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About IOM

IOM the Netherlands

IOM, The UN Migration Agency

Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization on migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. As the United Nations Migration Agency, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all.

With 172 member states and more than 10,000 staff worldwide, IOM works to:

  • Help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration.
  • Promote international cooperation on migration issues.
  • Assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems.
  • Provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need including refugees and internally displaced persons.

The International Organization for Migration started its activities in the Netherlands in 1991. Various projects include facilitating voluntary return and reintegration, supporting refugees accepted for resettlement and family reunification, services aimed at integration and labour market participation and temporary return assignments for diaspora experts living in the Netherlands.

Voluntary Return and Reintegration

IOM the Netherlands assists migrants who wish to return voluntarily to their country of origin and supports their sustainable reintegration. Assistance consists of information and counselling services, procuring travel documents, arranging safe travel, and providing reintegration support. IOM is in favour of reintegration assistance, based on human dignity and as a major sustainability factor in countries of origin.

Through the network of IOM offices around the world, IOM the Netherlands offers individual in-kind reintegration support, such as setting up income generating activities, or financing educational or training programmes. Tailored assistance is provided to specific vulnerable groups, including migrants with health concerns, victims of trafficking, unaccompanied minors, families or single parents with underage children, and undocumented migrants.

Resettlement, Family Reunification and Labour Market Participation in the Netherlands

IOM the Netherlands facilitates the resettlement and relocation of selected refugees to the Netherlands, as part of the Dutch resettlement and relocation programmes. This happens in close cooperation with the IOM offices in countries of departure and partner organizations. IOM also provides assistance to family members entitled to reunite with their family in the Netherlands by arranging the travel and serving as contact point for the relatives or sponsors in the Netherlands.

Next to this, IOM the Netherlands assists with migrant integration in the Netherlands, and specifically focuses on labour market participation. IOM believes that getting a job is vital for a successful integration in society. The Skills2Work project was led by IOM the Netherlands, in close cooperation with partners in 9 European Member States, and fosters the labour market participation of beneficiaries of international protection. IOM examines current best practices for the recognition and validation of skills and competences at both national and European level. VOORwerk is a project of IOM the Netherlands and the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA). It focuses on preparing resident permit holders residing in reception centres to enter the Dutch labour market. 

Migration and Development

Maximizing the positive relationship between migration and development has long been a focus of IOM’s work. IOM the Netherlands supports diaspora members with Dutch residence, who wish to use their professional knowledge and experience for the development of their home country.

In the Connecting Diaspora for Development (CD4D) project, diaspora experts are linked to key institutions in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Somalia. Priority sectors are Healthcare, Education, Agriculture/Food Security, Infrastructure and Rule of Law. Through physical and online assignments by diaspora experts the capacity of the target institutions is strengthened. Moreover the project aims to create sustainable linkages between these and similar institutions in the Netherlands.

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