About IOM in Albania


Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the principal intergovernmental organization in the field of migration. 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 closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.

The International Organization for Migration has been operationally present in Albania since 1992, although Albania became an IOM member state in 1993. Since then, IOM has become one of the main international partners of the Government of Albania, supporting its continuous progress and efforts in migration management in line with Albania’s priorities of European Union integration.

IOM is a member of the UN Country Team in Albania and actively contributes to the implementation of the Government of Albania-United Nations Programme of Cooperation 2012-2016, which aligns the support, funds and programmes of 19 UN agencies including IOM, to Albania’s development priorities.


Managing Migration for the Benefit of All

IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. As the leading international organization for migration, IOM acts with partners in the international community to:

  • Assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management

  • Advance understanding of migration issues

  • Encourage social and economic development through migration, and

  • Uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.


Our History

  • 1992 – IOM opens its Mission in Albania.

  • 1993 – Albania becomes a Member State of the International Organization for Migration.

  • 1999-2004 – IOM supports the opening of Reception and Reintegration Centres for Albanian VoTs, irregular migrants stranded in Albania and third-country national VoTs.

  • 2001-2013 – IOM provides support at policy level with drafting National Strategies to combat trafficking of human beings and action plans.

  • May 2005 – The Albanian Council of Ministers approves the National Strategy on Migration and National Action Plan on Migration drafted with IOM’s support.

  • July 2005 – The Albanian government approves the Cooperation Agreement on the National Referral Mechanism for Enhancing Identification of, and rendering assistance to, Victims of Trafficking initiated by IOM and the Anti-trafficking National Co-ordinator.

  • March 2006 – IOM signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Albanian Government and stakeholders on the Handover of Pre-screening System of Irregular Foreigners and Asylum Seekers in Albania.

  • November 2006 – IOM, in close co-operation with the Anti-trafficking National Co-ordinator and UNODC, establishes the first toll-free National Helpline offering services on safe migration and counter-trafficking.

  • February 2007-July 2009 – IOM supports the implementation of the National Action Plan on Migration.

  • June 2007-July 2009 – IOM supports the elaboration and implementation of the National Action Plan on Remittances.

  • 2008 – IOM consolidates the approach established earlier to facilitate potential Albanian migrants’ access to informed migration within a national network of Sportele Migracioni.

  • 2009-2011 – IOM supports the Office of the National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator to establish Standard Operating Procedures for Identification and Referral of Victims of Trafficking and Potential Victims of Trafficking. 

  • 2010 – IOM supports the elaboration of the National Strategy for the Reintegration of Returned Albanian Citizens.

  • 2011 – IOM supports the implementation of the bilateral labour agreement with Italy.

  • October 2011 – IOM signs the Government of Albania-United Nations Programme of Cooperation 2012-2016

  • June 2012 – IOM signs the new Cooperation Agreement for the Functioning of the National Referral Mechanism for Victims and Potential Victims of Trafficking in Persons. 

  • June 2013 – Under a public-private sector partnership, the new Canada Visa Application Centre for Residents of Albania (CVAC) is opened and operated by the IOM Mission in Tirana.

  • October 2014 – IOM in collaboration with INSTAT launches the 1st National Report on Return and Reintegration in Albania.

  • May 2015 – IOM enhances capacities of the Albanian public institutions to collect and analyse data on migration.

  • September 2015 – IOM provides technical support to the government of Albania for elaborating the Contingency Plan on Migration and Refugee Crisis. 

  • July 2014- September 2015 – IOM undertakes an in-depth assessment of the protection system for minors in Albania.

  • 19 September 2016 – IOM joins the UN during the summit for Refugees and Migrants, as the “UN migration agency”