International Organization for Migration

About IOM

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. Since 2016, IOM has been an associated United Nations Agency for Migration.

IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration is beneficial to people seeking a new beginning and for the host society. The Organization provides services and consultations to governments and migrants. Currently, the Organization has 172 Member States, a further 8 states holding observer status and more than 400 offices.

IOM works to help ensure orderly and humane migration management, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in finding practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced persons.

The IOM Constitution recognizes the link between migration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to the right of freedom of movement.

IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management:

  • Migration and development
  • Facilitating migration
  • Regulating migration
  • Forced migration.

IOM activities that cut across these areas include the promotion of international migration law, policy debate and guidelines, protection of migrants' rights, migration health and the gender dimension of migration.

  • In 2004, a Memorandum was signed between IOM and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, which establishes the framework for cooperation between the countries in the field of labor migration and the integration of migrants.
  • In 2009, a Memorandum was signed between IOM and the Ministry of Interior, which establishes the framework for cooperation between countries,  in the field of voluntary returns and support to victims of trafficking, including unaccompanied minors.
  • In 2015, the Cooperation Agreement between IOM and the Ministry of Interior was re-signed for long-term cooperation between the two parties in the field of migration.

More information about IOM's work in 2017 can be found here.

IOM's Mission

IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. As the leading international organization for migration, IOM acts with its partners in the international community to:

  • Assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management.
  • Advance understanding of migration issues.
  • Encourage social and economic development through migration.
  • Uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.

IOM's Strategic Focus

  1. To provide secure, reliable, flexible and cost-effective services for persons who require international migration assistance.
  2. To enhance the humane and orderly management of migration and the effective respect for the human rights of migrants in accordance with international law.
  3. To offer expert advice, research, technical cooperation and operational assistance to States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, in order to build national capacities and facilitate international, regional and bilateral cooperation on migration matters.
  4. To contribute to the economic and social development of States through research, dialogue, design and implementation of migration-related programs aimed at maximizing migration's benefits.
  5. To support States, migrants and communities in addressing the challenges of irregular migration, including through research and analysis into root causes, sharing information and spreading best practices, as well as facilitating development-focused solutions.
  6. To be a primary reference point for migration information, research, best practices, data collection, compatibility and sharing.
  7. To promote, facilitate and support regional and global debate and dialogue on migration, including through the International Dialogue on Migration, so as to advance understanding of the opportunities and challenges it presents, the identification and development of effective policies for addressing those challenges and to identify comprehensive approaches and measures for advancing international cooperation.
  8. To assist States to facilitate the integration of migrants in their new environment and to engage diasporas, including as development partners.
  9. To participate in coordinated humanitarian responses in the context of inter-agency arrangements in this field and to provide migration services in other emergency or post-crisis situations as appropriate and as relates to the needs of individuals, thereby contributing to their protection.1
  10. To undertake programs which facilitate the voluntary return and reintegration of refugees, displaced persons, migrants and other individuals in need of international migration services, in cooperation with other relevant international organizations as appropriate, and taking into account the needs and concerns of local communities.
  11. To assist States in the development and delivery of programs, studies and technical expertise on combating migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons, in particular women and children, in a manner consistent with international law.
  12. To support the efforts of States in the area of labor migration, in particular short term movements, and other types of circular migration.