The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. While not part of the United Nations system, IOM maintains close working relations with United Nations bodies and operational agencies, as well as with a wide range of international and non-governmental organizations. In addition, IOM is the designated cluster leader for camp management in humanitarian settings for natural disasters. Through its gender equality policy adopted in 2015, IOM is committed to ensuring that a gender perspective is mainstreamed throughout all IOM policies, activities and programming.
IOM’s main focus, with respect to violence against women, is on counter-trafficking, violence against women migrants, including women migrant workers and reduction of HIV vulnerabilities. It also addresses traditional practices such as female genital mutilation. The Organization is particularly attentive to violence against women in the context of complex emergencies and natural disasters, where women and children are disproportionately targets of abuse.
In this regard, it undertakes prevention activities; provides assistance to those affected by violence and/or trafficking; and provides assistance to trafficked victims for their voluntary return to countries of origin and their reintegration. IOM also facilitates access to voluntary counselling and testing of HIV and referral for treatment where needed for rape victims and for migrants to ensure universal access to HIV prevention, AIDS treatment, care and support.
In 2005, IOM’s Working Group on Gender Issues at Headquarters supported the production of a series of TV public service announcements for anglo-phone Caribbean countries on HIV/AIDS prevention and a documentary for Senegalese television on trafficking of children. Many of IOM’s counter-trafficking projects include information campaigns that aim to change behaviour related to discrimination and violence against women. In collaboration with UNFPA, IOM organized, in May 2006, an expert group meeting entitled "Female migrants: bridging the gaps throughout the life cycle", which brought together a wide range of stakeholders from countries of origin, transit and destination Protection of migrant women against violence was part of the agenda.Hide
In Timor Leste, IOM published a brochure on internally displaced women's rights and responsibilities regarding the return and resettlement options under this National Recovery Strategy. It included information on health services, security and protection mechanisms upon return for victims of violence and was distributed in all IDP camps and Return Communities.Hide
In line with commitments made to the global Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies (Call to Action), IOM has started the development of its first View More
In line with commitments made to the global Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies (Call to Action), IOM has started the development of its first institutional framework in GBV in Crises (GBViC). The framework will articulate IOM’s approach to GBV in crises, define the scope IOM’s GBV response, and help IOM missions to operationalize commitments to protect populations crisis-affected populations from GBV. The development of the framework represents a major step to institutionalize GBV prevention, mitigation and response as standard component of IOM’s humanitarian programming, resonating also on other IOM institutional frameworks – including the Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF), and key institutional policies on PSEA and Protection Mainstreaming.Hide
IOM’s efforts to improve the capacity to identify GBV risks continued, including through the use of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). The DTM is a system View More
IOM’s efforts to improve the capacity to identify GBV risks continued, including through the use of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). The DTM is a system that regularly captures, processes and disseminates multi-layered primary data and information on the mobility, locations, vulnerabilities and needs of displaced populations at national, regional and global levels, now contains protection and GBV risk indicators. In the aims of developing tools to facilitate the analysis and reporting of GBV risk-sensitive data collected through the DTM, DTM-GBV workshops have been organized. The DTM also made progress in standardizing data dictionaries including GBV-risk related data and standard operating procedures for collecting this type of data in its response. Furthermore, IOM decided to review its DTM data monitoring system to better capture its use by other clusters and agencies, including the Protection, Child Protection and GBV sectors. 36 DTM operations reported collecting gender sensitive and GBV-risk related data at the end of 2017.Hide
IOM published a study on Gender and Labour Migration in Asia which addresses the impact of labour migration on gender roles and the gendered division of labour in the household in six countries, namely Bangladesh, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The study covers different migration scenarios (women “independent” migration, men outmigration and parental couples’s migration) and highlights how violence, whether of a physical, psychological, sexual or economic nature, can mark women’s migratory experience. IOM also published a study on Working to Prevent and Address Violence against Migrant Women Workers which presents the approach IOM adopts towards the protection and empowerment of women migrant workers. The publication seeks to better inform policymakers, practitioners and the public of the vulnerability of women migrant workers and of good practices for the protection of their human rights throughout the labour migration cycle.Hide
In an effort to improve the identification of GBV risks and the response to the needs of GBV survivors, IOM has incorporated protection and GBV risk indicators into CCCM tools, such as the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), in an innovative View More
In an effort to improve the identification of GBV risks and the response to the needs of GBV survivors, IOM has incorporated protection and GBV risk indicators into CCCM tools, such as the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), in an innovative manner. DTM is a system which regularly captures, processes and disseminates multi-layered primary data and information on the mobility, locations, vulnerabilities and needs of displaced populations, both in country and at the regional and global level. Through an initial project piloted in nine countries including the Philippines, South Sudan and Iraq, IOM has integrated context-appropriate GBV risk indicators relating to site layout and infrastructure; security; women’s participation; and knowledge about and availability of services to address GBV in camps and camp-like settings into the DTM system. The newly incorporated indicators complement general DTM assessments which provide sex- and age-disaggregated data, population profiles, and information on general needs and service provision to provide a more holistic understanding of the protection context in a given site. The data collected through the DTM is analysed and shared with GBV responders, as well as all other relevant service providers to improve operational responses.Hide
In the area of counter-trafficking, IOM undertakes research and publishes the findings about the situation of trafficking in specific countries and/or regions. A recent publication gave an assessment of changing patterns and trends of trafficking in persons in the Balkan region. IOM also maintains one of the largest international trafficking database which contains health related information to facilitate planning and programmatic actions.Hide
IOM conducts and supports research designed to guide and inform migration policy and practice, with a special focus on violence against women, not only in counter-trafficking studies, but also in labour migration and in emergency and post-conflict research.Hide
At the request of the Government of Pakistan, IOM participated in a national consultation in July 2008, on the draft Domestic Violence Bill. IOM is working with UNIFEM and civil society organizations to review and propose amendments to the Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance of 2002 which, at present, does not cover internal trafficking.Hide