International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Table of Contents
Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM)is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. It works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners to achieve humane and orderly migration respectful of human dignity. It aims to promote social and economic development through migrations and ensure respect for human rights and the overall well-being of 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. It counts 151 member states, a further 12 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries.
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.Wikigender
IOM’s work on gender issues in migration
In recent years, the gender patterns of migration – both within countries and across borders – have been changing dramatically, particularly for women. Women now account for close to half of the world’s 214 international migrants. But while in the past, the majority of women migrated as dependants, they are now increasingly migrating as individuals for various reasons, be they economic, educational, cultural, or, in some cases, for their very survival.
To adequately respond to the feminization of migration flows, IOM adopted a gender mainstreaming policy in 1995 and committed itself to “ensuring that the particular needs of all migrant women are identified, taken into consideration and addressed by IOM projects and services”. Gender mainstreaming is thus an integral part of IOM’s work. It tries to ensure that women and men are provided with equal access to IOM programmes and services and have opportunities to economically, socially and culturally benefit from migration.
IOM’s work on gender issues also seeks to reduce some of the risks of mobility that disproportionately affect women such as human trafficking, sexual and physical violence, hazardous working conditions and exploitation. It also aims to ensure that migration remains an opportunity for women to gain autonomy and develop themselves and not a phenomenon that aggravate unequal relationships between men and women.
IOM addresses gender concerns in all aspects of its work with the view to promote gender equality in migration management including in labour migration, prevention of human trafficking and irregular migration, responses to emergencies and crisis, health impacts of migration, and diaspora mobilization.
IOM’s policy objectives on gender and migration
IOM works towards the formulation of innovative, gender-sensitive migration policies that recognize women’s rights to safe mobility, support their integration as full members of society and promote their roles in the development of their home and host society.
The following info-sheets highlight some of the gender dimensions of key migration dynamics and IOM’s approaches.
- Taking action against violence and discrimination affecting migrant women and girls
- Rural Women and Migration
- Supporting the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation in the Context of Migration
- Crushed Hopes: Underemployment and Deskilling Among Skilled Migrant Women
- L’Impact Psychosocial du Sous-Emploi sur la Vie des Femmes Migrantes Qualifiées Travaillant à Genève (Suisse)
- Working to Prevent and Address Violence Against Migrant Women Workers
- Gender and Labour Migration in Asia