IOM seeks to direct the power of migration towards the social and economic development of society and the individual migrant. IOM is therefore committed to promoting the international dialogue in the field of migration, by seeking to create constructive partnerships between the countries of origin and the host countries of migrants.

IOM Migration and Development programs include improving the management of financial flows generated by migration, including the financial resources, sent by migrants to their families in their home countries, building human capital through labor migration programs, return and reintegration of qualified professionals, capacity-building of governments and special support for migrant women. In order, to strengthen the administrative and managerial capacities of governments, IOM conducts studies of migration realities as a basis for the establishment of adequate programs in the field of migration and development


Mobility is a characteristic feature of the modern world. The emergence of integrated global markets and international communities and the rapid development of communication technologies contribute to the increasing movement of high and low-skilled, students, trainees, families, tourists and other categories of persons.

The demographic and social structure, influenced by the rapid pace of the industrialization in the world, creates a need for hiring workers and professionals from other countries to meet the needs of the local labor market. Labor migration creates some challenges for host countries, but economies that want to remain competitive cannot ignore the need for a foreign workforce. Facilitating the regular labor migration could be a successful solution for both countries of origin and host countries.

IOM provides technical assistance to governments to regulate labour migration and other migration processes, and implements programs to help governments and migrants select and recruit specific categories of labour migrants, depending on the supply and demand, language education and cultural orientation, consular services, medical care, training, reception, integration and return of migrants, social integration and others.

These services, tailored to the requirements of each program, are provided through all phases of the migration process: preliminary information and application, interviewing and selection, and overall assistance for migrants in the post-approval process of their position in the respective country. As part of the logistical support and assistance provided to migrants, globally, IOM has carried out over 1.5 million immigration medical examinations for migrants around the world.


IOM assists governments in the development and implementation of migration policy, legislation and administrative mechanisms in the field of migration regulation, aiming at counteracting irregular migration and facilitating regular migration. IOM provides technical support and training for civil servants working in the field of migration, for effective border management, compliance with visa regimes, regulation of the entry and stay of third-country nationals, collection and use of biometric information to ensure effective control and implementation of the current migration legislation.

IOM implements programs to counteract trafficking and trade in human beings, including prevention, capacity-building activities for institutions and the civil society, and assistance to victims. Moreover, IOM implements programs which facilitate the voluntary return and reintegration of displaced persons and other migrants, taking into account the needs of individual communities.


Refugees and displaced persons are a distinct category of "people on the move", deserving special attention. IOM is actively assisting refugee and displaced persons during and after crisis situations, as was the case in Kosovo, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, the floods in Southeast Asia, the earthquake in Indonesia and others. The IOM also facilitates the resettlement each year of thousands of refugees and migrants for whom resettlement in a new country is the approved durable solution.

IOM helps to find solutions for internally displaced persons, former combatants, victims of ethnic engineering and populations in transition or recovery environments. It also locates and assists widely scattered voters to enable them to take part in elections and referenda of their countries of origin. The IOM has large programs and acknowledged expertise in settling issues, related to post-war claims and compensation of different categories of persons in migration.


Research and analysis are important factors for raising the awareness and understanding of migration realities and challenges. They provide the basis for developing an effective migration policy and sustainable practical approaches. Providing information to institutions and the public on trends in migration processes, challenges and opportunities is a key function of the organization. Studies and publications of IOM provide a better understanding of migration issues. The Global Migration Indicators Report, developed by IOM, provides a two-year overview of major migration trends and problems around the world. The 2005 report focuses on the benefits and challenges of international migration and can be found on the organization's website

IOM plays an increasingly important role in international migration legislation, particularly in the compilation, dissemination, understanding and application of international migration instruments in the field of migration. As part of its work in managing the migration processes, the organization implements training and capacity-building programs, jointly with state institutions and other partners. Respect for the rights and dignity of migrants and migration-related health issues is a key component of all IOM activities.

Regular consultations between governments addressing common migration challenges play an important role in the IOM migration management strategy. IOM provides essential support for regional consultative processes in America, Europe, Africa and the Pacific region. These mechanisms strengthen international co-operation, present opportunities for exchange of information and experience, build trust and create an international dialogue on topics of mutual interest.

On a global level, the “International Migration Dialogue” of the IOM Council is the principal international forum for intergovernmental dialogue on migration policy that facilitates coordination and cooperation on migration issues.

Besides the main activities, IOM also performs the following interconnected activities in the field of migration:

  • Technical cooperation and capacity-building of the institutions;
  • Protecting the rights of migrants within the international legal framework in the field of migration;
  • Research and analysis;
  • Regional and international cooperation;
  • Information campaigns and prevention;
  • Trafficking in human beings;
  • Migration and health;
  • Integration and reintegration of migrants;