Migration is

about people.

Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building








A Decisive Year

Five Questions for the

Director General

Lessons from a Migration

Policy Crisis

Smuggling of Migrants

How are the war in Syria

and the refugee crisis affecting

human trafficking?

Valletta Summit on Migration

ICMPD Projects 2015






International Protection: 2015,

a Turning Point for the Global

and European Protection Regime?

Human Trafficking: Balancing

Protection and Prosecution

Border Management: From

Security to the Effective

Management of Migration Flows

Irregular Migration and Return:

Ensuring Migrants’ Rights

Legal Migration and Integration:

Laying the Foundations


Migration & Development:

Policy Coherence for Sustainable




Evidence and Reflection:

Policies, Programmes and

the Fundamentals of Forwardlooking






Migrants in Countries in Crisis

MIgration EU eXpertise

(MIEUX) - Forging Global

Migration Partnerships



Budapest Process

Prague Process

Policy Development



EUROMED Migration

Rabat Process


Towards a New Migration




Mediterranean Transit Migration

Khartoum Process


Promoting Interdisciplinary

Approach to Migration —

ICMPD Summer Schools


Better Informed for

Better Migration


in a nutshell


Founded by Austria and

Switzerland in 1993

15 member states

Headquarters in Vienna

19 locations worldwide

Gender distribution of

staff: 66% female and

34% male

Contracted project

volume: 110.6 million

Three Pillars of Work

Research: Policy-relevant

research, empirical

research with a comparative,

interdisciplinary, and

international approach

covering numerous

migration-related topics

Migration Dialogues:

Support dialogue between

Europe and its neighbours

East (Budapest Process,

Prague Process) and

South (Rabat and

Khartoum Process (MMD),

as well as EUROMED)

Capacity Building:

Training, capacity building

programmes, workshops,

study visits, facilitation

of international and interagency

cooperation and

support in institution


Six Main Thematic

Areas of Expertise


Border Management

and Visa

Irregular Migration

and Return

Legal Migration and


Migration and


Trafficking in Human


comprehensive, sustainable and

future-oriented migration governance

ICMPD Member States


since 1993

Bosnia and


since 2012


since 2003


since 2004



since 2001


since 1995

The former


Republic of


since 2015


since 2004


since 2002


since 2011


since 2011


since 2006


since 1998


since 2002


since 1993

This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99

and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

Migration is

about people.

Annual Report 2015

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Acting DG 2015

A Decisive Year

Gabriela Abado, Acting Director General 2015

In January 2015 few would have predicted that by the

end of the year we will have witnessed the largest

refugee flows since World War II. Roughly one million

refugees, displaced persons, and irregular migrants

had made their way to Europe across the Mediterranean

and via the Balkans route and thousands had

lost their lives. Europe’s migration architecture was

subjected to an unprecedented stress test. Failing

policies and instruments prompted crises mode actions

with reactive and sometimes drastic mea sures

as an immediate response to a non-controll able

situation. The 2015’s events also challenged ICMPD’s

capacity to support our Member States with adequate

and balanced policy responses. It will be a key element

of our future strategy to contribute to a holistic

European concept including credible and sustainable

cooperation frameworks with countries of origin and

transit. 2015 was also a decisive year for ICMPD’s

organisational development. Member States decided

on improvements in the regulatoy framework, agreed

on a new membership contribution scale and

elected a new Director General. With a strength en ed

institutional base and a stable leadership ICMPD is well

prepared to play its part in making migration better.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


5 Questions to the DG

Five Questions for

the Director General

1 What is your relationship to

the topic of migration?

In the course of my career, I built up ext ensive

experience in international politics

and mediating between parties with differing

interests. This was the case through out

my activity as a Member of the European

Parliament, as the second President of

the Austrian National Assembly and during

my five-year tenure as the Minister of

Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria.

Few topics are more sensitive and potentially

divisive at the national as international

level than migration. At the same time,

migration offers great positive potential

for individuals and states alike. Today, it is

a great privilege for me to be able to use

my experience in politics and mediation

in my new capacity as Director General

of the International Centre for Migration

Policy Development, and I see it as my

personal objective to contribute to more

cooperation and common understanding

among states concerning migration issues.

2 What is the scope of ICMPD’s

work and efforts?

Since its foundation in the early 1990s,

ICMPD has worked on various aspects

of migration, looking both at long, mid and

short-term challenges. We always emphasise

that migration is about people.

When we speak about people, we un questionably

speak about migrants and their

human rights, but we also speak about

the interests of people in desti na tion and

transit countries. Migration policies can

not be developed or even discussed without

looking at the bigger, human picture.

We always talk about people, their fates

and how they are affected by migration.

This broad approach towards migration

also determines how we approach our

work. We combine research, support to

intergovernmental migration dialogues

between Europe and its Eastern and

Sout hern neighbours and technical

cooperation and capacity building on

all migration issues. This allows us to

build up considerable expertise and

advise our partners on basis of a sound

academic, political AND operational

understanding of migration.

3 What are the main challenges

of migration today?

In my opinion there are four main

challenges for Europe and its partners:

Firstly, we need to regulate the movements,

curb smuggling and trafficking of migrants

and refugees, and provide safe and legal

ways for them to find protection.

Secondly, we have to ensure the proper

functioning of the European protection

system, including proper reception and

return when needed. Without this, Europe

will lose the trust of its citizens, and will

not be able to provide protection to those

in need.

Thirdly, we need to guarantee that refugees

who will stay in Europe have the rights and

possibilities to integrate and participate,

and that obligations of both the newlyarrived

and the host society are clear.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


5 Questions to the DG

“Finally, it is crucial to develop a new

European migration regime, defining

what the objectives of our migration

and protection systems are.

Europe has to act in solidarity, with

a clear distribution of responsibilities.”

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


5 Questions to the DG

Only through successful integration into

the labour market and educational systems

can migrants and host communities reap

the full benefits of migration. This is also

the key to preventing the radicalisation of

disenfranchised youth.

Finally, it is crucial to develop a new

Euro pean migration regime, defining what

the objectives of our migration and protec

tion systems are. Europe has to act in

solidarity, with a clear distribution of


4 What will be your new point

of emphasis for ICMPD?

I want to strengthen ICMPD in two fields

of action: firstly, we all know that in order

to master the current situation we need to

follow a holistic approach and the current

situation requires comprehensive solutions.

It is also clear that no country can

shoulder these challenges on its own.

Countries from all regions can and will

succeed only by working together.

However, as each country has to follow its

national interests, it takes a neutral broker

to bring forth change. A platform that can

analyse, act and communicate beyond

national interests and tomorrow’s news

headlines. For this purpose, I would like to

continue developing ICMPD in the future

and offer its services to states and Europe.

The international community needs a

“dialogue and mediation” platform for

migration; an organisation which understands

the priorities and interests of

countries of origin, transit and destination.

This platform should also be able to break

new ground, the needs for which are only

just emerging. I am considering, for exam

ple, the much-needed rectification of

smuggler’s propaganda, or the role of the

diaspora in information flows to countries

of origin. ICMPD should offer a platform

that does not shy away from discussing

all essential issues, listening to the concerns

of everyone involved,proposing concrete

solutions and finding ways to break

through deadlocked situations.

Secondly, Europe needs to better prepare

itself for future developments. It must

suc ceed at recognising certain developments

further ahead. The EU needs to

move from the point of constant “reaction”

to anti cipatory “acting”. This can only be

done on the basis of solid evidence and

analysis, and with a thorough under standing

of all facets of migration. In this

sense, I want to strengthen ICMPD as a

think tank, which provides independent

research on future developments of

migration, linking policy and practice and

moving from ideas to actions. This think

tank will deal with issues that go beyond

individual states and beyond the EU.

Only the broadest possible perspective

will reveal the large migration trends of

the future. The think tank will develop

sce nar ios and complete impact analyses.

What would the conclu sion of certain

agree ments lead to? What will the effect

be on flows; what will the impact be on

other countries? How can Europe prepare

for environmental degradation or for

political turmoil?

5 What makes ICMPD unique?

In addition to our aforementioned three

pronged approach, ICMPD’s uniqueness

comes for its staff. Their expertise and

professionalism impressed me from the

very start as DG. They combine commitment

to making migration better with

professionalism in their work with our

partners. As migration is one of the most

crucial issues for the international community,

influencing the future of countries

and individuals alike, it is these qualities

which are needed and which you will find


ICMPD Annual Report 2015



Lessons from

a Migration

Policy Crisis Martijn Pluim, Lukas Gehrke

The surge in the number of refugees and migrants

making their way to Europe in 2015 brought the

weaknesses of the fragile European migration and

protection system to the forefront and indeed led

to a virtual collapse of some of its key components,

such as the Dublin Regulation. This triggered a

policy and political crisis within the European Union

as Member States and the European Commission

found themselves in disagreement over how to

effectively handle the situation. Inadequate intrastate

coordination and a series of unilateral responses

led to an uncontrollable situation for migrants,

refugees and states alike. The drowning of thousands

of people along the Mediterranean coasts, the

erection of fences, as well as the temp orary rein troduction

of border controls are all telling examples

of the failure to develop a European set of policies

ensuring adequate protection for refugees and a

sustainable comprehensive migration system ready

for the future migration realities.

While the EU could have been expected to have the

capacity to protect and integrate arriving migrants

and refugees accounting for 0.1% of its population,

the events in 2015 showed that the existing migration

and protection system left countries unprepared

to cope with the dramatic increase in the number of

people transiting along the Mediterranean and

Western Balkan routes, while placing an unequal

level of responsibility on a few final destination

countries as well as several states along the EU’s

outer borders. The necessary reform of the European

migration and protection system started to a certain

extent already in 2015, and will definitely continue

in 2016. ICMPD will lend its active support to this

process by contributing to and commenting on the

various proposals being made.

While the migratory flows to Europe are diverse and

heterogeneous, the spike in refugee numbers is first

and foremost a result of conflict rather than economic

precarity. Whether it’s the war in Syria and parts of

Iraq, the violent instability in Afghanistan and Libya,

or indefinite military conscription in Eritrea – forced

migration accounted for a large portion of the overall

migratory flows.

The current critical situation, however, is not only

linked to the spike in the number of people displaced

by conflict, but also reveals what happens when

migration policies are not aligned with the economic,

demographic, and social realities of today’s world.

The lack of legal migration avenues, for example,

pushed economic migrants to overburden the European

protection system with asylum claims in order

to be able to stay. With the spike in the arrival of

refugees in 2015, the existing migration structures

broke down, unable to handle a critical situation they

were not designed to withstand.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



People smugglers profited immensely from the

dramatic developments in 2015, taking advantage

of the absence of legal and regular migration

chan nels to put migrants and refugees at risk.

Combating smuggling has therefore been high on

the EU’s migration agenda, particularly after the

tragic death of seventy-one persons in an abandoned

lorry in Austria. As is shown in this report,

smuggling is facilitated by a network of ‘specialised

service providers’, which demands a very targeted

and differentiated law enforcement approach.

At the same time, we should recognise that smugglers

profit from the lack of alternative safe routes

to protection, as well as from ever tighter border

controls. Providing safe and legal migration pathways

to Europe is therefore essential to prevent


Both delivering protection to those who need it and

fighting irregular migration hinge on European unity

and interregional cooperation. Coming up with a

European-level solution is essential in order to regain

control over migratory movements to Europe that

would protect refugees, manage migration in an

orderly manner, and safeguard freedom of movement

within the Schengen zone. However, a strengthened

European approach alone will not be sufficient.

