About Us

The International Organization for Migration

Established in 1951, IOM is the principal intergovernmental organization in the field of migration. We are growing rapidly and currently count 173 member states and a further 8 states have observer status, as do numerous international and non-governmental organizations.

IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, be they refugees, displaced persons or other uprooted people.

IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management: migration and development, facilitating migration, regulating migration, and addressing forced migration.

Learn more: IOM Organizational Chart IOM Snapshot

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IOM Office to the United Nations

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing (seated left) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

IOM joined the United Nations system in September 2016 during the United Nations General Assembly high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants. You can read a press note on the occasion here and download the United Nations System chart. Previously, IOM was granted Permanent Observer status to the United Nations General Assembly in 1992. Following this, a cooperation agreement between IOM and the United Nations was signed in 1996. 

The IOM Office to the United Nations in New York works together with the UN Secretariat, UN agencies, and Member States, to create a world in which all migrants are treated with dignity and respect, and where migrants move as a matter of real choice and not desperate necessity. We do this by contributing to the political, social, economic and humanitarian debate and action on migration and human mobility within the multilateral framework of international dialogue and cooperation with the United Nations. IOM Office to the United Nations has three core work-area priorities: 1. Humanitarian/Peace and Security, 2. Development, and 3. The Global Compact on Migration. 

We seek to strengthen IOM's relations with diplomatic missions and NGOs by contributing to their understanding of migration issues, facilitating international policy dialogues on migration and by bringing attention to migration-related implications in other policy debates on issues ranging from peace and security to human and sustainable development to humanitarian response.

The IOM Office to the United Nations also coordinates, guides and advises our Organization and its offices worldwide on policies, programming and funding with respect to a wide range of multi-donor trust funds based in New York.