better migration data – which we have long been advocating – but also of concrete steps to be taken in order to ensure that our knowledge of migration increases,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, who is attending the conference.

“Lack of migration data often leads to misperceptions about the scale of migration and its effects. Poor-quality data feeds prejudice, stereotyping, and can distort public debate. Without reliable, accessible, and balanced information, sound management of migration becomes more difficult,” he noted.

“It is surprising how little data is available on migration, even though the topic is high on the political agenda,” said GMDAC Director Dr. Frank Laczko. “For example, only 1 in 4 countries in the world are able to report to the UN on the flow of migrants entering or leaving their country. Very few systematically collect information on the health, education, income, and employment situation of migrants and few countries have reliable data on undocumented migration.”

Recently, world leaders agreed to work towards the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in 2018, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. “Evaluating policies and reaching such commitments and goals requires timely and accessible data on migration,” said Laczko.

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