Targeted bi-lateral and multilateral cooperation as

well as migration dialogues are essential tools to

achieve better international migration governance.

Strengthening International


The deepening political crisis within the EU has at

times overshadowed the immense responsibility

carried by transit countries along the current migration

routes to Europe. While the EU asylum system may

be under strain, Syria’s neighbouring countries have,

since the beginning of the conflict, welcomed far

larger numbers of refugees with 4.5 million refugees

spread out across Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq,

and Egypt. These countries have been confronted

with the Syrian refugee crisis to a much greater

extent, over a longer period of time, and with more

limited resources and humanitarian capacities. For

transit countries most affected by the on-going influx

of refugees, the crisis did not start in 2015. Europe’s

neighbours in the Mediterranean and the Middle

East have been bearing the brunt of conflict-induced

displacement for a number of years with limited

assistance and insufficient opportunities for the

displaced population.

It is becoming increasingly clear that stepping up

international assistance to countries hosting migrants

and refugees in the region is a key part of the solution

to the current situation. Guiding principle, in this regard

should be that the eventual mid to long-term return

of the displaced population forced out of their homes

while offering humane and decent living oppor tunities

is as important as taking the concerns of host communities


Therefore, European migration policies need to take

a truly regional and comprehensive approach. This

is why ICMPD is working with all countries along key

migration routes. Due to our active and close cooper

ation with countries of origin, transit, and desti nation,

ICMPD acts as a bridge and knowledge broker

between Europe, its southern and eastern neighbours,

and beyond, in developing interregional migration

policies based on good existing practices.

ICMPD has been at the forefront of providing evidencebased

support to countries in the region, for example

through our close cooperation with Turkish migration

authorities in elaborating a development-sensitive

and coherent migration policy. More broadly, ICMPD

has engaged with countries along major migration

routes through a series of dialogues and partnerships

based on information exchange throughout the

Mediterranean, West and East Africa, as well as

the Middle East. As part of our efforts to understand

the long-reaching effects of the Syria conflict and

the resulting flight from the country, we completed a

groundbreaking research project on the impact of the

Syrian crisis on trafficking in persons across the

entire region. With these and other projects, ICMPD

strives to demonstrate the importance of close

cooperation with transit countries in addressing the

full spectrum of issues related to displacement,

mobility, and vulnerability.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



“It is becoming increasingly clear that

stepping up international assistance to

countries hosting migrants and refugees

in the region is a key part of the solution

to the current situation.”

Regional Dialogues

for Better Migration

Beyond providing assistance in coping with the

immediate effects of the current crisis, it is also

imperative to simultaneously develop coherent

policies for the long term as part of a new common

migration regime tailored for the future. Past policy

failures clearly show a need for more cohesion and

dialogue on an intra-governmental level between

source, transit, and destination countries. In addition

to our existing role in supporting cross-regional

migration dialogues dealing with migration issues

such as the Prague, Budapest, Rabat, and Khartoum

Processes and the Euromed project, ICMPD reasserted

itself as a facilitator between Africa and the

EU at the 2015 Valetta Summit, taking on the task

of translating policy into practice through a variety

of projects in the region. ICMPD’s work in the region

focuses on promoting mobility within and between

Africa and Europe, fighting smuggling and trafficking

in human beings and helping migration act as a

catalyst for socio-economic development through

diaspora engagement.

While taking into account the humanitarian needs

of transit countries and the EU’s push for orderly

migration, expanding access to legal migration

channels remains an important issue for source

countries who face youth unemployment and poor

living conditions. In the long run, any successful

migration policy needs to prevent irregular migration

and strengthen alternatives allowing for safe, legal

and voluntary migration.

Fruitful cooperation with transit countries and countries

of origin can only be based on mutual trust and

a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities

related to migration. This involves taking into

consideration the needs of source countries that

have a vested interest in moving towards a sus tainable

migration regime that utilises migration as an

instrument for development while fighting against

different forms of irregular migration and organised

crime. Such an approach requires looking at migration

as part of a wider developmental process that fits

into a larger global trend and should be aligned with

the UN’s sustainable development target of providing

for orderly and well-managed migration.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



“In order to effectively manage migration

today, it is crucial to understand how

orderly migration can have a positive

impact on both sending and receiving

societies in the future.”

Anticipating Migration

Challenges of the Future

In order to effectively manage migration today, it is

crucial to understand how orderly migration can have

a positive impact on both sending and receiving

societies in the future. At ICMPD we are firmly ded i-

cated to providing countries and societies with the

knowledge and tools to adequately integrate migration

into their long-term economic, social, and demographic

strategies. This is a particularly urgent task

given the projected regional demographic, eco nomic,

and social changes, including a sharp decline in

Europe’s working age population in the decades to

come. Given the increased availability of both infor mation

and resources for a large number of ambitious

young people in regions bordering Europe, states

need to prepare both their migrations systems and

their populations by designing comprehensive migration

policies and practices adapted for the future.

This is the only viable alternative to having the smugglers

decide who gets to come.

It is important to keep in mind that migration is part

and parcel of a megatrend of global mobility that is

not confined to a specific geographical area.

Iden tifying complementarities between the needs

of source, transit, and destination countries is the

key to a successful future-oriented migration policy.

When properly managed, migration can be mutually

beneficial for countries facing a myriad of challenges

ranging from youth unemployment and labour mismatch

to aging populations and welfare systems

under stress. As an organisation, ICMPD places particular

emphasis on preparing countries and societies

for mid to long-term changes related to migration

with a broad set of tools, experience, and knowledge

at our disposal.

Most importantly, out of the migration policy crisis

in 2015 comes a reinvigorated European and global

understanding of the urgent need for a holistic

approach to migration based on evidence-based

policies and close partnerships bolstered by a sense

of shared responsibility. Addressing the immediate

concerns of refugees and asylum seekers seeking

safety must go hand in hand with developing a more

comprehensive future-oriented legal migration

regime. Migration does not need to be a ‘problem’,

but rather represents a series of opportunities and

challenges that need to be effectively managed on

an international level.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Global Facts

and Figures



refugees, asylum seekers,

returnees (refugees and internally

displaced people), stateless

people, others of concern









JUNE 2016




(21.3 million refugees;

40.8 million internally displaced;

3.2 million asylum seekers.)






June 2016



Source: UNHCR

Global Appeal


Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social

Affairs, Population Division (2016). International Migration

Report 2015: Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/375).

ICMPD Annual Report 2015






Sources: The World Bank:

Migration and Development Brief,

April 13, 2015; OECD – DAC,

The global picture of Official

Development Assistance (ODA)

137billion USD

Official Development


440billion USD

Remittances to

Developing Countries

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

Smuggling of Migrants

Policies, Programmes, and

Operational Responses

No matter the political stance of countries of origin,

transit, or destination of irregular migration, policymakers

and officials involved in migration issues must

be provided an accurate and up-to-date picture of

how migrant smuggling is operating. This is especially

relevant when pictures of a drowned Syrian child

washed up on a beach or a lorry filled with the corpses

of seventy-one migrants is displayed on news

media throughout the world. People want answers

as to why irregular migration has become so dangerous;

why it is taking such a human toll, and what can

be done to better secure and regulate migrant flows

while engendering safety for those involved.

Government officials also need precise information

for the enactment of more effective legislation and

improvement of law enforcement. In a time when

both national and EU officials are overwhelmed with

a much-increased flow of irregular migration due to

civil and economic strife in countries of origin, those

who are the most informed are best positioned to

create lasting and effective policy.

In 2015, ICMPD was an integral part of the six-month

‘Study on smuggling of migrants – characteristics,

responses and cooperation with third countries’ (EC,

DG Migration & Home Affairs (2015)). The consortium,

which was led by Optimity Advisors and also included

ECRE as a partner, collected information on irregular

migration routes, migrant smuggling networks, the

effects of national deterrent measures, the increased

risks taken by migrants, and essentially how migrant

smuggling is practiced now. During the course of the

study, ICMPD researchers found that much of the

conventional wisdom on migrant smuggling is actually

out-dated and/or based on misperceptions.

They dis cov ered this through performing interviews

with mi grants in their arrival country, migrants in

transit, and in countries of departure. They also

collected data from members of migrant smuggling

networks who told researchers their stories. The

culminating report sheds light on current migrant

smuggling pro cesses as well as how these networks

are affected by deter rence measures, and reveals

reasons why irregular migration has become more

dangerous for part i cipants.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

The legal definition of migrant smuggling is the paid

facilitation of a migrant’s crossing of a national bor der

illegally. This includes, among other things, driving

people across a border (drivers), providing a map

and set of directions for crossing on foot (guides),

arrang ing and/or captaining a boat journey (skippers),

or being paid to house an irregular migrant to facilitate

his or her crossing. Often it is still believed that

migrant smuggling and human trafficking are one

and the same, but this is a misperception.

Human trafficking is about recruiting and transferring

humans into exploitation. In the business of migrant

smuggling, migrants are not victims from the outset

but human clients, paying for a service. However,

many still believe that migrant smuggling and human

trafficking practices share the same networks, and

the smuggling study found that this is not necessarily

the case. The researchers observed that migrant

Relationships between different actors in migrant

smuggling networks (Source: Optimity Advisors)

smuggling is commonly practiced in a more horizontal

framework (rather than vertically organised), with smugglers

competing or cooperating together to provide

services for different portions of the route. Usually,

these services do involve a ‘manager’ or ‘coordi na tors’

that ensure the crossing at a particular section of the

route functions well, but there is no one individual or

one organisation controlling the entire migration process

of an individual migrant.

The idea that an irregular migrant pays one organization

a lump sum in their country of origin or departure to

get them from a country of origin to a country of des tination

is not the rule. Rather, migrants use services

of several smuggling networks or individual facil itators

along their way.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

“Everything that is needed to run a travel

business is mirrored in the illegal travel industry –

agents, bookers, guides, drivers,

accommodation providers, document providers,

advertisements, warranties, group packages,

luxury and backpacker tours, you name it.

All these elements need to be addressed to

tackle migrant smuggling more effectively.”

Martin Hofmann on the business

As the report shows, migrant smuggling functions as

essentially an ‘illegal travel industry’ with each contact

a link in the chain. Much like other industries, when

the demand for services raised sharply, the migrant

smuggling industry had growing pains in accommodating

such an increase.

Overall, the networks became increasingly unsafe as,

without regulation, unprofessional smugglers began

offering their services. Via sea routes, this meant

overloading boats with migrants who had been sold

‘life-vests’ filled with sponges instead of buoyant

material. If the irregular migrant chooses a land route

it appears safer, as these routes do not necessarily

require the smuggler to endanger his or her clients

in order to accommodate the increasing demand

for services. Nevertheless, there are still a number

of risks and difficulties, as the aforementioned lorry

tragedy illustrates, because the increasing number

of unprofessional land route smugglers leads to more

negligent practices.

Traditionally, a migrant smuggler’s reputation and

livelihood depended on the safety and efficiency of

his or her services. The irregular migrant enters into

an agreement with the migrant smuggler and once

the border has been safely crossed and the migrant

reaches a pre-determined destination, evidence of

the safe arrival would be sent to the smuggler along

with payment for services rendered. Many migrant

smugglers would offer a type of guarantee, agreeing

that if the migrant was sent back, the smuggler

would help him or her attempt the border crossing

again. However, due to the enormous demand many

of the less-professional smugglers now do not

only not offer guarantees, they also ask for payment

before the service has been provided and many

migrants do not have enough money to hire an

experienced professional. Invariably, if a smuggler

has clients die, it ruins his or her reputation within

their respective network, but this is migrant smug -

gling self-regulation at its most bare and grim and

highlights how dangerous the irregular migrant’s

journey has become. The smuggling report suggests

that, without effective national and international

policies and measures that both regulate the flow

of irregular migration and enforce appropriate legal

action on migrant smugglers, this situation will

continue to worsen.

