About IOM

Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization on migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. As the United Nations Migration Agency, we are dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all.

With 173 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries IOM works to:

  • Help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration.
  • Promote international cooperation on migration issues.
  • Assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems.
  • Provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need including refugees and internally displaced persons.

IOM started its activities in the Netherlands in 1991. Our projects include facilitating voluntary return and reintegration, supporting refugees accepted for resettlement and family reunification, services aimed at integration and labour market participation and temporary return assignments for diaspora experts living in the Netherlands.

Voluntary Return and Reintegration

We assist migrants who wish to return voluntarily to their country of origin and supports their sustainable reintegration. Assistance consists of information and counselling services, procuring travel documents, arranging safe travel, and providing reintegration support. We are in favour of reintegration assistance, based on human dignity and as a major sustainability factor in countries of origin.

Through our network of offices around the world, we can offer individual in-kind reintegration support, such as setting up income-generating activities or financing educational or training programmes. Tailored assistance is provided to specific vulnerable groups, including migrants with health issues, victims of trafficking, unaccompanied minors, families or single parents with underage children, and undocumented migrants.

Resettlement, Family Reunification and Labour Market Participation in the Netherlands

We facilitate the resettlement and relocation of selected refugees to the Netherlands, as part of the Dutch resettlement and relocation programmes. This happens in close cooperation with our offices in countries of departure and partner organizations. We also provide assistance to family members entitled to reunite with their family in the Netherlands by arranging the travel and serving as a contact point for the relatives or sponsors in the Netherlands.

We also assist with migrant integration in the Netherlands, with a focus on labour market participation. We believe that getting a job is vital for successful integration in society. The Skills2Work project, coordinated by us in close cooperation with partners in 9 European Member States, examined current best practices for the recognition and validation of skills and competences at a national and European level. The VOORwerk project, a cooperation between the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), IOM and the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF focused on preparing permit holders residing in reception centres to enter the Dutch labour market.

Migration and Development

Maximizing the positive relationship between migration and development has long been a focus of our work. We support diaspora members with Dutch residence who wish to use their professional knowledge and experience for the development of their home country.

In the Connecting Diaspora for Development (CD4D2) project, diaspora experts are linked to key institutions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia. Priority sectors are Healthcare, Education, Agriculture/Food Security, Infrastructure and Rule of Law. Through physical and online assignments by diaspora experts, the capacity of the target institutions is strengthened. The project also aims to create sustainable linkages between these and similar institutions in the Netherlands.
The Diaspora Entrepreneurship for Development (ED4D) project aims at encouraging the Ghanaian and Ethiopian diaspora residing in the Netherlands, or Dutch entrepreneurs in partnership with the diaspora, to engage themselves as entrepreneurs for the development of the private sector in Ghana and Ethiopia.