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. 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. Learn more about the IOM Office to the United Nations.
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.
With 174 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, 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, including refugees and internally displaced people.
The IOM Constitution recognizes the link between migration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to the right of freedom of movement.
IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management:
- Migration and development
- Facilitating migration
- Regulating migration
- Forced migration.
IOM activities that cut across these areas include the promotion of international migration law, policy debate and guidance, protection of migrants' rights, migration health and the gender dimension of migration.