Though historically their courses haven’t changed,

migration routes used by migrant smugglers are not

as simple as one may think after seeing images and

video in the news media last year of large groups

of irregular migrants crossing a field or collecting at

a certain border or transit point. Irregular migration

routes are actually complex, various, and spread out,

with multiple options, like a large urban city map.

If a segment of a route is affected by control measures,

then the smuggling network adjusts and re- routes

itself. However, the effect on the region shows at certain

transit points and borders the system becomes

congested as the smuggling network corrects itself.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

“A good analogy for how migrant smuggling

routes work is a city metro or underground

system. To get to their destination, travellers

first get information on the best way to get there,

then enter at any point on an underground line,

change lines at major stations or ‘hubs’ if

necessary, and/or get out when there is a line

closure to take another form of transport –

taxis, bus etc. or walk.” Veronika Bilger on routes

One may describe the collection of these segments

as a main route – and thus the report was aptly

timed as it was conducted right in the middle of such

a shift from the Central Mediterranean segment of

a main route (through Turkey) to the Balkan segment

of the route. The first signs that this shift would be

major appeared in early July 2015 as a consequence

of the introduction of visa requirements for Syrians

in some Arab countries along the route to Libya and

the understandable desire of smugglers’ clients to

avoid crossing the Mediterranean once the huge

numbers of deaths at sea during spring 2015 had

made obvious how dangerous such a journey actually

was. Ultimately, it was both surprising and informative

that this giant, non-integrated migrant smuggling

network was able to adapt within one month.

In many cases control measures have almost immediate

impacts on smuggling operations and irregular

migration flows. Physical control measures reduce

migrant smuggling on respective border sections,

leading to displacement effects or route changes.

Changes in transit, entry and residence regulations

also require changes in modus operandi on the

smugglers’ side to or away from a given country.

Tighter controls and high document security standards

can completely curb a modus operandi.

However, the majority of control measures focus on

the national level and are not fully coordinated and

aligned between countries along smuggling routes

and regions. This allows for circumventing such

obstacles and for developing alternative routes or

modus operandi. Enhanced cooperation between

countries is crucial, however, to effectively regulate

the current irregular migration flow and improve law

enforcement on migrant smugglers. Policymakers

must also take into account the technological advancements

in how irregular migration is occuring.

One of the more revealing discoveries ICMPD made

through the course of the study was how much the

use of current technology has changed both migrant

smuggling processes and irregular migration in gener

al. Ten years ago, the migrant smuggler controlled

the migrant’s access to information to the extent that

they would often take their client’s cell phone, only

to be returned after the border was safely crossed, in

order to make the migrant dependent and to prevent

him or her from giving away information to the outside

world that would endanger the carrying out of smuggling

operations. With the advent of smartphones,

this practice no longer enters the conversation.

In fact, some smugglers even plan out a route for

their client that depends on the migrant’s use of his

or her smartphone’s GPS to find pre-designated

locations on segments of the route. An irregular migrant

may also use his or her smartphone to plan

out segments of their journey in countries of transit,

making real-time adjustments (for example, immediate

access to train and bus timetables/schedules),

and – most importantly – share and analyse realtime

information with thousands of other migrants

in communication networks.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

The advent of the smartphone is not the only tech nological

advancement used in current irregular migration

practices; social media networks and online

for ums also play an important role in the migrant’s

access to information and ability to search for smuggling

services, find updates on situations and po tential

problems at central points and border areas, and

communicate safe passage. For example, an irregular

migrant may post a photo on social media of his or

herself in front of an iconic landmark in a country of

destination, providing proof of safe arrival and trigger

ing payment to the smuggler, depending on their

specific arrangement.

After witnessing the aforementioned uses of current,

readily available technology by migrant smuggling

service providers and clients, it is not surprising that

migrant smuggling networks have been able to

rapidly adapt to national regulatory and containment

measures, as the route segment shift showed in

summer of 2015. ICMPD suggests that countries of

origin, transit, and destination develop innovative

and even-handed cooperation practices if they wish

to effectively address migrant smuggling networks.

Countries need to realise that irregular migration in

general and migrant smuggling in particular is a distinct

way of moving.

Migrant smuggling essentially compensates lacking

legal pathways. If countries do not take control over

legal migration, and allow for a more diverse group

of people arriving, it will be the smugglers who will

define who comes.

In conclusion, the findings of the 2015 migrant smuggling

study are vital for understanding how migrant

smuggling networks currently operate and the dangers

irregular migrants face in a time of over whelming

demand for smugglers’ services. Having accurate

data on which to base policy decisions not only provides

ICMPD member states with the tools for law

enforcement and regulation of illegal migrant smuggling

activities as well as assists policymakers in

drafting effective regulatory measures, it also helps

answer the questions posed by the sometimes

tragic and deadly result of an overloaded and illegal

service industry.

“Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber, have changed

the way migrants send and receive information,

and have multiplied the speed of information

dissemination. Migrants are able to contact

smugglers through social media platforms, tell

each other to avoid unscrupulous smugglers,

and share information on the best routes,

prices, and their successful arrival at a destination.

They can decide next steps, including changing a

route, immediately based on real-time information

from others along the route.” Maegan Hendow on social media

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

How are the War in

Syria and the Refugee

Crisis Affecting Human

Trafficking? Claire Healy

Often people are trafficked or exploited

because they are not able to meet their

basic needs

Violence in Syria has been driving children, women

and men from their homes for almost five years now.

ICMPD’s new research study looks at the vulnerability

of displaced Syrian people to trafficking in

persons. The research found that people are often

trafficked or exploited because they are not able

to meet their basic needs. This is exacerbated by

com plications in relation to legal residence status

in host countries and legal authorisation to work.

While some trafficking is committed by highly organised

criminal networks, the most common type of

exploitation is at a lower level, involving fathers,

mothers, husbands, extended family, acquaintances

and neighbours. The context of general vulnerability

means that there are often factors that leave families

with no viable alternative for survival other than sit u-

ations that could be defined as exploitation and

trafficking in national and international law.

We therefore need a paradigm shift in how trafficking,

refugee, migration and child protection policy

are viewed in terms of access to protection. While

policy-makers and practitioners might see themselves

as working in distinct fields, on specific

topics, the human beings in need of protection do

not always fall under one single, clear-cut category.

We must concentrate efforts to provide access to

basic needs and safety for people displaced from

and within Syria.

A new study, Targeting Vulnerabilities,

examines the war’s impact on trafficking

in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq

The study Targeting Vulnerabilities assesses the

effects of the Syrian War and refugee crisis on trafficking

in persons (TIP) in Syria and the surrounding

region. The study applies an interdisciplinary methodology,

combining primary research in the field with

secondary desk research and remote consultations,

as well as analysing qualitative and quantitative

sources. The country research findings, together

with regional desk research, were compiled and

analysed for the study.

Four of Syria’s neighbouring states — Turkey,

Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq — are the most important

hosting countries worldwide for refugees from the

war-torn country. Together they host 85% of Syria’s

registered refugees and asylum applicants abroad.

According to Eurostat data, 670,000 Syrians sought

asylum in Europe from April 2011 to March 2016, with

147,000 in Egypt and other North African countries,

giving an overall total of 5,506,000 Syrian refugees.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015




Sources: UNHCR; Eurostat.

Does not include Syrians awaiting

registration and resettled

refugees. EU figures 2011-1st

Quarter of 2016 inclusive.













North Africa

(other than Egypt)

All 28 EU MS

None of the four hosting countries apply the 1951 UN

Convention definition of a refugee to those fleeing

the war in Syria. This means that people fleeing Syria

are subject to specific ad hoc regulations issued

prior to and since the outbreak of the war and the

beginning of the forced migration movement. On the

other hand, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq

have all ratified the 2000 UN Trafficking Protocol and

passed legislation criminalising human trafficking.

The majority of displaced Syrians are not

living in camps

In Syria, just 26% of internally displaced people (IDPs)

are in camps. Similarly, in all of the four hosting countries,

the majority of Syrians are living outside of

official refugee camps, among host communities.

Lebanon has not authorised the setting up of any

official refugee camps for Syrians, while in Iraq the

proportion is 39%, in Jordan 21% and in Turkey 10%

of all registered refugees. This affects refugees’ and

IDPs’ access to essential humanitarian aid and other

services like education, accommodation, vocational

training and healthcare. Host communities have also

been affected by the war and displacement, particularly

the areas within each of the countries that have

received higher proportions of IDPs and refugees.

People are vulnerable because of the war

and violence itself, but also because of the

legal and institutional systems that they

must navigate

The violence that has characterised many parts of

Syria since 2011, and certain areas within Iraq since

mid-2014, has affected people in those territories

and those who have fled abroad in a myriad of ways.

The complexity of their situations is influenced by

the war and violence itself, but also by the legal and

institutional systems that they must navigate within

Syria and in the four hosting countries in order to

maintain a legal status, seek employment and generate

income, access humanitarian aid and public

services, and seek legal redress if they are victims

of abuse.

The desperation of some of these people, who cannot

provide for sustenance, accommodation and

essential services for themselves and their families,

can lead to them exploiting members of their own

families. Nevertheless, not all exploiters and traffickers

in this context are themselves in a situation

of vulnerability, as others exploit and traffic vulnerable

people as a form of war profiteering. In addition,

a multitude of child protection issues arise in the

context of the conflict and the refugee crisis, particularly

children remaining out of school and not

having birth registration, placing them more at risk

of being trafficked.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

General Vulnerabilities arising from Syrian War



Legal status

Lack of migration


Child protection incl. child

labour + early marriages

Vulnerability to trafficking in persons

Discrimination + sexual

and gender-based violence


Lack of income

Survival sex + other

in-kind transactions

Gaps in antitrafficking


Poor working


Lack of access to


Desperation of some


Impact on host


Trafficking cases

Armed Conflict

Domestic Servitude

Sexual Exploitation

Forced Marriage

Labour Exploitation

The war and displacement have also caused added

vulnerability for migrants and refugees whose situation

was already precarious prior to 2011 and who

were in Syria when the war broke out, including: Palestinian

refugees from Syria; Iraqi refugees; Stateless

people; Refugees of other origins, particularly from

Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia; and migrant domes

tic workers from South and Southeast Asia and

East Africa.

A risk is that internal movement facilitation

or migrant smuggling can develop into

trafficking in persons

Some refugees and displaced people have started to

move on to countries outside the region, particularly

EU Member States. While they are still within the five

countries under study, the need to pay substantial

sums of money - and possibly become indebted - to

facilitators of internal movement and migrant smugglers

is causing people to resort to risky methods of

obtaining that money, rendering them vulnerable to

trafficking. One major risk is that a situation of internal

movement facilitation or migrant smuggling can de velop

into one of trafficking in persons.

There is no significant increase in the

identification of trafficked people by the


The effects of the war and refugee crisis, placing people

in a situation of increased vulnerability to trafficking

in persons, have in some cases resulted in actual

trafficking cases. This has not, manifested itself in a

significant increase in the identification by the authorities

of trafficking related to the war and refugee crisis.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

“… but the most common type of exploitation is

at a lower level, involving fathers, mothers,

husbands, extended family, acquaintances and


People officially identified as trafficked in the countries

under study since 2011 are mainly from Syria,

North Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Eastern

Europe. Also, in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq,

national citizens were identified as trafficked internally.

