Global Initiatives

IOM carries out a diverse range of activities all around the world. This page highlights some of these initiatives. Click here to find out more about IOM’s wide-ranging global activities.

IOM staff distributing in-kind grant items to a beneficiary in Basra, Iraq. © IOM 2015

Global Humanitarian Assistance

IOM’s activities in emergency and post-emergency situations focus on four phases of emergency intervention: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Programme activities cover emergency relief, return, reintegration, capacity-building and protection of the rights of affected populations. In the global efforts to address the growing needs of crisis-affected populations, IOM works in “collaborative responses” through the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) within the United Nations system. IOM takes on the lead role, under the cluster approach of the UN Consolidated Appeals Process in camp coordination and camp management in natural disasters. In close partnership with other organisations, IOM assists in the coordination of emergency shelter, logistics, health, protection and early recovery for crisis-stricken communities. To read more about IOM’s work in this field, please click here.

Islanders from Maloelap Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands bringing USAID-funded foodstuff ashore for house-to-house delivery across five islands © IOM 2013

Migration and Climate Change

Migration, climate change and the environment are interrelated. Just as environmental degradation and disasters can cause migration, movement of people can also entail significant effects on surrounding ecosystems. This complex nexus needs to be addressed in a holistic manner, taking into account other possible mediating factors including, inter alia, human security, human and economic development, livelihood strategies and conflict. Migration often seems to be misperceived as a failure to adapt to a changing environment.  Instead, migration can also be an adaptation strategy to climate and environmental change and is an essential component of the socio-environmental interactions that needs to be managed.  Migration can be a coping mechanism and survival strategy for those who move. At the same time, migration, and mass migration in particular, can also have significant environmental repercussions for areas of origin, areas of destination, and the migratory routes in between and contribute to further environmental degradation. IOM’s central objectives in managing environmental migration are:

  • First, to prevent forced migration resulting from environmental factors to the extent possible.
  • Second, where forced migration does occur, to provide assistance and protection to affected populations, and seek durable solutions to their situation.
  • Third, to facilitate migration as an adaptation strategy to climate change.

The Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy project aims to contribute to the global knowledge base on the relationship between migration and environmental change, including climate change. The innovative research will aim to formulate policy options on how migration can benefit adaptation strategies to environmental and climate change. To find out more about this project, click here. To find out more about IOM’s approach to migration and climate change, click here. For an overview of IOM reports and publications on migration and climate change, click here.


International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS)

Unethical recruitment is a serious problem requiring a global solution. In today’s labour market, intermediaries play an important role in matching workers with jobs and ensuring the continued prosperity of businesses and families. But when unscrupulous intermediaries exploit job seekers the negative outcomes impact everyone. In response to this, IOM established the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), an international voluntary “ethical recruitment” framework that will benefit all stakeholders in the labour migration process.  IRIS will provide a platform for addressing unfair recruitment and bridge international regulatory gaps governing labour recruitment in countries of origin and destination.

  • IRIS aims to create a public-private alliance of like-minded governments, employers, recruiters and other partners committed to ethical recruitment.
  • IRIS will develop a voluntary accreditation framework so that its members can be recognized as bona fide fair recruiters and distinguish themselves from unscrupulous intermediaries. Accreditation will be based on adherence to common principles for ethical recruitment and a code of conduct.
  • Job seekers will have better information regarding ethical recruitment though an information portal and publicly available roster of accredited IRIS members internationally
  • IRIS will administer a complaints and referral mechanism to assist victims of unethical or illegal recruiters to file grievances with the appropriate authorities.

Visit the IRIS website here to learn more and join the alliance.