Migration and Water

Statistical trends show that more people are on the move today than ever before. According to the evidence there are now 258 million international migrants, comprising 3.3% of the world's population. This figure does not even account for people who migrate within their countries; the most recent estimates suggest that there are now upwards of 760 million domestic migrants globally (IOM World Migration Report, 2018). These migration flows are often linked to the scarcity of natural resources. Consequently, the importance of managing natural resources has been increasingly recognized in the migration debate. Water resource governance has become an important consideration within multiple regional, national, and international policy frameworks on migration.

The intensification of water challenges and resulting migration flows have created a strong impetus to integrate migration policy concerns into water governance at the global level. As part of its mandate on migration, environment and climate change, IOM has been examining the nexus between migration and water governance and exploring potential synergies between both policy domains. As a recognized leader in this cross-cutting field, IOM has made numerous contributions across multiple fora in order disseminate expertise and knowledge on these topics.

IOM Celebrates World Water Day 2018

On 22 March 2018, IOM celebrated World Water Day. The celebration coincided with the 9th World Water Forum that took place in Brasilia. During the forum, IOM Director General Ambassador William Lacy Swing delivered the following video message at the High Level Panel on Water and Migration. On the occasion of 2018 World Water Day, a Special Newsdesk was released by IOM in a collaborative effort by the WASH Team of the Department of Operations and Emergencies, the Migration, Environment and Climate Change Division of the Department of Migration Management, and the Media and Communication Division.

"Wineh," Years of Drought: Short Film by IOM Colombia

"Wineh," Years of Drought is an IOM Colombia production funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

In the desert of Guajira, located on the northernmost tip of Colombia, problems caused by severe drought have been impacting local ecosystems and communities for half a century. More than 400 families living in this area suffer from this water scarcity, experiencing negative impacts upon their health and the viability of natural resources. Forced to migrate to Venezuela in order to survive, Wayuu communities return home periodically out of their commitment to their ancestral heritage.

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