Spurred by a steady increase in international migration over the past decades, migration has clearly emerged as one of the most critical – and complex – global issues of the 21st century. Today, an estimated 3 per cent of the world’s population now live outside their country of birth,1underscoring the crucial need for accurate migration data to guide evidence-based policy-making.
But until recently, data disaggregated by sex and gender was simply unavailable. According to Jeronimo Cortina, Assistant Professor of Political
The result? Countries were formulating migration policies in the absence of any evidence – which may have had unintended consequences, especially when dealing with policies affecting the most vulnerable sub-populations: women, children and adolescents.
In response, the Population Division of the United Nations, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), UNICEF and the University of Houston (USA) partnered on a new online data portal: MigrantInfo, a flexible database system that displays the United Nations Population Division’s newly-generated comparable estimates of the international migrant stock, disaggregated by age and gender. Adapted from the UN-endorsed DevInfo database platform, MigrantInfo was launched officially in November 2010 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at the Global Forum on Migration and Development.
Far from serving as just another data dissemination portal, MigrantInfo is envisioned to fill a major gap in supplying national policy-makers with reliable migration data for decision-making. Cortina continues, “In particular, these global estimates will allow policy-makers to understand the levels and trends of child and adolescent migration across the globe, to support the formulation of coherent policies regarding safeguarding the rights and welfare of women, children and adolescents. Policy-makers now have access to reliable disaggregated data by age and gender at the national and regional levels, to measure the impacts of migration and minimize its
negative effects on migrant families and communities.”
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Jeronimo Cortina, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director, Project on Migration, Development and Evaluation, University of Houston, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Statement by the President of the 66th Session of the General Assembly, Helsinki, 13 October 2011, accessed athttp://www.un.org/en/ga/president/66/statements/finland131011.shtmlon 8 November 2011.