Smuggling of migrants
Migrant smuggling refers to the movement of persons across international borders for financial benefit. Data on migrant smuggling allow policymakers to better understand the phenomena as well as to develop policies that promote safe and orderly migration. Data on smuggling are scarce, and there is no annual global report on migrant smuggling trends. Official statistics on migrant smuggling are limited as many countries do not collect or publish such data. The little data that do exist on smuggling are retrieved from arrivals numbers, such as those across the Mediterranean, or are based on the number of migrants apprehended at a border (Laczko and McAuliffe, 2016). A useful indicator on migrant smuggling and the concern States have over the practice is the number of countries that have ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary protocol, the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air. However, the extent to which these countries have implemented their obligations remains difficult to determine.
Older persons and migration
It is important to collect, process and report data on older persons in the migration context to improve policy and planning. These endeavors will also support the achievement of ageing-related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as protecting the human rights of all people of all ages by “leaving no one behind”, and the commitment to address issues of ageing in the 21st century in the Political Declaration and Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Currently, several migration data sources provide migration data disaggregated by age. Nevertheless, given the extensive attention to help the most vulnerable groups of migrants, namely women and children, data on the older migrant population are only occasionally prepared and used. Collecting and disaggregating migration data by age is not sufficient to tackle the challenges faced by older people in a migration context. Older persons in migration contexts are at risk of being overlooked, which might perpetuate vulnerabilities and inequalities. In addition, there is a lack of data on older persons left behind and their needs.
Migrant deaths and disappearances
Since 2014, more than 4,000 fatalities have been recorded annually on migratory routes worldwide. The number of deaths recorded, however, represent only a minimum estimate because the majority of migrant deaths around the world go unrecorded. Since 2000, more than 60,000 migrant deaths have been recorded globally. These data not only highlight the issue of migrant fatalities and the consequences for families left behind, but can also be used to assess the risks of irregular migration and to design policies and programmes to make migration safer.
Migrant integration has gained prominence on the global agenda with the advent of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda’s call to “leave no one behind”—including migrants. The field of migrant integration, however, has traditionally been polarizing and related data are generally limited to high-income countries. The increased interest in migrant integration highlights the need for more research and better data. Integration cuts across different policies and various aspects of migrants’ lives and therefore data on migrant integration cover a wide range of information, including whether migrants are integrating into the economic, social, cultural, and political spheres of society, the discrimination they face, how policies affect migrants’ inclusion, and how the public perceives migrants and immigration.