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Immigration has characterized the history of the United States of America. But the United States is not the only destination for migrants around the world. Globally, people are on the move like never before.

Migration -- immigration and emigration -- across national borders continues to be a pressing and controversial concern for countries worldwide. People are crossing borders for numerous reasons, and for varying lengths of time, ranging from permanently to a year to a week. They are looking for work to feed their families, fleeing from violence, conducting trade or diplomacy, or merely traveling for leisure. In the process, people become refugees, contract laborers, fillers of workforce shortages, students, cultural exchange agents, expatriate businesspeople, seekers of asylum, or immigrant citizens.

What does all this movement mean for our world and our local communities? What laws, if any, govern these activities? Who protects the rights of these individuals who are crossing borders so often? Who studies and talks about them?

Follow the links below to find out more about the people who are on the move, where they are going, and why they are going there:

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

The IOM is the leading international organization overseeing migration worldwide. IOM works with international partners to advance understanding about global migration and to uphold the dignity and well-being of all migrants.

BBC News Have Your Say Special: Migrant World

See the Factfile for statistics on how many people are on the move each year and where they are going; read the personal stories of individuals who have resettled to another country.

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