International Organization for Migration
The International Organization for Migration, founded in 1951, acts as a principal intergovernmental institution in the area of migration. It currently includes 173 member states, while a number of countries hold observer status. The IOM has offices in more than 100 countries around the world. Antonio Vitorino was elected Director General of the International Organization for Migration in June 2018.
The IOM plays an important role in implementing the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and in the context of the Global Compact for Migration.
Cooperation with the IOM is a foreign policy priority of the Republic of Belarus. Belarus has participated in the IOM activities since 1994. In 1999 the Agreement on cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the International Organization for Migration was ratified. On 29 November 2005, during the 90th session of the IOM Council Belarus became a member of the International Organization for Migration.
In December 1996 the Resident Representative office of the IOM was established in Minsk. With a view to discussing the present state of cooperation between the IOM and Belarus and its prospects, IOM senior officials travelled to Belarus in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Cooperation between Belarus and the IOM is coordinated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The IOM projects implemented in Belarus have increased in recent years. The IOM pays special attention to implementing projects in Belarus in the areas of combatting human trafficking, border infrastructure projects, cross-border cooperation, improvement of national migration legislation.
As part of technical assistance projects on human trafficking, the IOM provides reintegration assistance to human trafficking victims, medical, psychological and financial help, provides financial assistance for legal services and special training courses.
With the IOM’s financial assistance, International Training Centre for migration training and combating trafficking in persons was established in Belarus (Minsk) in 2007. Along with attracting overseas specialists, this Centre provides training courses for representatives of national and foreign law enforcement agencies.
The IOM consistently supports Belarus’ efforts in promoting the human trafficking agenda in the UN as well as within the scope of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking. The IOM acts as a principal co-organizer of major conferences on human trafficking and illegal migration, which have been held in Minsk.