Migration and Development

Migration is one of the most defining features of the 21st century and the UN Migration Agency (IOM) is committed to ensuring that it is a positive force for the world’s peoples and societies. 

In September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which endeavours to end extreme poverty and inequality, “leave no one behind” and make the world a better place for all. Migration is a core theme, both as an issue to act upon, as well as a key enabler of sustainable development. The Agenda makes explicit the need for humane, rights-based and well-governed migration policies. It recognizes the direct and positive impact that migration has on the social and economic development of individuals and societies and it commits to protecting vulnerable migrants by ending human trafficking and the exploitation, violence, abuse and discrimination that far too many migrants suffer.

While a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) directly reference migration, IOM believes that all 17 goals and many corresponding targets have links to migration, and that migration itself can contribute to achieving them. IOM’s cross-cutting goals are and will remain to facilitate safe, dignified, orderly and regular migration for the benefit of all, to enhance the development outcomes of migration for migrants, their families and host and home communities, to support countries by mainstreaming migration into their development and protection policies, and ensure that migration is meaningful choice, not a desperate necessity.

New Approaches Needed to Combat Human Trafficking from Conflict Areas

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Renewed Focus on Fighting Human Trafficking

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Effective and Sustainable Solutions for Migration Management

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Launch of World Migration Report 2018 

and Migration Governance Indicators 

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Migrants and Cities: Stepping beyond World Migration Report 2015 

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Global Conference on Cities and Migration

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IOM's interview at the WNPR

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IOM’s participation at United Nations 35th  Social Work Day

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IOM Presents on Climate Migration at American Society of International Law 

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IOM at CSW event on Climate Migration and Women

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72nd UN General Assembly Resolutions on Development Related Activities

Implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conferences on Human Settlements and on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) (A/C.2/72/L.67) 

The resolution invited UN-Habitat, in accordance with its role as a focal point for sustainable urbanization and human settlements, including supporting the implementation and review of the New Urban Agenda, to collaborate with other United Nations programmes and entities, Member States, local authorities and relevant stakeholders, as well as through the mobilization of experts, to contribute to a United Nations system-wide strategy and continue generating evidence-based and practical guidance.


Operational activities for development of the United Nations system (A/C.2/72/L.63) 

The resolution requested the Secretary-General to submit the reports (February report on funding analysis, June report on UNDS repositioning and the December reports) to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council


Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons (A/C.3/72/L.6/Rev.1) 

The resolution aimed at improving a comprehensive approach to policy-making in combatting trafficking in persons at all levels of cooperation. The resolution reflected major recent global trends, including a number of regional and international initiatives, as well as new challenges, in particular the impact of information and communication technologies on the proliferation of trafficking in persons. Member States supported the initiative to convene a meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) at the level of principals. 


Violence against women migrant workers (A/C.3/72/L.17/Rev.1)

The resolution urged Member States to implement measures to end the arbitrary arrest and detention of those women and ensure that legislative provisions and judicial processes were in place for them. At the adoption, Indonesia’s representative, making oral amendments, noted with women accounting for nearly half of the 244 million migrants worldwide, Member States must mainstream gender into discussion of the matter. The resolution also recognized that women migrant workers made considerable contributions to countries of origin, transit and destination.


Protection of migrants (A/C.3/72/L.43/Rev.1

The resolution called on States to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migration status, especially those of women and children. It also called on States to respect the inherent dignity of migrants, to end arbitrary arrest and detention, and request the Secretary‑General to submit to the Assembly and the Human Rights Council a comprehensive report entitled “Human rights of migrants”. OP3a is on condemning xenophobia against migrants.


Policies and Programs involving youth (A/C.3/72/L.15/Rev.1) 

The resolution urged Member States to foster social integration for social groups including young migrants and encourages Member States to take measures that minimize the negative effects of globalization and maximize its benefit in order to enable young migrants to enjoy their human rights.


Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (A/C.3/72/L.44/Rev.1) 

The resolution urged States to review the validity of a refugee status decision in an individual case if credible and relevant evidence comes to light that indicates that the person in question has committed any criminal acts. It also recognized the important role of education, employment, inclusion and respect for cultural diversity in helping to prevent terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism.


Effects of Terrorism on the enjoyment of Human Right (A/C.3/72/L.49/Rev.1

The resolution emphasized that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. It is also conscious that there are a number of drivers underlying radicalization to terrorism and that development based on the principles of social justice, inclusion and equal opportunities can contribute to the prevention of terrorism and violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism.


Expulsion of Aliens (A/C.6/72/L.13

The resolution took note of the articles on the expulsion of aliens presented by the International Law Commission and decided to include in the provisional agenda of the 75th session an item entitled “Expulsion of aliens”.


Measures to eliminate international terrorism (A/C.6/72/L.14) 

The resolution welcomes the establishment of the Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and requests Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UNODC to continue its efforts to enhance the UN capabilities in the prevention of terrorism. It also spoke of the need to enhance the role of the United Nations and the relevant specialized agencies in combating international terrorism and of the proposals of the Secretary-General to enhance the role of the Organization in this respect.

For more information

Please contact IOM Office to UN at unofficeny@iom.int.