Current Research Projects

The International Migrants Bill of Rights (IMBR) Initiative conducts cutting-edge, interdisciplinary, research on the human rights of migrants and then fosters opportunities for action and innovation to reshape the way the world treats people who cross international borders.

Global Migration Governance Project

The IMBR Initiative has influenced the United Nations International Dialogue on Migration. Following the New York Declaration, the IMBR provided a critical analysis gauging that document’s successes and shortcomings. Through sustained engagement with key State missions to the UN, and analysis that evolved as the Global Compacts evolved, the IMBR Initiative presented key findings at preparatory meetings in Geneva, written analysis of initial drafts of the Compacts, and informal contact with the offices of the co-facilitators, States, and civil society in order to provide technical support and legal commentary on specific questions throughout the drafting process. The IMBR Initiative made contributions that helped shape State commitments in the Global Compact on Migration, including related to the following: non-refoulement, vulnerable migrants, prohibited grounds for discrimination, detention, due process, freedoms, and references to human rights

Regional Human Rights Standards Project

The IMBR Initiative has worked closely with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2013 to develop an Americas-specific set of principles for the rights of migrants. Despite the fact that the Americas has a rich migration history and a robust human rights system, a surprising gap persists: the lack of a single set of norms or guidelines for human rights during the migration process. The Inter-American Principles, while drawing upon regional jurisprudence, largely reflect the influence and language of the IMBR (in many cases verbatim). The draft Principles were circulated for comments by stakeholders in early 2019.

Migrants Rights Database Project

The IMBR Initiative has created a set of novel indicators to evaluate State compliance with the IMBR’s norms and, through support from the World Bank’s KNOMAD program, piloted the indicators in five principal destination States: Germany, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey. The results represent a powerful tool for identifying common legal baselines and benchmarking State compliance with the law and, through this, identifying specific areas to change State practice. The Initiative is now working, with the support of the Swiss Agency for International Development, to add another 30 countries to what will be the first, global database evaluating State compliance with the human rights of all migrants.