With the rate of global mobility on the rise, but pathways for legal migration being limited, estimates suggest that a growing number of people are moving irregularly. More often than not, migrant smugglers facilitate some part of their migration journey. However, effective data gathering and analysis of irregular migration, and those who facilitate it, remain a fragmented and politicized area of study. Key definitional issues, objectives and responsibilities remain undefined, and competing estimates using vastly different methodologies, each with its own flaws, undermine the discipline as a whole. This Data Bulletin explores these challenges and proposes ways to improve data in this field.
IOM’s “Data Bulletin Series: Informing the Implementation of the Global Compact for Migration” spans a broad range of topics covered by the Global Compact for Migration, highlighting currently available data sources as well as data gaps and challenges relevant to each of them. Each Data Bulletin contains illustrative examples of initiatives and recommendations of investments needed to strengthen the evidence base underpinning the respective thematic area. The Data Bulletins are meant to provide a useful resource for decision makers as they begin to think about implementation of the Global Compact for Migration and the related data needs.