Most of the trafficking routes originating outside

of the region continued largely unaffected by

the Syrian War.

The research shows that the five countries under

study have made significant efforts to respond to

the displacement of IDPs and refugees. However,

the incidence of trafficking in persons, and the

nature and extent of vulnerabilities to trafficking,

have been affected in a number of ways. These

effects are partly related to the sheer magnitude

of the displacement and partly to the legal, policy,

infrastructural, security and socio-economic

contexts in these five countries.

The most common type of exploitation involves

family members, acquaintances and neighbours.

The classic organised crime paradigm commonly

used for understanding trafficking does not fit

neatly onto the actual situation of people trafficked

or vulnerable to trafficking in the context of the

Syrian conflict. Very severe forms of exploitation

and trafficking are indeed taking place, committed

by highly organised criminal networks, but the

most common type of exploitation is at a lower

level, involving fathers, mothers, husbands,

extended family, acquaintances and neighbours.

Child labour and child begging have been affected

in the sense that conditions have become more

severe, with more serious abuses of children’s rights.

The incidence of these phenomena has also

increased overall.

In most of the cases revealed through this re s earch,

trafficking is not a cross-border phenomenon re lat ed

to the migratory movement itself, though cross-border

trafficking is present in some cases.

In gen eral, the forms of trafficking in evidence target

the vulnerabilities caused by displacement post facto,

with the trafficking process beginning when IDPs

and refugees are already among host communities.

Some forms of trafficking have emerged that are

directly related to the war. This is the case for trafficking

by Da’ish (ISIS) for sexual slavery, forced

marriage and exploitation in armed conflict; and

forced marriage and exploitation in armed conflict

by other parties in the Syrian war. Nevertheless,

not all forms of human trafficking have been influenced

by the Syrian crisis. Indeed, the trafficking of

migrants — most of them women — for exploitation

in domestic servitude continues, and was only

marginally affected by the refugee crisis in host

countries. Even within Syria, since the start of the

conflict in 2011, some migrant workers continue

to be exploited in domestic servitude.

Worsening forms of child labour, child trafficking for

labour exploitation, exploitation through begging,

and trafficking for sexual exploitation affected peo -

ple in the countries under study before the war, but

have now increased among Syrians. Particularly in

the case of sexual exploitation, a certain replacement

effect is in evidence, with Syrian women and

girls exploited in prostitution, where before people

trafficked for this purpose were of other nationalities.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

The primary focus is prevention

of trafficking

Because anti-trafficking capacities are significantly

affected by the ongoing war and related conflicts in

Syria and Iraq, and because the hosting countries

are overwhelmed with the arrival of large groups of

people fleeing Syria, ICMPD’s recommendations

primarily address vulnerabilities to trafficking. The

primary focus is therefore prevention of trafficking.

However, the protection of trafficked people and the

prosecution of perpetrators is also a central concern,

and recommendations in this sense are also included.

Policymakers and practitioners should therefore

address low-level trafficking by family members and

acquaintances, as well as by organised criminal

groups, and identify trafficking among refugees and

provide protection to refugees who are trafficked.

They should also address forms of trafficking directly

related to the war and incorporate internal trafficking

into anti-trafficking policy and initiatives. It is simi

lar ly important to identify and respond to labour


In order to make this feasible, legal chan nels for

settlement outside the region should be signifi cantly

expanded, combined with investment in infrastructure

and services in Syria’s neighbouring

coun tries. Children are particularly in need of birth

registration and access to schooling, while for women

and girls, it is essential to combat gender-based

dis crimination and reduce the risk of sexual and

gender-based violence. Particularly in areas where

there are high numbers of Syrians, the vulner abilities

of host communities should also be addressed.

By implementing these recommendations, we can

contribute to reducing people’s vulnerability and

increasing their resilience. We need to offer them

alternatives that are not merely the ‘least bad option’,

and provide them with what they need in order to

better cope with the ravages of violence and


In terms of the general situation of Syrian refugees,

hosting countries and donors should also provide

access to regular employment and regularisation of

legal status, and guarantee sufficient funding and fair

distribution of aid, including for non-camp refugees

and IDPs.

The study Targeting Vulnerabilities: The Impact of the Syrian War and Refugee Situation

on Trafficking in Persons – A Study of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq is the result

of a research project: ‘Assessment of the Impact of the Syrian War and Refugee Crisis on

Trafficking in Persons (AIS-TIP)’. The project was funded by the US Department of State

Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) and implemented by ICMPD.

The study can be downloaded in full, together with a Briefing Paper and Policy Brief based

on the study, in English, Arabic, Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

Valletta Summit

on Migration

Speech by Michael Spindelegger, Director General elect,

ICMPD Valletta, 12 November, 2015

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

colleagues and friends:

This September the world came together in New

York to adopt the new UN Sustainable Development

Goals, which for the first time acknowledge the key

role migration plays for global development.

At the same time, we have experienced the highest

number of displacement since the Second World

War, causing frightening numbers of migrants losing

their lives trying to reach their destination and also

giving way to growing anxieties in the countries

affected. These coinciding two developments makes

it so plainly clear that we need to effectively address

both dimensions of international migration:

1. Its fundamental contribution to development and

prosperity of countries of origin and destination as

well as of the migrants themselves

2. The more immediate concerns of protection,

safety and security.

Therefore it is imperative to overcome the dichotomy

of more or less migration and think in terms of better


We have come together here in Valletta to ensure

the ability of governments to effectively manage

migra tion and to overcome our current crisis mode.

We need to formulate a global response to the

per sis ting dysfunctionality of the international migration

system. Only then will we be able to make

inter na tional migra tion the positive force it can be.

Let Valletta be that turning point.

There is no single country that can adequately and

effectively manage migration alone. Africa needs

Europe and Europe needs Africa, and we have to

recognise each other’s specific circumstances,

priorities and requirements.

ICMPD therefore welcomes the agreement to make

good use of the existing multi-lateral structures and

frameworks of cooperation — especially the Rabat

and Khartoum Processes as well as the Africa-EU

migration partnership. We should further strengthen

their scopes and boost their abilities to implement

concrete actions.

The Valletta programme has made the subject of

root causes of displacement and irregular migration

a core feature and emphasises the development

benefits of migration, which I very much welcome.

It must be clear however that results will take time,

and I am afraid that there are no shortcuts.

We need to engage together — Europe and Africa —

in an unparalleled effort of practical and operational

cooperation. We need to substantially upscale initiatives

and move beyond the mere piloting of ideas.

A coherent and comprehensive set of policies is

essential. However this alone is not sufficient: What

we also need now is delivery coherence: a set of

common objectives and goals, agreed actions, a clear

delivery framework, dedicated resources and a ro ­

bust monitoring system and communication strat egy.

Only by pooling our resources and efforts and translating

them into concrete joint actions will we be able

to make real and tangible progress on the ground.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


In Focus 2015

The EU Emergency Trust Fund (for stability and

addressing the root causes of irregular migration

and displaced persons in Africa) could be just the

tool we need: one that provides the required funds

for flexible, speedy and efficient delivery on the

Action Plan, the tool for delivery coherence that will

make a real impact, building upon and upscaling

existing programmes and initiatives. I am confident

that the measures of the Action Plan paired with the

Trust Fund will take us in this direction.

In order to achieve a tangible impact, we need to:

Make migration the enabler for socio-economic

development, for instance via closer links to

the diaspora.

Include questions of displacement more robustly

when addressing instability, crisis and conflict.

Promote legal migration and mobility within and

between our two continents: legal migration

needs to become a real option for migrants.

Make international protection and asylum work

effectively in solidarity and as a shared responsbility

both within and between Africa and Europe.

Smugglers and traffickers will try to undermine

our goals.

Need to prevent and fight irregular migration,

smuggling and trafficking in human beings.

Let’s work more closely in sharing information and

intelligence, step up operational cooperation — and

importantly, let’s invest in systems and capacities

for effective integrated border management.

The task ahead is long and complex. We will ex pe rience

set-backs and frustration. There is, however,

simply no alternative. We need to pursue our goals in

a persistent and determined manner. And because

of the long-term perspective, we need to ensure that

we are better able to explain what we are doing.

The wider public needs to draw confidence from our

ability to manage migration.

There fore an essential flanking measure is the est ablish

ment of a robust monitoring system that shows

our progress in the implementation of our policies.

ICMPD will invest its efforts in delivering on the Valletta

objectives. Concretely, ICMPD will play its part in

mak ing sure that the EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue

initiative (MMD) will assume its central role

in effec tively supporting the Rabat and Khartoum

Frame works in their follow-up work, particularly

through the so-called MMD Facility, that is resourced

with € 10 million for concrete technical assistance

and capacity building actions, some of which feature

prominently in the Action Plan. Importantly, diaspora

engagement will be supported through the MMD

initiative as well.

In doing so — Excellencies, friends — ICMPD will

do its share to ensure that Valletta will be the longaspired

turning point, the biggest possible enabler

for our collaboration. It is time to make migration

better, ‘to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible

migration and mobility of people, including

through the implementation of planned and wellmanaged

migration policies’ as it was laid down this

September in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Thank you.

I am fully aware of the sensitivity and complexity

of the subject, however, we have to find a common

ground and understanding when it comes to the

issue of return and readmission. A migration system

will remain incomplete if it does not contain pro visions

for those that do not qualify or have the right

to remain on the territory of a state. Who if not this

Summit could build the required consensus on how

to address return and read-mission in a way that

ensures and respects the rights and dignity of

returnees and is capable of reinforcing our efforts

to create orderly migration.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015

24 24




ICMPD Annual Report 2015

25 25


Sharing of Medical Country

of Origin Information, further

cooperation with collecting

new Med COI, extra training

of national authorities officials

aimed on the collection and

usage of Med COI (III + IV);

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic,

Germany, Denmark,

Finland, Ireland, Netherlands,

Norway, Sweden, United

King dom, Switzerland

Assistance to Manage

Internal Displacement in

Ukraine – AMID-UA




Mediterranean City-to-City

Migration Profiles and


Support to Africa-EU Migration

and Mobility Dialogue (MMD)

Comparative Research on

the State Practices on the

Accessibility of Medical

Treatment and/or Medication in

Countries of Origin (REMEDA)

2015 Asylum Programme for

ICMPD Member States

Research on the educational

and professional qualification

of asylum seekers in Austria –


Survey on the educational and

professional qualifications of

asylum seekers in Austria and

on the motives for the choice

of destination country -




Migration EU Expertise II -

Providing short-term capacity

building to third countries in all

areas of migration

management; Global

Migrants in Countries in Crisis

(MICIC); Global

Support to the development

of institutional capacity of the

Directorate General for

Migration Management of

Turkey – (DGMM Phase II)

EUROMED Migration III + IV;

Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan,

Lebanon, Libya, Morocco,

Palestinian Territories, Syria,



Dialogues East

Support to the Silk Routes

Partnership for Migration

under the Budapest Process

Support for the Implementtion

of the Prague Process

Action Plan

Prague Process Targeted

Initiative Project (2012 – 2016)



and Visa

Evaluation External Border

Funds Switzerland (AGF CH)

Supporting the Republic of

Belarus in Addressing Irregular

Migration and Promoting

Human Rights of Vulnerable

Migrants (AMBEL)

Provision of Equipment and

Infrastructure for the Bagratashen-Sadakhlo

Border Cross

ing Point between Armenia

and Georgia and Enhancement

of their Capacities (BSIBM)

