International Organization for Migration

What is the IOM?

Part of the UN system, the IOM is the leading inter-governmental organisation in the field of migration, with 172 member states and 8 states holding observer status. 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.

Why is the IOM relevant to business?

The IOM is the UN agency in charge of labour mobility and migration in general. Its labour mobility and human development division is responsible for providing policy and operational guidance in matters related to labour mobility, diaspora communities and their links to development, and migrant integration. Migration cannot be addressed without the private sector - to supply the jobs, but also to interface with migration systems and bring real world experience to the table.

What is the IOE’s position on the IOM and migration?

Migration has become in the past years a crucial topic for governments across the world; its governance may have serious consequences for businesses. The global mobility of skills is an important component of the broader issue, as businesses must have access to the talent they need to ensure their growth.

How does the IOE’s work with the IOM advance the agenda for business?

The IOE signed an agreement with the IOM, committing to finding practical and operational tools for use by governments and business to combat unscrupulous recruitment practices. One such tool is the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), a voluntary accreditation system for recruitment intermediaries so that they can demonstrate their commitment to fair and ethical practices. The IOE is part of the Advisory Committee of IRIS.


The IOM will play a leading role in the implementation of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM), adopted by United Nations member states in 2018. Partnerships with the private sector are called for in the GCM. The IOE is the perfect partner to ensure representative voices of businesses are brought to the debate.

In addition, the IOE and IOM collaborate on an ad hoc basis contributing their expertise to conferences and panels on labour mobility issues. At regional level, cooperation could be further strengthened to identify ways of including employers’ organisations in IOM projects on enhancing labour migration governance in Africa and Asia. The participation of the private sector in public-private dialogue is essential to the development of well-regulated migration systems.

IOE address

71 Avenue Louis-Casaï
1216 Cointrin
Geneva, Switzerland

T: +41 22 929 00 00
F: +41 22 929 00 01