IOM and Talent Beyond Boundaries Join Forces to Strengthen Labour Mobility Pathways for Refugees and other Displaced Populations

A Nepali migrant worker practicing medicine in the Maldives. Photo: Natalie Oren/IOM

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the global nonprofit organization Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) have announced a formal partnership to strengthen labour mobility pathways as a durable solution for refugees and other displaced people around the world.

Seventy-five per cent of companies globally report talent shortages – the highest in over a decade. Displaced populations can help fill these critical skills gaps when we remove the barriers that have traditionally prevented them from accessing skilled migration.  

Established in 2016, TBB was the first organization in the world to focus on unlocking skilled mobility pathways for refugees and other displaced people, proving that it is viable and scalable. 

So far, more than 50,000 displaced people have registered on TBB’s Talent Catalog (a purpose-built online platform) demonstrating that a deep well of talent exists in refugee communities. Registrants represent a wide range of occupations in high demand globally, including software developers, health-care professionals, engineers, and skilled trade workers. 

Already, more than 300 of these registrants – and their families – have been able to use customized skilled pathways to resume their careers and rebuild their lives in countries like Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. 

IOM and TBB are now partnering to scale these efforts. Over the past three decades, IOM assisted more than 19 million people through direct assistance and movement support in a variety of different regular migration pathways -whether humanitarian, family reunification, or skills and qualifications-based pathways.    

“This partnership is a critical component in scaling up our impact,” said Steph Cousins, CEO of Talent Beyond Boundaries. “Our goal is to transition from helping hundreds of displaced people safely move for work each year, to thousands."

“For too long, the public has been given a false narrative about people on the move- that they are simply a burden. We have worked to overturn this narrative by highlighting their skills, facilitating visa pathways, and enabling employers to recruit from this untapped talent pool.” 

“Labour mobility pathways are a win-win solution for addressing labour shortages at all skill levels and tapping into new talent while safeguarding protection of migrants” said IOM Deputy Director General for Operations Ugochi Daniels.   

“This partnership will undoubtedly help us implement positive change in the lives of millions around the world.” 

For many years, TBB and IOM have collaborated on piloting labour mobility schemes for refugees providing integration and settlement services, travel arrangements, and other activities to assist displaced people moving internationally through labour mobility schemes.  

Now, this collaboration will take the form of an official partnership where the two organizations have agreed to coordinate, collaborate, and consult with one another on  technical advice to governments, promotion of the Talent Catalog, and research and thought leadership on displaced talent mobility, as well as potentially pursuing joint projects and joint funding opportunities. Together, they will continue to expand opportunities for refugees to access labour mobility, ensuring safe migration pathways. 


IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. With 174 member states and a presence in over 100 countries, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. The Organization works with its partners in the international community to assist in meeting the operational challenges of migration, advance understanding of migration issues, encourage social and economic development through migration and to uphold the well-being and human rights of all migrants. IOM‘s Labour Mobility and Social Inclusion (LMI) Division empowers migrants and transnational communities to exercise their agency across the migration continuum.

Through a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach, LMI develops capacities, partnerships and evidence-based policies and programmes to enable safe, orderly, and regular dignified labor migration and other mobility pathways by creating the conditions for migrants to thrive in more inclusive and cohesive societies. 

Learn more at:


Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) is a global nonprofit building a world where displaced people can safely migrate for work, using their skills to rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose. 

TBB works directly with governments to design skilled migration pathways that are accessible to refugees. At the same time, we connect skilled refugees with companies in need of their skills, and work with our partners to help to facilitate recruitment, migration and settlement. We collaborate and share our learnings so that others may replicate and build upon our model.  

Refugee labor mobility is designed to complement existing humanitarian resettlement programs, providing refugees with an additional safe and legal option to transcend displacement.  

 Already, TBB has helped hundreds of displaced people migrate for work, having been hired on their merits by employers in countries like Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  

Learn more at:


For more information, please contact: 
Jobst Koehler I Head of Integration and Migrant Training Unit  

Talent Beyond Boundaries: 
Jessie Mawson | Global Communications Director 
(+61) 414 576 957 

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals