UNECE Issues Guidance on Measuring Migration
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The UN Economic Commission for Europe published a guide to help policy makers and statisticians use data from different sources to better understand migration flows and characteristics.

UNECE highlights the far-reaching influence of migration on societies, and emphasizes the necessity of accessing accurate data on migrants to inform policy making.

The publication has been issued in advance of migration policy discussions in New York, including a high-level debate on 27 February.

14 February 2019: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has published a guide on using data from different sources to better understand migration flows and characteristics. The publication has been issued in advance of migration policy discussions in New York, including a high-level UN General Assembly (UNGA) debate in February, and the July session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which is expected to review migration-related targets in the 2030 Agenda.

The publication titled, ‘Guidance on Data Integration for Measuring Migration,’ highlights the far-reaching influence of migration on societies, and emphasizes the need for accurate data on migrants to inform policy making. The guide aims to help policy makers, researchers and statisticians produce information on migration that is relevant to the changing needs of society. The authors note that building a complex picture of migration requires not only measuring numbers of people moving in and out of a country, but also how long they spend there, what they do while in the country, and other features of the migration experience.

The report underscores that multiple data sources are needed to understand the dynamics of migration, and therefore countries increasingly need to integrate data from different sources. Doing so might mean cooperating with other actors and countries as, for example, migration inflows might be inferred from emigration statistics of a neighboring country.

The guidance document was developed by national statistical offices (NSOs) in Europe based on a survey of migration data providers in more than 50 countries. It contains 13 case studies of data integration from countries in and beyond Europe, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US. In June 2018, the guidance was endorsed by the Conference of European Statisticians.

UNECE launched the guidance just before the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is set to convene a high-level debate on international migration and development (mandated in UNGA resolution 73/241), on 27 February 2019. The outcome of the debate is expected to inform the HLPF’s review of migration-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda, which is organized on the theme of equality and inclusiveness, and which takes place in July 2019.

The international community adopted the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in December 2018, in Marrakech, Morocco. By the Marrakech Compact, governments agreed to hold consultations toward establishing an International Migration Review Forum that will discuss progress on implementing the Compact, “including as it relates to the 2030 Agenda,” and will also inform discussions of the HLPF. Bangladesh and Spain are leading consultations toward establishing this Forum. [UNECE Press Release] [Report Webpage] [Publication: Guidance on Data Integration for Measuring Migration]


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