The new issue of Migration Policy Practice includes four articles on very different themes of interest to policymakers. Following on from our tenth-anniversary edition on the implications of COVID-19 for migration, the first article in this issue looks at how the pandemic is affecting irregular migration and the collection of data on migrant deaths. The article shows that irregular migration continues and has even increased along certain migratory routes. However, despite the rising figures, the number of migrant deaths reported has instead fallen in 2020. This may not reflect the true numbers as collecting data on migrant deaths has become more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another article in this issue focuses on the SDGs and migration. One of the key objectives of the SDGs is to ensure that “nobody is left behind”, which means that it is necessary to obtain data on key SDG indicators which is disaggregated by migratory status. It is difficult to answer questions such as “How many of the poor are migrants?” or “How many of those in poor health are migrants?” without such data.
The third article reminds us of the importance of considering migration policies and practices at the local level. In many countries, policy and programme innovation often takes place at the local level in the absence of national strategies. A local perspective is also important given that many migrants originate from specific communities or are concentrated in particular areas.
The last article discusses the challenges in promoting the integration of migrants. It highlights that a key question in this discussion is how to make newcomers feel welcome. In particular, the article cites a survey indicating that while a majority of Europeans feel relatively positive about immigrants, many immigrants in Europe still do not feel welcome.