EMN National Contact Point
for the Slovak Republic

Listen to our first podcasts from the lectures on migration myths or current situation in Libya

22 December 2021

What impact has had the COVID-19 pandemic on migrants and mobility globally? Who is actually a migrant and which myths are surrounding them? Why is migrant money a hidden force in the world economy? Does the Global South look at migration the same way as richer North? What does the migration situation in Greece and on the other side of the Mediterranean in Libya look like? EMN Slovakia published first batch of podcasts from lectures on international migration where you can find out more.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) as a coordinator of the European Migration Network (EMN) in Slovakia organised the 8th edition of the Educational Seminar on Migration – Migration in the Multilateral World that took place from 24 to 26 August 2021 in an online format. 22 speakers from 15 countries lectured on current migration topics and we are releasing first batch of them as podcasts.

Migration and COVID-19 pandemic

Information on current migration data is an integral part of the EMN Educational Seminar. The years 2020 and 2021 were exceptional, as the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on migration. Frank Laczko, Director of the IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre located in Berlin, focused on the numbers and trends to illustrate impact of pandemic on international mobility and migrants themselves. Special focus is on irregular maritime migration to Europe (missing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean), migrant worker’s role in critical sectors such as healthcare, services, sales, agriculture, forestry and fishery. Frank explains dynamics of remittance flows during pandemic and in relation to COVID-19 he analyses infection and death rates among migrants and their access to vaccines, as well as increasing anti-migrant sentiments across Europe.

Listen to the lecture podcast: COVID-19 and its impact on global migration trends

Migration myths also in the context of development

We have long witnessed the vast spread of information on migration, with varying levels of credibility, reliability, and truthfulness. This situation is causing a significant increase in extremism and hatred. Professor Melissa Siegel, who lectures at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, reveals the most prevalent myths and misconceptions around migrants and migration including those related to migration-development nexus. She points to misconceptions around who is a migrant, what are reasons to migrate and migration trends as well as around if and how migration and development interact. In the lecture she challenges the dominant views, which are reflected also in the European policies, that development or development assistance in particular can reduce migration across borders.

Listen to the lecture podcast: Debunking migration myths and misconceptions

Migrant money in the global economy

Money which migrants send home to their families is an important part of the world economy. Sonia Plaza, Senior Economist at the World Bank, explores what international remittances are and what happened to them during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She shows how the pandemic affected remittance flows in different world regions, reveals reasons behind resilience of remittances, and analyses their impact on macro and household level. Sonia also highlights the role of diaspora skills and investments that contribute significantly to development of communities in home countries. She points out the issue of costs for sending remittances as well as policy responses aimed at supporting migrants, migrants’ families, and remittance infrastructure.

Prednášku si vypočujte v podcaste: Migrant money as the hidden force in global economics

Migration and development from the Global South perspective

A different perspective on migration and development from the American continent is brought by Professor Raúl Delgado Wise who lectures at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas in Mexico. He presents migration and development from the perspective of a migrant and of the Global South, rather than from a dominant perspective of the Global North and receiving countries. He debates these two perspectives in terms of theory and politics, reconceptualizes forced migration and takes a closer look at the global migration governance using practical examples from Mexico and USA.

Listen to the lecture podcast: A Southern perspective on the theory and practice of migration and development

Current migration situation in Libya and Greece

The situation in Libya has been significantly affecting forced migration to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea for several years. Directly from Tripoli, the Chief of IOM country mission, Federico Soda, analyses current data on migrants and mixed migration routes in and to Libya up to the Mediterranean Sea. He explains how to look at migration statistics differently to get a more accurate picture of migration trends to Europe. He also describes the situation of internally displaced persons and returnees in Libya, and presents dozens of field activities that the IOM, as the UN Migration Agency, is currently carrying out in Libya.

The migration situation in Greece, which lies on the other side of the Mediterranean, has been one of the most challenging in the EU in recent years. The complexity of the situation confirms directly from the field the Chief of the IOM office in Greece, Gianluca Rocco, who provides insights into lives of refugees in and outside numerous Greek refugee camps. In particular, he addresses issues faced by unaccompanied minors in these conditions. Gianluca explains in detail different types of assistance and services provided by international organisations and authorities on the ground and points out the role of multilateral cooperation in managing migration on the European soil. He also explains the links between the current displacement crisis in Afghanistan and the potential impact on migration flows to Greece.

Listen to the lecture podcast about Libya: Migration situation in Libya and the Mediterranean Sea

Listen to the lecture podcast about Greece: Life inside Greek refugee camps

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What is EMN Educational Seminar on Migration?

Since 2012, the EMN Educational Seminar on Migration has created a unique learning platform in Slovakia where renowned experts lecture on selected topics of international migration from the policy, research and practice perspectives. The seminar reflects on current developments in the EU and world, and regularly brings information directly from the field, while participants can engage in workshops as well as interactive activities. The seminar is designed mainly for professionals from state administration, non-profit and research sector, academia, media, and other relevant stakeholders. Since 2017, also EMN representatives from other European countries take part in the seminar. Until present, the seminar has been attended by more than 600 participants who listened to more than 120 lecturers.

The seminar brings expert topics also to the public in the form of film screenings and discussions, with aim to contribute to the factual and balanced discussion about international migration and foreigners in Slovakia.

Seminar website: www.emnseminar.sk 

EMN Coordinator for Slovakia

International Organization for Migration (IOM) – Office in the Slovak Republic

www.emn.sk | ↗ www.iom.sk
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EMN Coordinator for the EU

European Comission - Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs 

www.ec.europa.eu/emn
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