Situation Report on International Migration 2021: Building forward better for migrants and refugees in the Arab region

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL2.GPID/2021/2

Country: Arab region, ESCWA Member States

Publication Type: Flagship publications

Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development

Focus Area: Population dynamics & migration

Initiatives: International migration

SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

Keywords: Arab countries, Immigration, Forced migration, Remittances, Displaced persons, Covid-19, International migration, Statistical data

Situation Report on International Migration 2021: Building Forward Better for Migrants and Refugees in the Arab region

July 2022

The Arab region continues to be a prominent region of origin, transit and destination for international migration and forced displacement. In 2020, Arab countries hosted around 41.4 million migrants and refugees, and were the origin of an estimated 32.8 million. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the negative impact of pre-existing structural barriers on migrants and refugees. It has highlighted the need to accelerate collective work in line with global frameworks, namely the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and the Global Compact on Refugees.

The present report highlights promising practices Arab countries have adopted to empower migrants and refugees in response to the pandemic. While recognizing their resilience and positive contributions to their countries of origin and destination, the report underscores the distinct vulnerabilities of migrants and refugees. Building forward better requires systematic changes to protect basic human rights and empower migrants and refugees. The report offers concrete and actionable recommendations to that end. It urges countries to capitalize on the potential of migrants and refugees to promote sustainable development, and calls on policymakers to protect and fulfil their rights.

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