The International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) 2012 aims to enhance synergies between humanitarian and migration perspectives in the search for appropriate responses to the migration consequences of complex crises. This first workshop in the series posits that the migration dimensions of crises have been insufficiently addressed, both in theory and in practice. Instead of ad hoc reactions, more systematic approaches are needed on the part of national institutions and the international community to manage the human mobility aspects of crisis situations. Drivers of forced migratory movements vary, but challenges are particularly acute where poverty, political instability, weak governance, environmental degradation and natural disasters combine. Forced migration in response to an extreme situation is common, yet regularly overwhelms national and international capacities. Furthermore, the patterns of movement are in themselves far from straightforward: initially temporary displacement may become protracted; internal movements spill across borders; and crises and displacement situations give rise to other forms of migration such as search for work, migration to cities, irregular and mixed movements, trafficking and smuggling.

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