ICMPD Annual Report 2015

26 26

Eastern Partnership

(EaP)-Integrated Border

Management — Capacity

Building Project (CaBuiPro);

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus,

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine

Better coordination of protetion

of the land border be tween

Georgia and Azerbaijan


Providing high-quality studies

to support activities under the

Eastern Partnership (EaP);

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus,

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine

Developing National Capability

for Integrated Border Management

in Lebanon (IBM Lebanon)

Dutch Support: Developing

National Capability for Integrated

Border Manage ment in

Lebanon(IBM Lebanon NL)

Support to Creation of an

Electronic System of Prearrival

Information Exchange

between the Customs Authorities

of Belarus and Ukraine


Eastern Partnership Co op eration

in the Fight against

Irregular Migration- Supporting

the Implementation of the

Prague Process Action Plan


Strengthening the Surveillance

Capacity on the Green and

Blue Border between the Republic

of Belarus and Ukraine


Strengthening surveillance

and bilateral coordination

capacity along the common

border between Belarus and

Ukraine (SURCAP Phase II)

Support Programme to the

Government of Tunisia in the

areas of Integrated Border

Management (IBM Tunisia)

Border Management and

Border Communities in the

SAHEL Region (BM Sahel)

Border Management

Programme in Central Asia

– Phase 9 (BOMCA)

Legal Migration

and Integration

Enhancing Georgia’s

Migration Management


Development of Joint

Principles, Procedures and

Standards on the Integration

of Immigrants, with specific

focus on Labor Immigrants,

between the Russian

Federation and European

partners in the context of the

Prague Process Action Plan


Migration &


Sessiz Destek - Support of

a Development-sensitive and

Coherent Turkish Migration

Policy Framework

Africa - Europe

Development Platform

(AEDP) – Transition Project

FMM West Africa (Support

to Free Movement of Persons

and Migration in West Africa)

Link Up! Feasibility

Study - Financing Diaspora


Mandat “Unterstützung

und Beratung zugunsten des

Globalprogramms Migration

und Entwicklung” (SDC

Backstopping Mandate)

ICMPD Annual Report 2015 27 27



and Return

Supporting the Republic

of Moldova to implement the

EU-Moldova Action Plan on

Visa Liberalisation (Fighting

Irregular Migration in Moldova)

Forced Return Monitoring

(FReM); Austria, Bulgaria,

Greece, Hungary,

Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal,


Post-Arrival Assistance to

Ukrainian Nationals Returning

from the Netherlands (PAA

2013 – UKR)

Post-Arrival Assistance to

Ukrainian Nationals Returning

from the Netherlands



FastPass: A harmonized,

modular reference system for

all European automatic border

crossing points; pilot sites:

Romania, Austria, Greece

Betreuungs- und Pflegebedarf

älterer MigrantInnen: Bedarfsabschätzung

und Herausforderungen

(BEMIG); Austria

Addressing demand in anti -

trafficking efforts and policies

(DemandAT); EU, US, Brazil,

Nigeria, Qatar, Malaysia, New


Study on smuggling of migrants:

characteristics, responses and

cooperation with third

countries; Bulgaria, Egypt,

Ethiopia, FYROM, Greece,

Hungary, Italy, Libya, Malta,

Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey

Integration, Transnational

Mobility and Human, Social

and Economic Capital Transfers

(ITHACA); Austria, Spain, Italy,

UK, Bosnia and Herzegovina,

India, Mauritania, Philippines,


Pilotstudie – Integrationsverläufe

von Neuzuwander-

Innen (LEGINT); Austria

Trafficking in

Human Beings

Assessment of the Impact of

the Syrian War and Refugee

Crisis on Trafficking in Persons

(AIS-TIP); Syria, Lebanon,

Jordan, Iraq, Turkey

Persons at Risk of Trafficking

in Europe – capacity to identify

and assist potential victims of

human trafficking (PROTECT);

Croatia, United Kingdom

International Collaboration to

Reduce Labour Exploitation –

Meeting of Central and East

European Labour Inspectorate


Fight against Trafficking in

Human Beings and Organised

Crime – Phase 2 (THB/IFS/2);

Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia

and Herzegovina, Moldova,

Pakistan, Turkey

Migrações Transfronteiriças’:

strengthening the capacity of

the Brazilian Federal

Government to manage new

migratory flows (MT Brazil)

Meeting of National Coordinators

from Central and South

Eastern Europe; Albania, UK,

Aus tria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and

Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech

Republic, Hungary, Macedonia,

Moldova, Montenegro, Poland,

Romania, Serbia, Slovenia,

Slovakia, Romania, UK

Development of a Transntional

Referral Mechanism

for Sweden (SE-TRM)

Bulgarian-Swiss Joint Efforts

for Providing Immediate and

Unconditional Protection of

Trafficked Persons and Pre -

venting Trafficking in Humanbeings



Cooperation on Identification

and Long -Term Assistance of

Children and Adults Victims

of Trafficking in Human Beings


ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Research Unit

Evidence and

Reflection: Policies,

Programmes and

the Fundamentals of



Policymakers turn to scientific evidence to prepare

policies and assess their impact. Scientific research

also provides important input for the policy process

independent from any questions that may be posed

by policymakers, thus encouraging critical reflection

and long-term thinking. Studies conducted by ICMPD

in 2015 reflect these complementary roles of research.

Ensuring the availability of the best possible evidence

is an important objective in itself. At ICMPD

this has translated into a long-standing involvement

in relevant efforts to improve statistical data collection

on migration and integration. In regard to integration

information on developments over time, data

is crucial but often lacking. Research completed in

2015 has investigated different options to monitor

and better understand migrants’ individual integration

trajectories over time.

Care and migration are largely discussed in terms

of migrants as care workers. However, aging migrants

are themselves an important group of persons

in need of care. A recent case study on care

and support of elderly migrants shows that service

providers in countries of destination are not sufficiently

prepared for this group’s specific care needs.

For example, dementia often results in the loss of

languages acquired after childhood, raising challenges

for care providers. The study shows that this could

be avoided by more customised care systems.

In policy debates about integration there is often the

assumption of a contradiction between migrants’

engagement in their countries of origin and their

successful integration in the destination country.

The ITHACA study in which ICMPD was involved

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Research Unit


we and our



worked in:



Bosnia &









Hong Kong,













provides evidence to the contrary and shows that

migrants have the potential to engage in a variety

of ways and in several societies. Reducing barriers

and obstacles to do so would support migrants’

transnational economic, political, civic and humanitarian

engagement and help build bridges at all

levels and in various societies, simultaneously.

Clarity over concepts and definitions is important for

any meaningful policy making. According to inter national

law, states should address the demand side

of trafficking in human beings. However, there is no

agreed definition of demand in the context of THB,

nor of demand-side measures. DemandAT, a multipartner

project led by ICMPD, suggests limiting the

notion of demand to a market context and measures

that try to influence consumers of goods and services.

Automated Border Control system

ICMPD conducted case studies of existing Automated Border Control (ABC) systems

and is undertaking an analysis of the fundamental rights implications of such systems.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



Budapest Process


Dialogues East:

Participating states

Observer states


52 participating and 6 observer states

Chair: Turkey (since 2006; Co-Chair 2003-2006)

Co-Chair: Hungary (since 2006; Chair 1993-2006)

Working Groups on the Silk Routes Region,

the Southeast European Region, and the Black Sea Region

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



Fostering Cooperation with

the Silk Routes Countries

Since its establishment in 1993, the Budapest

Process (BP) has evolved from a consultative forum

for migration between European countries in a

pre-EU setting to a far-reaching European-Asian

forum for improving migration management. Initially,

the Budapest Process focused on cooperation

among Western, Central, Eastern, and Southeast

European countries. Roughly a decade later, the

Eastern Partnership countries, Russia, and Central

Asia joined the dialogue. In 2010, the Budapest

Process directed its focus further eastwards on a

compre hensive migration dialogue with the Silk

Routes Region — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq,

and Pakistan. This geographic focus was reaffirmed

in 2013 with establishment of the Silk Routes Partnership

for Migration and the adoption of the Istanbul

Ministerial Declaration. The current objective is to

promote further dialogue and mutual cooperation in

managing migration flows along the Silk Routes.

Translating the Political Commitments

of the Silk Routes Partnership into

Concrete Actions and Cooperation

During the third year of its implementation, the

Budapest Process — Silk Routes Partnership for

Migration focused on the topics of irregular mi gration,

human trafficking, and the links between migration

and development. Meeting in Islamabad, participating

countries identified raising awareness on the dan gers

and consequences of irregular migration as an utmost

priority for the Silk Routes Region. Enhancing regional

law enforcement cooperation to effectively fight

migration-related organised crime was furthermore

emphasised. In Dhaka, countries highlighted that

strengthening the positive impact of migration on

development was crucial for both countries of origin

and desti nation and should be catered for equally

by both.

The Silk Routes Partnership Project reflected these

priorities through several capacity building activities.

Two pilot initiatives were launched: one to raise

awareness about the consequences of irregular

migration and establish Migration Information

Centres in Pakistan, the other to enhance regional

law enforcement cooperation between Turkey

and the Silk Routes countries.

The effects of crisis on migration management in

the face of an increasingly challenging migration and

refugee situation in the region were addressed at a

Black Sea Region Working Group meeting in Sofia.

The Budapest Process increased in significance in

the last year. In numerous EU communication and

policy documents, it is regarded as a key platform in

upholding the dialogue engendering cooperation on

sustainable solutions between countries of origin,

transit, and destination.

Budapest Process

In 2014–2017 the Budapest Process implements the project Support to the Silk Routes

Partnership for Migration. Capacity building activities are combined with information

management and policy development. Two pilot projects focus on raising awareness

concerning the consequences of irregular migration in Pakistan and regional law

enforcement cooperation.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



Prague Process

Participating states

In the sixth year of its existence, the Prague Process,

a recognised platform for intergovernmental dialogue

on migration among fifty countries (EU+, Eastern

Partnership, Central Asia, Western Balkans, Russia

and Turkey) and the key process for the im plemen tation

of GAMM towards the East, continued with the

implementation of the Action Plan 2012–2016 through

the EU-funded Prague Process Targeted Initiative

(PP TI). ICMPD, as Secretariat of the Process, supported

its leading states — Czech Republic, Germany,

Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Sweden —

in the implementation of selected priorities and further

development of knowledge bases containing

migration profiles and the i-Map.

In addition to expert and policy-level dialogue, work

on the knowledge base, and implementation of

three pilot projects on the identification of irregular

migrants, student mobility, and quality decision

making in the asylum process, the Secretariat coordinated

with the Prague Process umbrella projects

ERIS, EaP SIPPAP, and the EaP Panel on Migration

and Asylum. The external evaluation of the Process

carried out in 2015 pro vided with positive results,

paving the way for the future.

Prague Process

During its EU Presidency, Slovakia will host the 3rd Prague Process Ministerial

Conference in Bratislava on 19-20 September 2016. This high-level event will set

the objectives for years 2017–2021.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015




Dialogues South:

EUROMED Migration

The EUROMED Migration initiative is the flagship

framework of the European Commission Direc -

torate General Neighborhood and Enlargement

Negotia tions (NEAR) for the Mediterranean region.

After leading the third phase of this initiative from

2012 to 2015, ICMPD was entrusted with leading

EUROMED Migration through its fourth phase

(2016 to 2019).

