The organization was first created in order to help refugees from the aftermath of World War II to find their way back to a safe and supportive environment from the chaos of destruction and a war torn economy. Established in 1951, the organization helps those in need to navigate the policies and requirements for moving from one region to another. However, the needs of the 21st century are dramatically different than the needs that first inspired the development of the organization in its early years. Migration is now a part of a world in which fear of ‘other’ has increased, providing for a hostile environment for migration. Although this fear has always existed, legislation and policies throughout the Western world has made migration difficult and the IOM has a daunting task in facilitating the smooth transition of those in need of help with migration.
Overview of the IOM
The IOM is a national organization that works with multiple governments in order to facilitate the movement of people from one region to another. According to the description that the IOM presents on the website, “From its roots as an operational logistics agency, it has broadened its scope to become the leading international agency working with governments and civil society to advance the understanding of migration issues, encourage social and economic development through migration, and uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants".” (IOM). This statement also suggests the objectives of the organization, the facilitation of migration through cooperation and connections between governments. The organization has eight regional offices in Dakar, Senegal, Pretoria, South Africa, Cairo, Egypt, San Jose, Costa Rica, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bangkok, Thailand, Brussels, Belgium, Vienna, Austria from which coordination is arranged for those in need of services (IOM). Two special liaison offices out of New York and Addis Abba are used to form relationships non-governmental entities as well as multilateral bodies. There are more than 240 offices worldwide that help to connect people to the regional offices and to analyze and make recommendations about the local problems in migration as well as two administrative centers in Panama and Manilla which provide IT support for the overall organization. Six country offices in Nairobi, Canberra, Bangkok, Rome, Astana and Guyana support and coordinate regions of the relative needs, while four more offices in Tokyo, Berlin, Helsinki and Washington, D.C provide fund raising support so that the financing of the work that is done