IOM, MPI, call for global action to streamline pandemic travel measures

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) have called on countries to find consensus on clear, equitable and streamlined pandemic travel measures.

Speaking on the sidelines of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, the IOM Director-General António Vitorino and the MPI President Andrew Selee called for charting a course that balances health security with predictable cross-border movement.

The two noted that inaction will not only affect future migration but also equitable pandemic recovery.

“Without this common endeavor, there is an increasing risk that future migration will become even more fragmented, accentuating the already evident signs of a two-speed recovery from COVID-19 that leaves less developed countries behind,” said Vitorino.

“This, in turn, will stall future economic and social development that could otherwise be accelerated through well-managed migration,” he added.

On his part, Selee noted that while there is an overall trend towards re-opening for travel, the process continues to be highly uneven, unequal, and uncoordinated.

“We lack common standards for requirements like testing, common tools to prove vaccination status across borders, and a common understanding of what works to manage public health risks at the border,” he said.