In today’s world, we increasingly witness how much migration features in international affairs. It is a complex issue that affects the destination countries that act as magnets for undocumented migrants, and the countries from which originate these hopeful people, who are mostly in search for better economic opportunities. We should also spare a thought for the countries through which these migrants transit, or where they end up if they are caught and incarcerated, as happens with Asians that head for Australia in boats, often under dangerous conditions, and then find themselves in countries that neighbor Australia, while arrangements are made to repatriate them.
Migration issues connect with consular services; protection of citizens is a key dimension of such work. Consular work has gained in importance on this account, and because more people travel to foreign countries than ever before, and need visas and other services and assistance from diplomatic missions. One consequence has been that in most countries, governments have increased the resources they devote to consular work. These developments give special salience to Diplo’s 8-week online course on Consular and Diaspora Diplomacy.