IOM launches first ever Regional Migration Data Hub for the Southern African Region

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office in Pretoria will officially launch the Regional Migration Data Hub for Southern Africa (RMDHub) on 24 November 2017. The establishment of the Hub is part of IOM's response to requests by SADC Member States to IOM to enhance capacities of Governments to generate accurate and reliable data to better inform policy development. The Hub also responds to recommendations by SADC Ministers of Home Affairs and Ministers of Labour that urged Member States to work in close collaboration with IOM and partners to ensure that migration data are shared and communicated more effectively.

This hub forms part of IOM's global response following the launch of the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in 2015, in Berlin, Germany. It is the conviction of the IOM Director General Amb. William Lacy Swing that Poor presentation of migration data can contribute to misperceptions about migration, and distort public debates about the topic. We need to do more to ensure that data are presented accurately and communicated in ways that can be easily understood.rdquo;

Recently, as migration has risen to the top of the global and regional policy agendas, there is increased demand for reliable data to shape and inform the migration narrative. Migration data is key in the formulation of effective migration policies and it is for this reason that IOM has established this Hub to support the collection, analysis and interpretation of migration data at the national and regional levels. In effect, without consistent and comparable data, it is difficult to analyze trends and forecast migration patterns to develop strategies to manage migration in a more humane, safe and orderly manner.

Migration is a multi-sectoral and inter-ministerial issue with migration data hosted by different Government ministries and institutions. The RMDHub will therefore serve as a central repository of migration data and information gathered through studies, research and operational activities in the SADC Region carried out by IOM, National Institutions, Academia, Civil Society and Private Sector. It will also ensure coherence in migration data collection, analysis and interpretationrdquo;, explains the Regional Director for Southern Africa, Mr. Charles Kwenin. In collaboration with the Global Migration Analysis and Data Centre, the Hub will explore innovative approaches to collect reliable data on migration flows, patterns and trends,rdquo; he adds.

Through a significant and progressive move, migration was included in the UN 2030 Development Agenda. In addition, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of September 2016 stresses the need to enhance data collection, specifying that such data should be disaggregated by sex and age and include information on regular and irregular flows, human trafficking, and the needs of refugees and migrants among other aspects.

The launch, to be attended by senior Government officials, Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to the Republic of South Africa, academic institutions, development partners, UN agencies, IOM officials, civil society, private sector and other key stakeholders, will also showcase innovative technological tools and resources that IOM has developed in recent years to enhance this important regional response.

Source:International Office of Migration (IOM).

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