Doc. 10809
24 January 2006

The activities of the International Organization for Migration

Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mr. Çavusoglu and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       The International Organization for Migration (IOM) was created in 1951 with the purposes of: making arrangements for the organised transfer of migrants; of concerning itself with the organised transfer of refugees, displaced persons and other individuals in need of international migration services; of providing migration services and a forum to States as well as international and other organisations for the exchange of views and experiences, and the promotion of co-operation and co-ordination of efforts on international migration issues.

2.       The IOM has currently 112 member states and 23 states holding observer status, as do numerous international and non-governmental organisations, including the Council of Europe. It has more than 255 field locations in more than a hundred countries, more than 1,300 projects and about 5,000 operational staff (2005). The operational budget for 2005 was about 1 billion US$. 95.5 % of the budget is earmarked for operations, 2.5 % for administrative costs to cover core structures, and 2 % for discretionary income. The overhead costs for all projects charged for staff and office costs are approximately 5 % of total costs (UN overhead rate is approximately 13 % on total costs).

3.       Its main areas of activity can be grouped under the following headings: Migration and Development; Facilitating Migration; Regulating Migration and Forced Migration. The work programme also includes Policy Activities consisting of research and analysis to understand migration, develop effective new policies and design suitable practical approaches. Providing public information on migration trends, challenges and opportunities is a key function of the organisation.

4.       38 member countries of the Council of Europe are members of the IOM. This is one reason why the Parliamentary Assembly has an increasing interest in debating the activities of the IOM. Another reason is that international migration has risen to the top of the global policy agenda, and it represents an important item on the agenda of Parliaments of member states, the European Parliament and European and International Parliamentary Assemblies.

5.       The Assembly is keen to understand and debate the role of the IOM in achieving orderly migration management and in combating irregular migration and in particular trafficking in human beings.

6.       Most European countries experience low birth rates with an important ageing of the population. This will rapidly lead to a reduction in the work force and to the need to change social security schemes. Certain sectors in many countries are already facing important labour shortages. How can migration respond to such phenomena and to which extent? What should be the role of the IOM?

7.       Migration and development has also reached a new level of importance given the level of remittances expected to reach 167 billion US$ in 2005. How could this improve development prospects in poor countries? Which role could migrants in addition play for the development of their countries of origin?

8.       The World Bank’s annual Global Economic Prospects report for 2006 suggests that if carefully managed, a 3 percent increase over the next 20 years in the share of migrants in the labour force of industrial countries would boost global real income by 356 billion US$, rivalling potential gains from global reform of merchandise trade.

9.       Against this background, the Parliamentary Assembly recommend to the Committee of Ministers to strengthen the co-operation between the Council of Europe and the IOM, and analyse areas that could lend themselves to joint activities.

Signed 1:

ÇAVUSOGLU, Mevlüt, Turkey, EDG
ALIYEV, Bakhtiyar, Azerbaijan, SOC
CILEVICS, Boriss, Latvia, SOC
GRAF, Angelika, Germany, NR/NI
GREENWAY, John, United Kingdom, EDG
GÜLÇIÇEK, Ali Riza, Turkey, SOC
JONKER, Corien W.A., Netherlands, EPP/CD
KUŽVART, Miloš, Czech Republic, SOC
MENDONÇA, Ana Catarina, Portugal, SOC
NEGELE, Gebhard, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD
PLATVOET, Leo, Netherlands, UEL

1        SOC: Socialist Group
       EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
       ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
       EDG: European Democratic Group
       UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
       NR: not registered in a group