Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non- governmental partners. With 162 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to the governments and migrants.
IOM Kenya 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.
Migration flow in Kenya can be categorized in the following areas of issue:
- Forced migration, due to conflicts and natural disasters and resulting in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugee outflows;
- Irregular migration, due to poverty and reduction in livelihood options, and linked to human trafficking and smuggling;
- Traditional and cross-border migration linked to nomadism and cross-border movement. It is mainly a survival strategy such as pastoralists looking for pasture and cross-border trade abroad and within the region; and
- Mixed migration, the use of one migration route by several different groups of migrants including asylum seekers, economic migrants, victims of trafficking and smuggling.
The Government of Kenya has been a member state of IOM since 1983. IOM Kenya Country Office is in the capital, Nairobi. It has sub-offices in Kakuma and Dadaab and a field office in Mombasa. The mission in Kenya has over 300 staff.
IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management:
- Migration and development
- Facilitating migration
- Regulating migration
- Forced migration
IOM Kenya is a member of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and also works closely with several Ministries in the Government of Kenya in the implementation of its programmes.
It partners with several INGOs and local NGOs and works closely with member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the East African Community (EAC) and the African Union (AU).
IOM currently implements the following Programmes in Kenya:
- For Kenya:
- Immigration and Border Management (IBM) Programme
- Programme for Human Security and Stabilization (PHSS)
- Counter Trafficking (CT) Programme
- Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Programme
- Building Trust between Communities & Security Forces/Community Policing (CP) Programme
- Migration Health Assistance (MHA) for Migrants & Communities
- Mental Health & Psychosocial Services (MHPSS)
- Migration, Environment & Climate Change: Evidence for Policy (MECLEP)
- ACP-EU Migration Project
- For the East Africa/Horn of Africa Region and Beyond:
Better Migration Management Programme (BMM)
Mixed Migration (MM) Programme
Partnership on Health & Mobility in East & Southern Africa (PHAMESA)
Labour Migration & Human Development (LHD) Programme
- For Africa & Resettlement Countries:
IOM Kenya serves as a refugee resettlement hub in Africa providing coordination and assistance for resettlement in Sub-Saharan Africa. The IOM office in Nairobi functions as interface between IOM field missions and resettlement partners including Governments in receiving countries and UNHCR.