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International Organization for Migration

The International Organization for Migration, founded in 1951, acts as a principal intergovernmental institution in the area of migration. It currently includes 169 member states, while 8 countries hold observer status. The IOM has offices in more than 100 countries around the world. 

The IOM concentrates its attention on four main areas of migration management: migration and development, migration assistance, migration control, forced migration. Comprehensive measures taken in all these areas include promotion of international law in the area of migration; discussion and assistance in the strategy development; protection of migrants' rights, migrants' health; and also evaluation of migration from the gender point of view.

The IOM plays an important role in implementing the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The IOM contributed to the development and adoption of the Marrakesh Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Legal Migration in December 2018 (A/RES/73/195).

Cooperation with the IOM is a foreign policy priority of the Republic of Belarus. Belarus has participated in the activities of the IOM since 1994. In 1999, the Agreement on cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the International Organization for Migration was ratified. On November 29, 2005 during the 90th Session of the IOM Council Belarus became a member of the International Organization for Migration.

In December 1996, the Resident Representative Office of the IOM was established in Minsk.

Cooperation between Belarus and the IOM is coordinated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The IOM projects implemented in Belarus have multiplied in recent years. In Belarus the IOM pays special attention to implementing projects in human trafficking, border infrastructure projects, cross-border cooperation, improvement of the national migration legislation.

As part of technical assistance projects in human trafficking, the IOM provides reintegration assistance to human trafficking victims, medical, psychological and financial help, pays for legal services and special training courses. 

With the financial assistance of the IOM, in 2007 an International Educational Centre (IEC) for migration training, advanced courses and retraining of migration specialists was established in Belarus (Minsk). Along with attracting overseas specialists, this Centre provides training courses for representatives of national and foreign law enforcement agencies. In 2009, with the assistance of the IOM and IEC, training courses to combat human trafficking were organized and conducted for Commonwealth of Independent States experts and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) law enforcement agencies.

The IOM successively supports Belarus efforts in promoting the human trafficking agenda in the UN, as well as within the scope of the Global Human Trafficking Plan. The IOM acts as a principal co-organizer of major conferences on human trafficking and illegal migration held in Minsk.

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