Participating states

Observer states

EUROMED Migration placed inter-institutional

co operation and coordination, defined as the

fundamental element of successful migration

governance, at the centre of its focus. It assists

a number of coun tries, including Algeria, Jordan,

Palestine, and others, in launching a migration

governance process and will also support the

modernisation of migration governance through

the use of modern methodologies and technology

such as the Migration Governance Tool, the

Migration Dashboard and the interactive map on

migration (i-Map).

Despite being important regions of origin of migration,

Europe and the Middle East and North Africa

regions tend to share a common, somewhat negative

perception of migration. Therefore, EUROMED

Migration IV will also include a special focus on

developing a balanced and more positive narrative

concerning migration.

EUROMED Migration

EUROMED Migration IV also invests in the future. Over the coming four years,

around thirty students and junior officials will be trained to become professionals

of migration governance.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



Rabat Process

For a decade, the partners of this Dialogue have

been meeting regularly to have a genuine dialogue

regarding questions raised by the region’s migra tory

challenges. Five principles, defined by the Dakar

Strategy (2011), express the partner countries common

desire to “approach migration issues in a

balanced way, in the spirit of shared responsibility”:

1. Working dialogue

2. A flexible and balanced approach

3. Coherent dialogue

4. Committed partners

5. Shared responsibility

Since 2014, the policy framework of the Rabat

Process has been the Rome Declaration and

Programme 2014–2017. It added international

protection as a fourth thematic pillar and placed

emphasis on two of these priorities: the link

between migration and development, and the

prevention of and fight against irregular migra -

tion and related crimes.

ICMPD supports the Rabat Process by orga niz -

ing and facilitating key meetings and sharing

its knowledge and expertise relevant to the var -

i ous topics and policy areas of the Process.

In 2015, the Rabat Process partners met for a

Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Porto in order to

discuss the Valletta Summit results. They adopted

the Porto Monitoring Plan (PMP), piloted by the

Support Project, to monitor the Valletta Action Plan.

Participating states

Observer states

Partner states until 2014

The Steering Committee (‘Comité de Pilotage’) of the Rabat Process is comprised of the

following countries and organisations: Belgium, Burkina Faso, the European Commission,

the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), Equatorial Guinea, France,

Italy, Mali, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal and Spain

ICMPD Annual Report 2015




Transit Migration (MTM)

The Mediterranean Transit Migration (MTM) dialogue

is a framework focused mainly on exploring innova tive

ways and means to address the complex diversity

of migration governance. Since 2015, Mediterranean

City-to-City Migration (MC2CM) has been bringing

together new key stakeholders concerning migration,

that are also major urban areas. In an increasingly

urbanised world where by mid-century more than

70% of people are expected to live in cities, migration

movements will strongly contribute to this growth.

Subsequently, migration governance must increasingly

become multi-levelled. Both central and local

governments will play a major role in ensuring that

migration is a positive contributor to stability, develop

ment, and prosperity.

To address the challenges such development

dynam ics entail, ICMPD established a unique

partnership with the United Cities and Local

Government (UCLG), UN-Habitat and UNHCR.

With the support of the European Commission

and the Swiss Development Agency, the cities

of Amman, Beirut, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Tangiers,

Tunis, Turin, and Vienna are actively sharing

knowledge and experience, developing ideas,

and helping shape the future of cooperation

on migration among cities in the Mediterranean.

Participating states

Mediterranean Transit Migration (MTM)

In 2016, city migration profiles will highlight the role of migration in urban development.

Hosted on the i-Map, they will enrich the platform and complement both national and

migration route profiles.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



Khartoum Process

The Khartoum Process (EU-Horn of Africa Migration

Route Initiative) is the newest of the EU-African Migration

Dialogues established at the Ministerial Conference

in Rome at the end of 2014. The Process

pro vides a platform for consultation and coordination

through dialogue between Africa and the EU on antitrafficking

and human smuggling in the Horn of Africa.

It thus fosters a common understanding of the challenges

posed by human trafficking and the smug gling

of migrants, encouraging opportunities for partnership

and shared responsibility and cooperation

through the implementation of concrete projects.

ICMPD provides support to the Secretariat (European

Commission and African Union Commission) of the

Khartoum Process by organizing and facilitating key

meetings and sharing its knowledge and relevant exper

tise regarding the varied policy areas and themes

of the Process.

In this vein, the Khartoum Process has had several

key meetings since its launch. A particular impetus

was given by the 2015 Valletta Summit and its resulting

Declaration and Action Plan, which outlines key

priorities for Africa and the EU concerning migration

more broadly.

In 2016, the Process will hold a meeting in Khartoum

on the theme of people smuggling, followed by

a meeting on the topic of legal migration (including

visa facilitation) later in the year.

Participating states

The Steering Committee (‘Comité de Pilotage’) of the Khartoum Process is comprised

of the following countries: Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, South

Sudan, Sudan, and the United Kingdom

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

International Protection:

2015, a Turning Point

for the Global and

European Protection


The tragic deaths of asylum seekers and

migrants en route to safety in the EU

stunned Europe in 2015, while the arrival

of unprecedented flows of migrants and

refugees put the functioning of the Common

European Asylum System (CEAS) at stake.

These developments shaped, to a large

extent, the ICMPD’s asylum portfolio in 2015.

A “Refugee Crisis”?

Since 2014, with the increasing flow of migrants and

refugees, ICMPD has been actively involved in the

debate on different levels, engaging its member

states in discussions on responsibility sharing in the

European context. During this time, the Asylum

Programme has analysed, through research papers

and roundtable exchanges among member state

representatives, various responsibility-sharing tools,

distribution keys, and recast CEAS instruments.

In reaction to the tragic deaths at sea in April 2015

and against the background of further increasing

flows, the EC tabled the European Agenda on Migration.

Its relocation and resettlement scheme defined

the framework of further exchange in the framework

of ICMPD’s Asylum Programme (complemented by

the exchange among ICMPD member states on

push and pull factors) and proposed a roundtable

discussion on mass influx, smuggling, and the situation

in the countries along the Western Balkan migration

route. The composition of ICMPD member states

proved crucial for a suc cessful debate involving not

only EU member states but also countries along the

Western Balkan route.

ICMPD’s role in the context of the mass influx of mi -

grants and refugees in 2015 was to provide a platform

for our member states’ policymakers to exchange

information on migratory trends, map developments,

and complement the public debate. ICMPD published

an updated paper on responsibility sharing, and

various blog posts, mapping lessons learned and

various EU and EU member state policies created in

response to the so-called ‘refugee crisis’.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Large scale arrivals and beyond

Besides the task of hosting arriving refugees, EU member

states are increasingly posing questions regarding

their potential integration, inter alia, into the labour

market. ‘What is the labour market potential?’,

‘What skills and qualifications are asylum seekers

and refugees bringing?’, and ‘How can this potential

best be used to the benefit of the persons concerned

and the host society?’ are only some of the questions

that require more insight. In a pilot research study,

ICMPD analysed possible tools to assess the qualifications

of asylum seekers arriving in Austria with

regard to their educational, language, and profession

al skills. The pilot assessment led to preliminary

results that will be researched further in 2016, based

on interviews with asylum seekers.In recent years,

officials have been receiving many claims based on

medical grounds in asylum and other EU member

state migration procedures. Since 2010, ICMPD has

been a partner on a project that facilitates EU member

states’ exchange of medical country of origin

information among EU Member States. To tackle the

lacuna of comparable information on EU member

state policies in this specific area, The Netherlands

commissioned ICMPD to carry out comparative

research on state practices dealing with medical

migration cases, which re vealed an increasing trend

of medical claims in EU member states and a wide

variety of national policies and practices.

Outside the EU

Furthermore, we are involved in assisting Ukrainian

authorities to address internal displacement and

supporting other ICMPD programmes to set up COI

units in Georgia and Turkey, and train migration

services and border agencies on protection-related

issues in Georgia, Turkey, Lebanon, the Mediterranean,

and the Western Balkan region.

Who came

to europe in 2015?

Asylum applicants (2015)

as share of the total EU

population (estimate):

Countries of origin

of asylum applicants in the EU in

2015. ‘Others’ include, among others:

Pakistan, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Iran.


EU population

Asylum applicants

Syria (29%)

Afghanistan (14%)

Iraq (10%)

Kosovo (5%)

Albania (5%)

Others (37%)

This equals 1,321,600 persons in total, or

1 asylum seeker per 400 inhabitants

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Policy responses by the EU

13 May

EC: European Agenda

on Migration

saving lives, hotspots, relocation

Operations ‘Triton’ and ‘Poseidon’

Proposal for relocation and resettlement

‘Hotspot’ approach

EUR 60 million for front-line EU states

EUR 30 million for North Africa and

the Horn of Africa

9 September

EC: Second Implementation Package

quota, safe countries of origin,

addressing root causes

Relocation of 120,000 refugees within Europe

+ permanent crisis relocation mechanism

Common list of safe countires of origin

Action plan on return, return handbook

Addressing the external dimension of the crisis:

EUR 1.8 billion Trust Fund for Africa

2015 2016

27 May

EC: First Implementation Package

emergency relocation, resettlement,

fight against smuggling

Emergency response mechanism to assist Italy and

Greece Relocation of 40,000 refugees within the EU

Resettlement of 20,000 refugees from outside Europe

Action plan against migrant smuggling

End of 2015

EU: Managing the Crisis

return, EU-Turkey cooperation,


Proposal for new travel documents for return

Sweden requests opt-out from EU relocation mechanism

EU-Turkey action plan agreement includes resettlement,

and EUR 3 billion financial support


on a national level

2015 was marked by heated debates

over responsibility-sharing and the distribution

of asylum seekers in Europe.

This led to policy reforms at the national

level in several countries.

EU Member States marked in orange

plan to or have already amended their

asylum legislation in response to the

large num ber of refugees and migrants

arriving in Europe.

In most cases, these changes mean

tightening legislation and restrictions

to the rights of asylum seekers.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Human Trafficking:

Balancing Protection

and Prosecution

Balancing victim protection and prosecution

of traffickers is central to our work. In 2015,

we engaged strongly in the fight against

new forms of trafficking and exploitation.

To better understand the protection needs of vulnerable

groups at risk of trafficking, ICMPD conducted

new research in 2015. Our study Targeting Vulner a bilities,

conducted in Syria and its neighbouring countries,

shed light on different forms of the exploitation

of refugees. We found that Syrian refugees are often

trafficked or exploited because they lack alternatives

to meet their basic needs. Affected people, whatever

their legal migration status, must not fall between the

cracks of our protection frameworks.

A victim-centred approach in combating human

trafficking requires good national and transnational

cooperation, interagency coordination and a multistakeholder

approach to victim care.

ICMPD con ducted assessments of national referral

mecha nisms in Albania and Bosnia & Herzegovina,

and made recommendations on how to strengthen

victim protection processes. We did similar work in

Sweden, supporting government agencies in developing

the first fully-fledged Transnational Referral

Mechanism for victims. In Brazil, we developed

guide lines and standard operating procedures for

migrant assistance centres at their land borders

and delivered training on victim identification and

integration measures.

At a regional level, ICMPD continued to serve as

secretariat for the national anti-trafficking coordinators

from Southeastern Europe, the so-called

‘Brdo Process Group’. We supported cooperation

and exchange of information between them by

hosting their bi-annual meetings.

Prosecuting Traffickers

Our focus on the protection of vulnerable groups

and trafficked people was balanced with our activities

to develop the capacities and tools neces sary

to effectively prosecute traffickers.

