GENEVA, MARCH 23 – A focus on improved data will enable IOM to combat fake news and hate speech with solid facts and evidence, a UN meeting in Geneva heard on Friday. A dedicated Europe section on the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre website has just been launched, and it was presented today at a side event at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.
Regional Director Argentina Szabados stressed the importance of the portal, noting that “in times of fake news, a rise of populism, spread of negative stereotypes and violent hate crime, there is greater need than ever for genuine facts and reliable figures to give a true picture of what migration is and how it shapes our world.”
An audience of politicians, diplomats and UN officials attending the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development heard that the portal highlights past and recent trends on migration in Europe, existing data sources, and strengths and weaknesses of those data.
GMDAC Director Frank Laczko underscored the importance of the Portal, saying “at a time when migration is high on the European agenda, it is essential that everyone has access to the reliable facts and information about migration, and that we better understand the strengths and weaknesses of data on migration in Europe”
Part of IOM’s Global Migration Data Portal, launched in 2017, the new Europe section is designed to help policy makers, national statistics officers, journalists and the general public understand migration data. By making the evidence about migration issues accessible in one place and easy to understand, it contributes to a more informed public debate.
There are 78 million international migrants in Europe, more than one third of the global total. “Who are they? What age are they? What gender? What routes are they taking? Why are they on the move?” asked Ms Szabados. “The more we know about migration the more we can assist our member states, and help make migration voluntary, safe and rewarding for all implicated.”
The new Europe section was authored by the Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography, a European Commission initiative to provide scientific evidence for EU policymaking in migration and demography related fields.
“Migration is a cross-cutting issue, relevant to all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” concluded Ms Szabados. “In fact, eleven of the Goals contain targets and indicators that are relevant to migration or mobility. Our principle to ‘leave no one behind’ most definitely includes migrants, and we need impeccable data to be able to serve their needs and the needs of our member states.”
The Europe Migration Page on IOM’s Global Migration Portal can be found here(@OnuItalia)