Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.

With 169 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.


Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

The IOM's priorities to harness the data revolution for sustainable development data and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include the development of capacity-building tools for UN Member States in order to support safe, orderly, and regular migration. IOM’s long-term objectives in this context include:


  • In line with the recommendations of the Sutherland report, implement the five recommendations of the Commission on International Migration Data for Development Research and Policy, in particular for the inclusion of migration-related questions in censuses and of migration modules in more existing household surveys;
  • Build national capacities, in particular in developing countries, to systematically collect, analyze, and use migration data in relevant policy development processes and to monitor the migration-related SDGs, inter alia by establishing a dialogue at the national, regional, and global level between statisticians and migration specialists;
  • Enhance regional and international cooperation to improve data on migration in order to increase the comparability of migration data collected at the national level, move towards greater harmonization of methodologies used at the national level, share innovative practices, and promote a shared understanding of common data challenges; become a reference point on migration data where IOM has specific expertise and capacity;
  • Use and further develop innovative methods of gathering and using data, focusing on areas suffering large data gaps, including human trafficking, migrant smuggling, migrants in vulnerable situations, migrant fatalities, irregular migration and voluntary return migration; apply strict confidentiality and appropriate safeguards to protect individuals’ personal data; establish systems to publish and exchange securely de-identified case data.