Last updated: June 6, 2015
Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.
With 122 member states, a further 18 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.
News and recent developments
- January 2009: The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is partnering with UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a leading inter-governmental organization with offices in over 100 countries, to introduce solar cookers to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur, Sudan. Based on input from a survey conducted by UNIDO, a prototype solar box cooker was developed and tested with women’s groups in Khartoum. For the pilot phase of the project, 10 ethnically diverse women from El Serief Internally Displaced Persons Camp learned how to use the solar cookers during three days of training. (El Serief is home to approximately 13,000 IDPs from 21 ethnic groups.) The training culminated with successfully solar cooking several traditional dishes. Eight of the 10 women continued to regularly use their solar cookers after a month-long trial, with several hoping to cook not only for their families but also to bake goods for sale. According to the report, one of the 10 women — Ms. Hawa Abker, who has lived at El Serief since 2005 — reported being happy about her solar cooker because she spends less money on charcoal and firewood for cooking. “I am saving two Sudanese pounds per day,” she says. IOM and UNICEF plan to scale up the project, hoping to reach an additional 500 women during the months following the pilot phase. A primary goal of the project is to reduce sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls that are vulnerable while collecting firewood away from the camp.
- December 2007: A solar cooker is a device which changes direct sunlight into heat energy to cook food. Numerous attempts have been made in the past to disseminate solar cookers in Darfur and throughout Sudan. However the practical implementation of successful use of solar cookers in Sudan has not always produced the desired results. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has conducted a survey to attempt to resolve the numerous problems encountered with previous solar cooker projects and to produce viable solutions by developing a new prototype, which is more suitable to the Sudanese environment and culture. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with UNICEF, are implementing partners for UNIDO’s pilot phase of the project in South and North Darfur. The pre-pilot phase comes after the successful testing of the solar cooker with women’s groups in Khartoum. The pre-pilot phase in South and North Darfur will take place in December 2007 and January 2008 respectively. IOM’s main role is the selection of the sites where the project can be piloted, the monitoring of the use of the solar cookers and the evaluation of the first dissemination by mid-January, in cooperation with UNIDO. A three to four day training session by a Sudanese technical expert on the use of solar cookers is currently being organized for 10 women in South Darfur. It is expected that by mid-January 2008 the trained women will be able to successfully use the solar cookers. IOM and UNICEF expect to implement this project on a larger scale during 2008 where 500 women will be trained in the use of the solar cooker. The pre-pilot phase of this project was initially planned to be implemented in villages where returns have been assessed positively by IOM’s Verification and Monitoring Unit (VMU) within in the frame of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between IOM, the United Nations (UN) and the Government of Sudan (GoS) in 2004; protecting IDPs from forced returns or relocations. However, due to current security constraints access to rural areas outside Nyala, selection of the sites have had to bee re-assessed for the pre-pilot phase. IOM is now in the process of identifying a new target community in close collaboration with UNICEF and UNIDO. In the long-term, IOM expects one of the key results of this project to be a reduction in Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) women and girls are confronted while out looking for fire wood. [Source: Media:IOM_Sudan_newsletter_1107_en.pdf]
- December 2007: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) jointly conducted a three-day training session on newly developed solar cookers from 11 to 13 December 2007. The training course was facilitated by an experienced national consultant for ten women living in Serif IDP Camp. The IDP camp is located in West Nyala and is currently home to an estimated 13,000 individuals. The ten women trained learnt how to use the solar cooker to prepare traditional Sudanese dishes. UNIDO provided raw cooking materials for use during the training. On 16 December IOM monitored the group of women and found that eight of the trained women were using the solar cooking for boiling water, cooking potatoes and eggs. The use of such stoves will reduce reliance upon firewood, the collection of which often creates physical risks for women when leaving the safety of the camp, and impacts negatively on the local environment (Source: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/MUMA-7A44DN?OpenDocument).
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