International Organization for Migration.

International Organization for Migration.

  • International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an intergovernmental organization that works closely with governmental, non-governmental and intergovernmental partners in the field of migration to aid orderly and humane migration for the benefit of human race.
  • Headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland, it has a global presence with over one hundred offices across the world.
  • The organization was instituted in the year 1951 as Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) for effective and smooth resettlement of refugees from Europe post the Second World War.
  • 165 nations are members to IOM and 8 states hold observer status.
  • The funding model of the organization is entirely project driven and is dependent upon voluntary contributions from the member nations.
  • IOM is involved in providing assistance to internally displaced persons and migrants in need including refugees.
  • It also offers advice to refugees and the governments with respect to migration.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         IOM works in the following broad areas of migration
  • Forced Migration
  • Migration and development
  • Facilitating Migration
  • Regulation of migration


  • IOM was accorded the status of a Permanent Observer to United Nations General Assembly in the year 1992.
  • A cooperation agreement was signed between the United Nations and International Organization for Migration in 1996.
  • A resolution to make IOM a related organization of the United Nations Organization was unanimously passed at the United Nations General assembly.
  • On the 19th of September 2016, at the United Nations summit for Refugees and Migrants, an agreement was signed between Ban-Ki-Moon (United Nations Secretary General) and William Lacy Swing (IOM Director General) to give effect to the resolution.
  • This move was taken in order to give an identity to the IOM which has progressed into a successful organization working for migration related issues.
  • United Nations considers IOM’s role to be imperative in handling the refugee crisis across the world.
  • To protect the rights of refugees, New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants was also adopted at the UN summit for Refugees and Migrants.

India and IOM

  • India was granted an observer’s status to IOM in the year 1991 and became a member state in 2008.
  • IOM has helped India airlift Indian nationals out of Kuwait during Iraqi invasion and also repatriation of about thirty thousand Indians stranded abroad in the last 15 years.

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