One strategic tool in the fight against human

trafficking, which identifies and prioritises crime

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Countries we

worked in:

“Victims of human trafficking,

whatever their migration status,

must not fall between the cracks

of our protection frameworks.”



Bosnia &








Nigeria and

other West











threats, is the Serious and Organised Crime Threat

Assessment (SOCTA) report. In Moldova, we supported

the drafting of the country’s first SOCTA on


This strategic level work was complemented with

capacity building for frontline practitioners. We

delivered specialised training to law enforcement

officers around the globe and to one hundred

members of the National Police Bureau in Pakistan

alone. This is a group that had received very little

training to date.

In Europe, we worked alongside the UK authorities

to coordinate a new network of European labour

inspectors. We supported them in developing a draft

action plan to strengthen European action against

labour exploitation – an important step in the fight

against trafficking in human beings.

Bringing Southeastern National Anti-trafficking coordinators together

Since 2010, ICMPD has acted as secretariat for all national anti-trafficking coordinators

from Southeastern Europe. We were entrusted to support the work of the ‘Brdo Process

Group’ thanks to our strong competence in this thematic area and our longterm cooperation

with the countries from this region. We host the annual meetings of the group and

facilitate the knowledge exchange and cooperation between all participating countries.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Border Management:

From Security to the

Effective Management

of Migration Flows

Border management has traditionally been seen as

merely a security issue. Our work shows, through several

examples, that this is no longer an actuality. In the past

year we witnessed a launch of several projects where

border security is going hand in hand with other sectors

and also serves as a tool for better management of

migration flows.

2015 was marked with an unexpected increase of

migration flows across the external borders of the

EU, increasing mobility of persons and goods as

well as increased fear of terrorism and organised

crime. Despite this, states need to ensure the right

balance between open and, at the same time, secured

and controlled borders. In this regard, we

provided support to our partners in improving their

border management capacities in particular and

strengthening strategic and operational plan ning

through a number of projects of a bilateral or regional

nature. To this end, the concept of integrated

border management (IBM) played a major role in

our day-to-day activities in different regions of the

world. A tailor-made approach enabled countries

such as Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Tunisia,

Lebanon, and the countries of Central Asia to prepare

and draft national IBM strategies along with

comprehensive action plans. Our belief in the

utmost importance of education and training

processes is reflected in our development of modern

distance e-learning tools in the areas of integrated

border management, risk analysis, standard operational

procedures, document security, and trade facilitation.

Countries of the European Eastern Partnership

(EaP) made a milestone achievement in strengthening

cooperation in training areas on a regional and multilateral

basis by signing a memorandum on cooperation

in the region and with selected EU member states

in the training and education area. A regional approach

is relevant to our work and one of the largest

border management programmes – Border Management

Programme Central Asia (BOMCA) – resumed

its work in the region, where ICMPD, among others,

provides a wide range of technical assistance to

Central Asian border agencies. A number of efforts

were directed to support partners in better management

of the flows via border crossing points to shorten

waiting times for traders, while at the same time

increase security aspects. In particular, we assisted

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Countries of ICMPD´s Border Management Activities

national experts in Lebanon preparing contingency

planning at border crossing points with Syria – in the

long term this will contribute to the effective management

of people returning to Syria when the situation

allows. With the raise of terrorist threats and

appearance of foreign terrorist fighters, ICPMD´s

Com petence Centre for Border Management & Visa

(BMV) has started cooperation with the United

Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) to address

new trends relevant to border management

and state security. The importance of border man agement

is reflected also in a number of border manage

ment related activities under migration dialogues

(Rabat Process and Budapest Process/The Silk Route)

and multi-thematic projects such as one in Armenia

where migration and border management are implemented

under the umbrella of the Migration and

Border Management in Armenia (MIBMA) project.

Border management is no longer only a matter of

one agency, as no single agency or country can deal

with contemporary security threats. Our approach

includes all relevant actors in border management,

including civil society and border communities. In the

Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauretania,

and Niger), border communities and state border

agencies play a significant role. Traditionally, border

management was reserved exclusively for the latter,

however with the introduction of a concept that aims

to integrate several players at the borders where

also other – equally important – actors have found

their role and place in 2015.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Irregular Migration

and Return: Ensuring

Migrants’ Rights

Considering the present migration crisis,

fostering a comprehensive approach to

migration management is more important

than ever. Our activities in the field of

irregular migration and return address

measures at all stages of the irregular

migration process, applying a human

rights-centred approach to all activities.

In 2015, there was a strong focus put on ensuring

human rights in the actual return process by supporting

EU member states and associated states in

fulfilling their obligations under the Return Directive

(Art. 8.6) that states: ‘Member States shall provide

for an effective forced-return monitoring system’.

By elaborating a set of documents describing the

functioning and working modalities of a future European

Pool of Forced Return Monitors and training

forced return monitors on the principles and rules

they are committed to comply with while monitoring

forced return operations, we supported a number

of states in further developing and improving their

national forced return capacities, ensuring the safeguarding

of human rights of returnees.

A PILOT Euro pean Pool of Forced Return Monitors

was created. Through our ICMPD Member State

Pro gramme we offer our member states a possibility

to discuss issues of specific relevance to them in

a small and informal expert setting. The two workshops

that we organised in 2015 focused on’ the

migration situation at large and addressed the

following topics: ‘Managing or Being Managed by

Migration? Status Quo, Concepts and Responses

to Migratory Flows via the Western Balkan Route’

and ‘Migration Analysis Systems – Options,

Challenges and Existing Practices for Analysing

Migration Trends and Providing Evidence-based

Inputs for Migration Policy Planning and Response’.

Both workshops offered the opportunity for our

member states to exchange experiences and discuss

different approaches to their challenges faced.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

“We supported a number of

states in further developing and

improving their national forcedreturn

capacities, ensuring the

safeguarding of human rights

of returnees.”

We continued our capacity building activities through

cooperation with countries of origin, transit, and

des ti nation, strongly focusing on facilitating dialogues

between various stakeholders at the national, regional,

and international level. In this regard we, for example,

offered capacity building measures and training in

Pakistan and Turkey, focusing on cooperation and

implementation of the EU–Pakistan and EU–Turkey

readmission agreements with the aim to support

their smooth implementation as well as the set up

of necessary structures.

ICMPD, together with eight partners and associated partner states, established a

Euro pean PILOT Pool of Forced Return Monitors – consisting of independent and welltrained

monitors available to states in need of monitors and FRONTEX for forced return

oper ations. Forced return monitoring aims to ensure that human rights standards and

legal obliga tions are met and returnees are treated in a manner compliant with national

legislation and international human rights standards during forced return operations.

We offer training and consultation in the field of forced return monitoring for any state

in need of support.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Legal Migration

and Integration:

Laying the


The main aim of our work is laying the founda -

tions for functioning migration governance, labour

migration, and integration policies. In 2015, we

focused on EU mobility partnerships and global

standards for immigrant integration.

The support of countries that have concluded mobility

partnerships or a visa liberalisation action plan

with the EU has developed into one of our main areas

of expertise and activity. In Georgia, we con tinued

to support their efforts to fulfil the related requirements

concerning migration, strengthen their migration

management and information systems, and write

new migration policy. In March 2016, the European

Commission (EC) proposed to lift visa requirements

for the citizens of Georgia, confirming that Georgia

successfully met all benchmarks under the Visa

Liberalisation Action Plan. Thus, the EC recognised

the efforts of Georgian authorities who carried out

far-reaching and difficult reforms, which had at

least partly been conducted with the help of ICMPD

and European experts. A similar initiative has been

developed for Azerbaijan, where we will support

the implementation of the EU Mobility Partnership.

Priorities will include well-managed labour migration

and trade-related mobility, public awareness on

migration, migration analysis, document security,

asylum policy, and sustainable reintegration.

We believe that labour migration is best supported

by an honest dialogue between sending and

receiv ing countries and pragmatic approaches

that are based on all sides´ interests and priorities.

This con vic tion found its expression in ICMPD´s

internal cooperation on migration in the Euro-

Mediterranean area.

Working for the benefit of migrants

Our activities want to focus on the migrants themselves whenever possible.

In Tunisia, where we contributed to the strengthening of migration governance in a

postrevolu tion ary country, we tried to go beyond traditional capacity building by

including components for the actual benefit of returnees and prospective migrants.

Concretely, a number of young Tunisians were supported in setting up small busi -

nesses based on their own plans and ideas. All of them were still operating one year

after funding had come to an end and many felt the need to expand their activities

(some had even recruited additional employees in order to do so). This positive

experience is intended to enrich our future activities and projects.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Dynamics of integration

Early Integration

Advanced Integration

Country of Origin

Country of Destination




labour matching

Language and

vocational training

Language testing

Orientation measures

Harmonisation of

national education


Early Orientation

Welcome desks

Integration centres

Orientation courses

Language courses

Vocational consultancy

and training

Labour market

integration support

Advanced Integration


Participation in regular structures

Anti-discrimination measures

Information relevant to

obtaining citizenship

Monitoring & evaluation


we have

worked in/
























Its aim was to analyse main trends in the areas of

legal migration, irregular migration, protection, and

migration and development, as well as the underlying

challenges and opportunities, instruments and

legal frameworks. Thus, it established a rich source

for concrete conclusions and rec om men da tions that

were agreed by partner countries in the EUROMED

migration framework as priorities for future direction.

Ensuring the full integration of immigrants in the eco -

nomic, social, and cultural life of their host societies

has become a priority of many immigration countries.

In the Russian Federation, we supported the pro cess

of developing the country´s first global integration

pol icy together with experts from the Czech Republic

and Austria. The outcome of this collaboration already

found its resonance in the recent introduction of

language and civic integration tests in Russia. Thus,

the jointly elaborated principles and standards in

integration policies were not limited to partners, but

made available as a toolbox for policymakers in all

states participating in the Prague Process.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Migration and


Policy Coherence

for Sustainable


In 2015, we pioneered new guidelines on developmentsensitive

migration management for Turkey and engaged

in diaspora strategy and programme developments in

seven countries on three different continents.

Promoting Diaspora Engagement

Unless we understand the many ways in which migration

and development processes relate to one another,

we will not have the information we need to

design policies that will promote prosperity and

stability in the long run. Sustainable migration governance

needs to be anchored in long-term thinking.

It needs to be based on knowledge of how migration

policies shape development outcomes in countries

of origin and destination and how various development

processes, in turn, influence migrants and

mi gra tion. To this end, ICMPD pioneered tools for

Turkey to use in supporting a development-sensitive

migration management framework. These pro gramming

guidelines and checklists can be replicated for

other countries and complement similar tools being

developed to measure policy coherence on migration

and development. By applying a human-centred

de vel opment approach they also contribute to

achiev ing the newly adopted global goal of facilitat ing

safe and responsible migration and mobility of people.

We added a cornerstone to the current knowledgebase

on free movement of people in West Africa

with a new survey on migration policies, conducted

in cooperation with IOM. This survey is the first of

its kind and sheds light on progress made and remain

ing challenges for free movement. The share of

migra tion within West Africa is seven times greater

than in other parts of the world, so the potential of

regional mobility for development and integration is

signi fi cant. At the practical level, we started scaling

up an innovative public-private sector partnership

for faster cross-border movement in eight countries

in the region.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

Diaspora Policy


Ties with the



and networking

Political participation

Improved Legal

and Institutional


National focal point

for diaspora issues

Dual citizenship laws

and simplified visa


Reduced barriers for

investment and


Getting to Know

the Diaspora

Visits to the diaspora

in the destination


Diaspora mapping

and information


Coherent and

Tailored Approach

Coordination (interinstitutional



Involvement in development

and planning

Consultation & Partnership


with the diaspora

Services and

Information Abroad

Support to diaspora

associations and


Diplomatic and

consular services

Incentives and

Joint Agendas

Joint projects


culture, sports,

philanthropy, etc.)

