Understanding Migration

  • Author: The Global Media Migration Academy
  • Level: Beginner
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Quizzes:
  • Assessment: 2

Course description

This module will introduce you to the complex and often misunderstood are of migration. Through the following lessons you'll gain in-depth knowledge of the different types of migration; learn about context factors that influence migration decisions, and be guided through key terminology associated with the movement of people globally.Click the start course button below to begin.

Course content

1. Knowledge Assessment 

2. Understanding Migration (10 Lessons)

L1. Introduction to migration

  • An introduction to migration
  • Different types of migration
  • An introduction to international migrants
  • An introduction  to driving forces for migration
  • Barriers to migration
  • A brief history of migration
  • Migration by numbers
  • The media and migration
  • Relevant theories of migration
  • Migration and overseas development aid 
  • Migration and development more broadly

L2. The Language of Migration
  • Introduction
  • Role played by journalists
  • Data reliability
  • Legal definitions
  • Evolution of language
  • Human mobility 
  • People and families
  • Pejorative language and terms to avoid
  • Children
  • Migration and human rights
  • Human rights and violations
  • Management of territories and border

L3. Seeking Protection
  • Introduction
  • Seeking protection 
  • What is a refugee
  • Defining a refugee
  • A closer look at the Convention
  • Conditions to qualify for refugee status
  • Who is an asylum seeker 
  • What is an internally displaced person (IDP) 
  • What is a stateless person 
  • Education and gender  
  • How are people seeking protection assisted in emergency situations 
  • Seeking protection: the numbers  

L4. Context factors for migration
  • Drivers of migration
  • Understanding the context in which people migrate
  • Drivers of migration in context
  • Political drivers of migration
  • Social drivers including family reunification
  • Economic and demographic drivers
  • Environmental drivers 
  • Context for migration: Connections 
  • Demographic change and population growth 
  • Types of migration 
  • Return migration 
  • Circular migration 
  • Irregular migration

L5. Forced migration (Part I)
  • Understanding forced migration
  • Conflict
  • Numbers displaced due to conflict
  • Current crises impacting on forced migration
  • Refugees
  • Internal displacement
  • Political persecution
  • Grounds for persecution
  • Standard of proof
  • Human rights abuses
  • Race and religious intolerance
  • Sexual Orientation , Gender Identity and Sexual Characteristics (SOGIESC)
  • Membership of a particular social group

L6. Forced migration(Part II)
  • Forced migration and trafficking
  • Explotation
  • Forced labour, debt bondage and slavery  
  • Trafficking in persons
  • Smuggling of migrants 
  • Victims
  • Root causes 
  • Trafficking and human rights law 
  • Traffickers 

. Labour Migration
  •  Introduction
  • Types of labour migration 
  •  Key statistics and trends 
  •  The economics of migration 
  •  Remittances
  •  How remittances operate in the context of migration 
  •  Remittances and global data
  •  Exploitation 
  •  Forced labour 
  •  Child labour 
  •  Gender dimensions and domestic service 
  •  Protection for migrant workers
  •  Irregular migration in the context of labour 
  •  Managing labor migration

L8. Environmental migration
  • Introduction
  • Defining an environmental migrant
  • Complexity of Environmental migration 
  • Environmental migration and numbers impacted 
  • Seeking protection and environmental “refugee” 
  • Factors impacting on environmental migration 
  • Climate change and migration 
  • Environmental impacts on migration decisions
  • Environmental impacts on urban areas 
  • Disaster displacement  
  • Trapped populations 
  • Planned relocation  
  • International Response to environmental migration and the Global Compact on Migration
  • Effects of migration on the environment
  • Avoiding the term "natural" when describing disaster. 

L9. The Media and Migration
  • Introduction
  • Media framing of migrant stories
  • Key theories on media impact 
  • Why does this matter? 
  • The ‘CNN’ Effect 
  • Commodification of humanitarian news and the ‘iconic victim’ effect 
  • Balanced narratives on migrants in media
  • Avoiding negative narratives of migration in media
  • German media coverage of migration
  • Press culture and practices 
  • Media coverage of migration in the USA 
  • Debunking the myths: framing narratives versus the facts 

L10. Migration and the role of international organisations
  • Introduction
  • The International Organization for Migration (IOM) 
  • IOM’s 12 point strategy 
  • Strategic Vision 
  • IOM and the Global Compact for Migration 
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 
  • Legal Basis of UNHCR’s Mandate 
  • UNHCR chief role and functions 
  • UNHCR and material assistance 
  • The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) 
  • UNRWA’s work with Palestinian refugees 
  • UNRWA Camps 
  • The International Labour Organization 
  • How the ILO works 
  • ILO and migrant workers 

3. Knowledge Test

4. Evaluation

5. Exam / Certificate of completion
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The Global Media Migration Academy

The Foundation Course consist of a series of diverse connected modules. 'Understanding migration' is the first module of a high standard educational programme developed by IOM.
Our rights-based course provides a global overview about the different trends, developments, policies and laws governing migration, as well as offering practical guidance for ethical, safe and effective migration reporting.It offers participants an understanding of the various aspects of migration, the media cycle and digital environment in the context of migration including online and social media; learning to understand statistics and use them to confirm and debunk information. Finally, it offers the opportunity to learn create compelling alternative and engaging stories on migrant and the migrant experience.