Free Conference on Migrants and Cities organized by IOM

26 and 27 October 2015
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva, Switzerland


Cities are attracting increasing numbers of people in search of a better life, more employment opportunities and better services, but also those fleeing conflict, natural disasters and environmental degradation. In 2014, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social The Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants bound for Italy (File photo). © Francesco Malavolta/IOM 2014Affairs estimated that more than half of the world’s population resided in urban areas and that the number of people living in cities would reach approximately 6.4 billion by 2050, constituting 66 per cent of the global population. Migrants play an important role in the global shift to cities and in driving cities’ development agendas. However, this role seems to be largely overlooked in the global debate on urbanization and development. While many cities and local governments are attuned to the realities and policy responses that include migrants – and take migrants’ voices into account when putting forward agendas at both the national and federal levels – others have ignored this in their development planning.


For this year, IOM decided to align the topic of its principal forum for policy dialogue, the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM), with the theme of its flagship publication, the World Migration Report. Accordingly, the 2015 IDM high-level conference will be dedicated to migrants and cities. The conference will be the second such high-level event – with the first being the Diaspora Ministerial Conference held in 2013 – and will bring together ministers, high-level government officials, mayors and other local authorities, the private sector and civil society organizations to discuss the complex dynamics of human mobility at city and local level and how risks can be managed and development opportunities maximized. The conference will also be the venue for the launch of the World Migration Report 2015Migrants and Cities: New Partnerships to Manage Urban Mobility.


Fact sheet about Conference PDF

The conference will aim to address the following broad themes:

  • The role of migration in shaping the future of cities;
  • Local governance of migration: challenges and opportunities specific to cities;
  • Case studies of local and national strategies to manage migration;
  • Partnerships between different levels of government, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector to facilitate positive outcomes for migrants and host communities;
  • Talent mobility and the contribution of migrants to the development of cities;
  • How cities can contribute to improving the public perception of migrants and migration.

The conference will also offer participants the opportunity to:

  • Take stock of various local programmes and initiatives to manage the challenges of human mobility;
  • Identify and share innovative practices and lessons learned;
  • Identify successful partnerships for managing mobility at local level between migrants, local governments, civil society and the private sector;
  • Advance the understanding of and provide recommendations on the inclusion of migration in local, national and global development planning;
  • Build bridges between the different levels of migration management and identify how IOM and other relevant actors can enhance assistance to local and national authorities at the policy, research and operational levels.
How to register:
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