Tailored financial

products (e.g.

diaspora bonds)

Low transfer fees

for remittances

Political Relations

with Destination


Regional cooperation

to facilitate mobility

Diplomatic relations


(portability of social

rights, labour market

access, education

programmes, etc.)


trade and tourism



and investments

philanthropy towards

its communities

employment creation

(enterprises and

business support)

know-how transfer,

innovation, ideas, skills

and competencies

input to the political

debate and support to

civil society


assistance and poverty




Origin & destination

country governments

Diplomatic & consular

missions abroad

Local authorities

Local communities

Civil society

Diaspora individuals

and associations

Research and


Private sector

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Capacity Building

“Understanding the migration-development

nexus and its policy implications is a precondition

for pursuing comprehensive, sustainable and

future-oriented migration governance.”

Regional Mobility

Promoting diaspora engagement is a major part of

our work on the migration-development nexus. We

took stock of more than eight years of activities in

this field and published a working paper on lessons

learned. It capitalises on our experience working

with governments in designing improved policies

and programmes, and the partnerships we have

formed with some of the most well-known diaspora

organisations in Europe to empower diasporas as

development actors.

As concrete evidence for the growing importance of

effective diaspora engagement for governments

world wide, we worked with seven countries on three

different continents. In Burundi, Ghana, Malawi,

Paraguay, and Tajikistan we helped develop new

strategies and action plans.

We supported Georgia to embark on a high-profile

diaspora programme, and in Lebanon we started

working on a diaspora direct investment strategy,

which will cater one of the world’s biggest diaspora

groups. We also conducted a feasibility study on

diaspora entrepreneurship and supported the

Global Forum on Migration and De vel opment with

a background paper for the Istanbul summit on

this still emerging topic. We have seen that whereas

the importance of the private sector in development

cooperation is widely acknowledged, the role of

the migrant and diasporas is often over looked.

An inclusive business approach that jointly defines

goals that directly affect diasporas can bring substan

tial gains to countries of destination and origin.

Building a platform for African diaspora organisations

Since 2011, ICMPD supports the set-up of ADEPT, a service delivery platform for African

diaspora organisations in Europe engaged in the development of Africa. ADEPT acts as a

catalyst for diaspora development actions for the 84 countries targeted: 28 EU countries

plus Switzerland and Norway, and 54 African countries.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



Migrants in


in Crisis

Supporting an Evidence-based Approach for

Effective and Cooperative State Action’ (MICIC) is

a new EU-funded four-year project, started in early

2015 by ICMPD. The project aims to improve the

capacity of states and other stakeholders to assist

and protect migrants who are in countries in crisis.

It encompasses the three-pronged approach of

ICMPD, namely: inter-governmental consultations,

research, and capacity building.

The MICIC project is the EU’s contribution to the

UN-lead initiative of the same name. The ultimate

goal of this global initiative is to produce volun -

tary guidelines that set out principles, roles, and

responsibilities of different stakeholders vis-à-vis

migrants in countries in crisis.

Since January 2015, ICMPD has organised six state

consultations around the globe, receiving input for

the global guidelines from countries in Asia, Eastern

Europe, Central Asia, North Africa, the Middle East,

West and Central Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean,

and Eastern and Southern Africa.

In parallel to the consultative process, in cooperation

with Oxford University, ICMPD kicked off research

into the long-term consequences of crisis.

The re search fills an important knowledge gap in

this area. Fieldwork was launched for six case

studies focusing on a variety of crisis situations in

Thailand, Libya, Central African Republic, Lebanon,

South Africa, and Cote d’Ivoire.

The MICIC guidelines as well as the initial research

results will be presented at the UN General Assembly

in September 2016.

In 2016, the MICIC global guidelines will be officially

launched, research outcomes showcased, and

ICMPD will kick-off its capacity building for states

and other stakeholders to enhance their preparedness

in ad dress ing the needs of migrants in countries

in crisis and mitigating the long-term impacts

of such situations.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



MIgration EU

eXpertise (MIEUX) –

Forging Global

Migration Partnerships

In 2015, after seven successful years and a hundred received

requests, the EU-funded MIEUX Initiative continued delivering

short-term capacity building support in more than forty

countries across the world. It is aimed at the consolidation

of partner countries’ expertise in all areas of migration and

mobility. MIEUX is a fast, flexible and demand-driven initiative.

MIEUX is an EU-funded global facility strengthening

the migration governance capacities of governments

in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America

by mobilising experts from EU Member States and

other countries to share experiences with their peers

in MIEUX partner countries.

In 2015, MIEUX supported the efforts of partner

countries in a range of national migration management

tools, strategies, policies and legislation. As a

pioneering initiative, MIEUX has continued to deliver

significant results both in terms of the scope of

interventions and their outcomes. As such, MIEUX

has pursued its objectives to build bridges between

the EU and partner countries, equip partners with

tailor-made practices, enhance migration under s-

tanding and narratives, and bring together various

stakeholders in view of setting national and regional

migration goals, as well as opening up new cooperation


MIEUX provides expertise on legal migration, asylum,

irregular migration, and migration and development.

For example, its action in Mexico aims to strengthen

national capacities to identify and protect unaccompanied

minors. In West Africa, MIEUX focuses on the

potential that mobility presents to adapt to climate

change and environmental catastrophes. Further

re sults from 2015 are the jointly crafted National

Strategy and Action Plan Against Trafficking in Human

Beings in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as the Malawian

National Diaspora Engagement Policy.

At the same time, MIEUX is a facility for EU Member

States. The deployed experts are exposed to new

practices and professional environments, reinforcing

existing cooperations while fostering new ones.

Going forward, MIEUX intends to broaden its outreach

to include new actors, such as local administrations,

parliamentary bodies, the judiciary, etc. MIEUX will

run until December 2019.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



Geographical Distribution of Acivities 2015







Latin America

and Caribbean

Middle East

MIEUX in 2015

Requests received: 14

Experts involved: more than 40

Ongoing projects: 23

Activities organised: 42

Number of Participants of

MIEUX events: more than 600

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Policy Development

Towards a

New Migration


The global refugee crisis of 2015 underlined the

need to find new ways in managing migration,

both within Europe as well as together with countries

of origin and transit. While states were inevitably

preoccupied with finding ways to cope

with and eventually overcome the crisis, it also

became clear that a return to a pre-crisis state

of affairs was neither feasible nor desirable. To

ensure ‘orderly migration’, European and international

migration governance needs a fundamental

reorientation towards anew migration

architecture. This new architecture must provide

comprehensive concepts, functioning individual

policies in the various areas of migration management,

and a balanced and honest dialogue with

countries of origin and transit.

The main aim of ICMPD’s policy development is to

contribute to new ideas that go beyond conventional

wisdom, based on a sound analysis of migration

realities and political feasibility. In 2015 we focused

on developing a holistic approach to migration in the

Mediterranean, lessons learned on the fight against

migrant smugglers, and the potential for functioning

labour market integration of refugees in Europe.

New instruments and joint commitment

The international migration regime has come under immense pressure caused by

the migration situation and a lack of agreement and unity between states. New

instruments are needed as well as reinforced commitment towards joint solutions.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



Promoting an Interdisciplinary


to Migration – ICMPD

Summer Schools

Efficient migration management requires know ledge

and expertise in different scientific dis ci plines: law,

sociology, demography, the political sciences, economics,

and others. ICMPD promotes this approach

by organizing multi-disciplinary research-oriented

migration summer schools within different projects.

Moreover, these summer schools welcome students

from different academic fields of study, young pro -

fes sionals from state institutions involved in migration

management, and representatives of civil society

to support cooperation between the government,

non-government, and academic sectors. The summer

schools have been developed and organized

by ICMPD staff, with lectures provided by internal

and external ICMPD experts including professors

from Maastricht University, University of Oxford,

Sorbonne, and the University of Vienna, as well as

independent migration researchers from different


Better Informed

for Better Migration

Migration is about people. Therefore, people should

be best informed about manage migration within

their respective governments. ICMPD works within

multiple countries on a variety of projects to provide

expertise and support for organizing and

implementing public information campaigns on

migration by teaching how to reach out to different

target groups and select or adjust communication

tools and methods. The topics for ICMPD-supported

awareness-raising activities include the

provision of information to academic and nongovernmental

sectors concerning new migration

policy, sharing achievements and perspectives of

the implementation of the Visa Liberalization Action

Plan with the general public, briefing diaspora

members about the socio-political situation in their

country of origin, promoting legal forms of migration,

and preventing irregular migration. Methods

for such support vary from the provision of training

to public relations managers in migration-related

institutions and the organization of mobile counselling

units in destination countries to the organiza

tion of photo contests for youth and open-air

events on migration issues.

International Centre for Migration

Policy Development (ICMPD)

Gonzagagasse 1

A-1010 Vienna



All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced,

copied or transmitted in any form

or by any means, electronic or

mechanical, including photocopy,

recording, or any information storage

and retrieval system, without

permission of the copyright owners.

Art Direction & Design: Rosebud

Photography: David Blacher

(p. 2 and 4), Katsey (inside cover)

International Centre for Migration

Policy Development (ICMPD)

Austria, 2016

Boundaries and names shown and the designations

used on the maps do not imply official endorsement

or acceptance by ICMPD.

ICMPD Annual Report 2015




Michael Spindelegger

Director General

Gabriela Abado

Deputy Director General, Director of

Human and Financial Ressources

Martijn Pluim

Director, Eastern Dimension

Lukas Gehrke

Director, Southern Dimension

Ralph Genetzke

Head of Brussels Mission

ICMPD Annual Report 2015





The financial statements are prepared in line

with the rules governing the financial framework

of ICMPD and relevant decisions by its

Member States. They are drawn up in accordance

with generally accepted accounting

principles and International Public Sector

Accounting Standards (IPSAS) as applied.

Budget execution

EUR 16,751,000





Membership contributions

Project resources

Net contributions from

operational activities

Other income

ICMPD Annual Report 2015


Budget Execution

Programmes and Geographic Areas

Expenditures in 2015 (regular and programme

budget) amounted to EUR 16.7 million. The

budget was funded by membership contributions,

project resources and miscellaneous

income including contributions from operational

activities. The consolidated budget

comprises the regular budget containing the

essential management, administration, and

infrastructure costs necessary for the steering

and governance of the organisation and

the programme budget containing dedicated

funds for project implementation, specific

programmes for Member States and support


ICMPD’s operational activities covered six

thematic migration management programmes:

Asylum, Border Management and Visa, Irregular

Migration and Return, Legal Migration and

Integration, Migration and Development, and

as well as Trafficking in Human Beings. Geographically,

the areas of operations reflected

the priority regions of ICMPD’s Member States

and main donors: the Eastern Neighbourhood,

CIS and the Silk Routes region, the Southern

Neighbourhood with the Mediterranean region,

Sub-Saharian Africa, and Brazil. ICMPD supported

major migration dialogues in the Southern

and Eastern Neighborhoods and carried

out research projects with a focus on European

policy questions.

Programme expenditures 2015

by geographic region (in %)

Programme expenditures 2015

Funding structure (in %)










Eastern dimension

Southern dimension


ICMPD Member States

European Commission

UN & Other Institutions

Other States

ICMPD Annual Report 2015



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