The MICIC Initiative was established in May 2014 during the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Stockholm. Its mission, concluding with the release of its outcome document in June 2016, aimed to enhance the capacity of governments, private sector entities, international organizations, and civil society to address the needs of migrants affected by conflicts or natural disasters. This encompassed protecting their rights, maintaining their dignity, and alleviating their suffering. While the MICIC Initiative's focus is limited to migrants caught in specific types of crises, its outcomes are anticipated to hold value for addressing various migration scenarios, extending its influence beyond its specific scope.

Government-led Approach

The MICIC Initiative was led by governments, with co-chairing responsibilities shared by the United States and the Philippines. Their leadership extended to a working group, which included the governments of Australia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, the European Commission, IOM, UNHCR, the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for International Migration, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD); and the Georgetown University Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM). IOM served as the Secretariat, coordinating efforts.


The scope of the MICIC Initiative is limited to migrants caught in countries experiencing specific types of crises such as conflicts/civil unrest and natural disasters. The initiative encompasses all migrants/non-citizens, with or without legal status, who are present in a country temporarily or permanently at the time a crisis ensues. The term ‘migrant’ does not refer to refugees, asylum-seekers, and stateless persons, for whom specific protection regimes exist under international law, although these groups are addressed in certain places in the Principles, Guidelines, and Practices and referred to as such.

The initiative examines all phases of a crisis, including: 

  • Pre-crisis: The extent and soundness of frameworks, policies, structures, and practices that are in place prior to a crisis are crucial for effective and robust responses at subsequent phases of a crisis. As a corollary to this, the better migrant’s rights are protected in normal times, the more resilient and able they will be to help themselves in times of crisis.
  • During crisis: The humanitarian imperative needs to drive responses at the emergency phase, with migrants able to access assistance on an equal footing with citizens. Targeted actions may also be needed to overcome specific obstacles and vulnerabilities faced by migrant populations, such as barriers relating to language, culture, and migration status.
  • Post-crisis: Whether migrants remain in the country, move to another country, or return to their home country, they continue to face challenges. These may relate to, inter alia, loss of livelihoods, protection issues, medical and psychological needs, and other re-integration issues. These impacts extend not only to migrants and their families but also to their host and home communities.
Supporting Evidence-based Action

The European Union financed a comprehensive project entitled 'Migrants in Countries in Crisis: Supporting an Evidence-based Approach for Effective and Cooperative State Action' that supported and complemented the global MICIC Initiative. This four-year project, implemented by ICMPD, was launched in January 2015 and concluded in June 2019. It consisted of three interrelated components:

  1. Research – The research component provided an evidence base on the migration dimension of crises. It applied a case study approach with a focus on Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Lebanon, Libya, South Africa and Thailand.
  2. Consultations – Six regional consultations were conducted throughout 2015 and 2016. The outcome of this process directly fed into the development of the MICIC Guidelines.
  3. Capacity building – The capacity building component consisted of various activities to implement recommendations derived from the consultations, the MICIC Guidelines and the research.