Migrants in Disaster Risk Reduction: Practices for Inclusion

Publication Type: 
Studies and Research
Publisher: 
IOM
Year: 
2017
Category: 
Studies and Reports
Subject: 
Migrant Inclusive DRR
Languages: 
English
Countries/Regions: 
Global

The case studies presented in Migrants in Disaster Risk Reduction: Practices of Inclusion highlight that worldwide, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees often face specific conditions of marginalization. They may struggle on a daily basis to access adequate services, resources and opportunities as a result of factors as diverse as limited language proficiency and local knowledge, social and spatial isolation, and a lack of trust in members and institutions of their host communities. More fundamentally, they may suffer due to their host society’s political and cultural stances via-à-vis migration and migrants.

These factors also have distinct impacts on their exposure to hazards and access to self-protection and support options in the face of shocks and stresses of all kinds — and therefore on their vulnerability to disasters. Accounting for migrants’ specific conditions of vulnerability is essential in devising interventions that reduce the risks they face. At the same time, it is important to recognize that, by virtue of their translocal background, they are likely to have a unique set of experiences, skills, narratives and networks, which can be leveraged to build their own and their host communities’ resilience. As societies all over the world become increasingly diverse, the inclusion of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees is a key element of sustainable, effective disaster risk reduction (DRR).

This publication details evidence and lessons learned from a number of interventions aimed at promoting inclusive risk assessments, access to basic services, disaster preparedness, delivery of emergency assistance and recovery support. It is hoped that it can provide a comprehensive set of recommendations to further mainstream migrants’ inclusion into DRR in a variety of other operational contexts.