What We Do
IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.
IOM 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, be they refugees, displaced persons or other uprooted people.
IOM works in four broad areas of migration management:
- migration and development,
- facilitating migration,
- regulating migration,
- addressing forced migration.
Cross-cutting activities include the promotion of international migration law, policy debate and guidance, protection of migrants’ rights, migration health and the gender dimension of migration.
IOM works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.
Since the start of operations in 1992, IOM in Albania has carried out activities in the following thematic areas:
Migration Policy and Research
IOM has supported the Albanian Government to develop the first Country Strategy on Migration (2005-2010) and to implement its Action Plan, through the financial and technical support of the European Union. In line with the National Action Plan on Migration, assistance was provided in 2007 to elaborate and implement the National Action Plan on Remittances (2007-2010). IOM has supported the country’s aspirations to attain visa liberalisation with the EU's Schengen area by extending support to the Government of Albania to formulate the National Strategy on the Reintegration of the Returned Albanian Citizens and its Action Plan (2010-2015). Expert advice and capacity strengthening activities for Migration Counters across the country are on-going, to ensure that Albanian migrants as well as immigrants are provided with adequate services and their rights protected.
IOM in Albania is committed to continuing to assist the Government of Albania’s efforts to develop and implement new migration management policies. IOM will continue to support research on the impact of migration in Albania with the aim of proposing future programmatic actions in this area.
IOM promotes concerted efforts among government, civil society and other actors to build an effective integrated system of prevention of trafficking in persons, protection assistance and reintegration of victims of trafficking (VoTs) and unaccompanied minors in Albania. Direct assistance and transfer of know-how are key elements of IOM’s contribution to the country’s counter-trafficking efforts. Since 1999, the Organization has assisted more than 700 VoTs with return, rehabilitation and reintegration support, in partnership with the Anti-trafficking National Co-ordinator, the Anti-trafficking and Border Police, State Social Services, the National Coalition of Anti-Trafficking Shelters, as well as a number of government and non-governmental service providers.
IOM in Albania also works on the identification of vulnerable migrants and addressing their needs, while supporting a concerted approach among all those involved in preventing and combating trafficking in human beings. IOM is committed to supporting the National Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, the National Referral Mechanism and international and national standards of assistance to victims of trafficking and their protection. Capacity-building support to the Albanian National Coalition of Anti-Trafficking Shelters will continue in order to strengthen local service delivery to VoTs. In addition, IOM will support the on-going efforts of the civil society to establish local protection mechanisms for vulnerable categories of migrants, such as unaccompanied children from the Roma community. Sustainable reintegration assistance to VoTs as well as a long-term monitoring of the effectiveness of the assistance provided to VoT returnees will continue in the near future, too.
Labour Migration and Human Development
In partnership with both the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and the National Employment Service structures, IOM facilitates the provision of advice, information and referral services to prospective migrants, immigrants and returnees on regular migration for labour and study purposes, on reintegration opportunities in Albania, as well as immigration issues. A national network of Migration Counters (Sportele Migracioni) has been established and strengthened with IOM support, to increase access to regular migration information, modalities and opportunities. The Organization supports also the government’s efforts to implement the bilateral labour agreement with Italy, through the provision of technical assistance to both Albanian and Italian administrations for the identification, registration and training of candidate migrant workers in Albania.
IOM will continue its efforts to enhance the Albanian Government’s capacity to inform, assist and protect Albanian migrants abroad and upon return, therefore attaining more sustainable and informed migration processes, ultimately benefiting the country’s development. IOM strongly supports and promotes the nexus between migration and development in Albania through the reintegration of returning migrants, employment generation and investment in rural areas, addressing socio-economic pressures in regions vulnerable to high rates of economically-motivated migration.
Immigration and Border Management
Technical support is provided to the Albanian border authorities for the implementation of the Integrated Border Management Strategy. In line with the country policy on integrated border management, IOM will continue to promote further cooperation with neighbouring countries in preventing and fighting irregular migration of Albanian citizens and third-country nationals complying with the existing bilateral agreements and regional initiatives, in particular, in the areas of information exchange, readmission agreements, assisted voluntary return and reintegration of returnees, reception facilities for irregular third-country nationals, interpretation and language analysis for identification purposes.