Conference: “People in mixed migration flows – a complex reality”

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC) are organizing a conference which will bring together experts on mixed migration. The conference will take place on 9 November in the UN City in Copenhagen and address the often-simplified narratives about drivers and aspirations of migration and discuss the relevance of evidence-based programming, including sharing best practices in preparedness and responses in the context of mixed migration.


In 2015, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated that 50 million people move irregularly across borders. These people are part of mixed migration flows – cross-border movements of people including refugees fleeing persecution and conflict, victims of trafficking and people seeking better lives and opportunities. Motivated to move by a multiplicity of factors, people in mixed flows have different legal statuses as well as a variety of vulnerabilities. Although entitled to protection under international human rights law, they are exposed to multiple rights violations along their journey. Those in mixed migration flows travel along similar routes, using similar means of travel - often travelling irregularly and wholly or partially assisted by migrant smugglers.

Why the conference?

Supporting refugees and migrants on the move has proven to be a challenge for practitioners, advocates and policy makers alike. Understanding the drivers of migration and aspirations of people in mixed migration flows is a crucial first step in a push for a more nuanced reporting on and addressing the root causes of migration. Likewise, data and research on drivers and aspirations are a key for better-informed policies and assistance in a mixed migration context, and therefore highly important for agencies designing preparedness and response programmes as well as for governments investing in development.

The focus of the conference

The focus of the conference will be the themes of drivers and aspirations of migration in areas of origin, and risks, vulnerabilities and coping strategies of people on the move. The conference will be an opportunity to gain new insights, share best practices and explore new avenues for addressing the urgent and complex nature of mixed migration.

The key note addresses will be shared by Danish State Secretary for Development Policy, Martin Bille Hermann, and by the Secretary General of DRC, Christian Friis Bach. They will be followed by the launch of the Mixed Migration Monitor, an international compendium and collation of information, data and discourse around mixed migration.

The conference will then continue with a panel on Drivers and Aspiration of Migration and one on Risks, Vulnerabilities and Coping Strategies of people in mixed migration flows. Each panel is represented by practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and migration experts from civil society, UN, government, NGOs, and representatives of migrant and refugee community.

Sign up for the conference here

Download full agenda for the conference here 

The conference is organized with the support of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairsand and will broaden the understanding of the realities faced by refugees and migrants on the move by placing their motivations and risks at the center of the debate. It will also serve to inform our future polices, and preparedness and response strategies.