Migration and refugees

Migration is – and always has been – a fundamental part of human life. People move to escape conflict and brutality but also to improve their opportunities and in search of a better life; historically such mobility has contributed to development, growth and more broadly to economic and social change for individuals and societies. Yet managing global migration is not without its challenges, as recent events in Europe and beyond demonstrate.

Our work examines how we can meet these global challenges – and the role of international development to better manage global migration.  

Through research, events, media engagement and partnerships, ODI offers evidence to lay bare the political and economic realities of migration and to inform the public debate.

Our experts
Outputs

Refugees and migrants: a new global response

Public event | 15 September 2016 15:30 - 17:00 GMT+1 (BST)
Ahead of the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, experts discuss European and global responses to the refugee crisis and the need to shift towards shared responsibility.
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Livelihood strategies of Rohingya refugees in Malaysia

Research reports and studies | June 2016 | Caitlin Wake and Tania Cheung
This study explores livelihoods strategies of Rohingya refugees in Malaysia from refugees' own points of view, to improve understanding of refugee priorities and perspectives.
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Global migration: from crisis to opportunity

Public event | 10 February 2016 12:00 - 13:30 GMT+00
​Peter Sutherland, the UN Special Representative for Migration, leads this #GlobalChallenges event on what needs to happen to address this major global crisis.
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Block the borders, fuel the crisis

Articles and blogs | 25 November 2015 | Clare Cummings
The decision by several European countries to close their borders to migrants who cannot prove Syrian, Afghan or Iraqi nationality will only fuel the crisis.
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Protracted displacement: uncertain paths to self-reliance in exile

Research reports and studies | September 2015 | Nicholas Crawford, John Cosgrave, Simone Haysom and Nadine Walicki

There are 60 million refugees and internally displaced persons around the world. This report examines patterns and trends in displacement and proposes ways to better support self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods.

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Protracted displacement: uncertain paths to self-reliance in exile

Briefing papers | September 2015 | Nicholas Crawford, John Cosgrave, Simone Haysom and Nadine Walicki
There are 60 million refugees and internally displaced persons around the world. This policy brief outlines trends in displacement and how to better support self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods.
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Refugee crisis: what next?

Public event | 10 September 2015 17:00 - 18:30 GMT+01 (BST)
​This event explores how governments across Europe are struggling to respond to the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War.
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Europe's migrant crisis: what can be done?

Public event | 30 April 2015 17:30 - 19:00 GMT+01 (BST)
​This year has already seen more than 1,750 migrants die in the Mediterranean as thousands attempt to flee Africa and the Middle East for Europe - what can be done to stop the soaring death rate?
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Why migration should be a priority for development

Articles and blogs | 21 April 2015 | Marta Foresti
'Tackling migration is the ultimate political nightmare in many donor countries. It cannot be fixed by aid, and it requires serious rethinking of how development should work and what role the international community should play.'
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Rethinking Fortress Europe

Articles and blogs | 3 February 2015 | Kevin Watkins
The waters between Europe and Africa are the world’s deadliest migration route. Roughly 300,000 people are estimated to have made the crossing in 2014 – more than twice as many as in 2013. Some 3,000 died from drowning, hunger, exposure, or asphyxiation.
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Migration, health and dignity in South Asia

Briefing papers,Research reports and studies | July 2014 | David Walker, Nabesh Bohidar, Prabodh Devkota
This briefing presents lessons from the EMPHASIS (Enhancing Mobile Populations’ Access to HIV and AIDS Services, Information and Support) project on migration, women’s empowerment and HIV in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
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Fighting HIV on all fronts: Reducing vulnerability by targeting migrants, their spouses and families in source and destination countries

Research reports and studies | March 2014 | Fiona Samuels, Enisha Sarin, Mirza Manbira Sultana, Navneet Kaur
This briefing presents findings from a study which explored the effects of HIV-related interventions on Nepali migrants (men and women) and their spouses. The findings show that it is critical to reach migrants and their spouses, at both source and destination sites,...
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International Migrants Day

Articles and blogs | 18 December 2013 | Eva Svoboda
Images of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean continue to appear in the news, most notably since the Arab Spring swept across the Middle East and North Africa. While these images may perhaps affect us more given they depict a situation on European shores, other...
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Bangladeshi sailors – characteristics, working conditions and HIV and AIDS-related vulnerabilities

Briefing papers | July 2013 | Fiona Samuels, Mirza Manbira Sultana (CARE Bangladesh), Navneet Kaur (CARE India) and Surajit Chakraborty (CARE India)
Drawing on small-scale qualitative studies in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, this new Project Briefing – part of the EMPHASIS (Enhancing Mobile Populations’ Access to HIV and AIDS Information Services and Support) project – focuses on Bangladeshi sailors' knowledge...
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Post-2015: can we talk about migration?

Research reports and studies | February 2013 | Paula Lucci and Pedro Martins
In this paper, we discuss international migration in the context of the post-2015 debate. Our main objective is to consider if and how international labour migration could be adequately incorporated in a future global development framework.
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World Disasters Report launch: forced migration and displacement

Public event | 18 October 2012 12:30 - 14:00 GMT+01 (BST)

This event launches the 2012 edition of the World Disasters Report. The theme of this year's report is forced migration and displacement - people forcibly displaced by conflict, political upheaval, violence, disasters, climate change and...

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World Disasters Report 2012 - Focus on forced migration and displacement

Research reports and studies | October 2012 | Alastair Ager, Eleanor Davey, Elizabeth (Beth) Ferris, Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Laura Hammond, Simone Haysom, Cindy Horst, Catherine (Katy) Long, Susan Martin, Sara Pantuliano, Lydia Poole, Abby Stoddard, Barnaby Willitts-King and Roger Zetter
This year’s World Disasters Report aims to widen and sharpen the focus on the complex causes of forced migration and the diverse consequences and impacts for both affected populations and humanitarian actors. Chapter 4 - Forced migration in an urban context:...
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