Mandate to Engage with CSOs

IOM engagement with civil society is guided by several key documents among them:

1. IOM Constitution1

The Preamble of the IOM Constitution recognizes “…the need to promote the cooperation of States and international organizations, governmental and non-governmental, for research and consultation on migration issues, not only with regard to the migration process but also the specific situation and needs of the migrant as an individual human being”.

The Preamble further states that “…there should be close cooperation and coordination among [the same stake-holders], on migration and refugee matters.”

Article 2 of the IOM Constitution specifies that “In carrying out its functions, the Organization shall co-operate closely with international organizations, governmental and non-governmental concerned with migration, refugees and human resources in order, inter alia, to facilitate the co-ordination of international activities in these fields. Such co-operation shall be carried out in mutual respect of the competences of the organizations concerned.”

2. The 2007 IOM Strategy Document2

The 2007 IOM Strategy Document identifies the primary goal of IOM as being the facilitation of humane and orderly responses to international migration, and outlines the key activities to be undertaken in achieving this goal.

In the area of enhancing national capacity and cooperation, these activities include, among others: research, technical cooperation and operational assistance to States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as other stakeholders.3

3. The 2010 IOM Strategy Review 4

The 2010 IOM Strategy Review document highlights the growing and significant role of IOM in promoting multi-stakeholder cooperation on migration issues.

The Strategy Review document further emphasizes the need for formal and informal interaction between IOM and civil society at national, bilateral, regional, and global levels.

4. IOM Policy Documents

Over the years, the IOM Council has endorsed several policy documents on specific aspects of IOM engagement with civil society, including:

  • IOM Cooperation with Non-Governmental Organizations (1996);5
  • IOM Partnerships with Non-Governmental Organizations in Managing Migration (2002);6
  • Criteria for Admitting Non-Governmental Organizations as Observers to the IOM Council (2010).7

These three policy documents further outline modalities of partnership and cooperation between IOM and NGOs.

  1. Constitution of 19 October 1953 of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (former designation of the International Organization for Migration) including the amendments adopted on 20 May 1987 and which entered into force on 14 November 1989.
  2. 2007 IOM Strategy Document, MC/INF/287.
  3. Point 3, 2007 IOM Strategy Document, MC/INF/287.
  4. Paragraph 79 of Part IV of the 2010 Review of the IOM Strategy, MC/INF/302 Ninety-Ninth Session, stipulates that cooperation – inter-State and multi-stakeholder coopera-tion – is fundamental to realizing the objective of migration that is safe, orderly and humane. In this context, IOM’s ability to bring together – formally and informally, at the national, regional and global levels – States, partner institutions and a wide range of civil society entities (e.g., advocacy groups, service providers, research institutes) is of growing and critical significance.
  5. MC/INF 231, 4 November 1996.
  6. MC/INF 253, 1 November 2002.
  7. MC/INF 300, 4 November 2010.