IOM uses its extensive expertize and experience in this area both to provide support to States as well as the individuals and communities affected by crisis, and to actively contribute to the efforts to effectively address related challenges.
Albania has not been affected by the massive mix migration movements as its neighbor countries in the Western Balkans region. However, it remains an alternative route with very high potential to be used by migrants trying to transit through the Western Balkans countries to reach the European Union.
IOM supported the Government of Albania for the development of a contingency plan on massive influx of migrants in 2015, when the Balkans Route through Greece and North Macedonia was activated. As regards the response, the relevant structures are supported with infrastructure to improve processing of mixed migration flows as well as trainings on migration crisis management, in line with the Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF), a tool developed by IOM in 2012, with the aim to enhance the understanding of complex mobility patterns related to crises, increase the level of preparedness and enable a more effective operational response to crises.
All migrants may find themselves in a vulnerable situation, including trafficking in persons, and can have protection needs that must be addressed. IOM works in partnership with all relevant stakeholders to protect and assist migrants in a situation of vulnerability and to take actions to support implementation of protection mechanisms in line with international human rights standards during the pandemic situation. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic IOM contributed to the improvement of reception facilities in Registration and Temporary Accommodation Centres for irregular migrants in Albania Kapshtica, Korçë, and Gërhot, Gjirokastër. Interventions improved reception conditions for children, women and girls VoTs / PVoTs and migrants in vulnerable situation.