International Organization for Migration (IOM)

IOM is an intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental entities to promote humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It has a worldwide presence with 100 offices throughout the world. Its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.

The organization was established in 1951 in the wake of World War II to resettle refugees from Europe. It has 165 member states and 8 more states holding observer status. It offers services and advice to governments and migrants and provides humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced persons. It primarily works in the following four broad areas of migration management:

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

IOM was granted Permanent Observer status to the UN General Assembly in 1992. In 1996, a cooperation agreement between IOM and the UN was signed. IOM’s funding model is wholly project driven and depends upon the voluntary contributions from its 165 member states.

Is India a member state of IOM?

Yes, India is one among the 165 member states of IOM. India became a member state of IOM in 2008. Previously, it had obtained an Observer status in 1991. During Iraqi invasion of IOM helped to airlift 27,000 Indian nationals out of Kuwait. In the last 15 years, IOM has helped in the repatriation of over 30,000 Indian nationals stranded abroad. India was appointed as the External Auditor of IOM between 2010 and 2012.

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