The International Organization for Migration was established in 1951 and is the leading inter-governmental agency in the field of migration. As such it interacts with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental partners. IOM has 120 member states and 19 states with observer status.
Greece is an active member of the Organization since 1957. IOM maintains an office in Athens, which is part of the Mediterranean network controlled by the regional supervisor in Rome. Their cooperation in the area of migration flows is focused primarily in the area of the Balkans, with large projects in Albania, Bulgaria and other countries of the region, which Greece funds through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior and the Ministry of Public Order. In cooperation with IOM, the competent Greek authorities organize Seminars aiming at the improvement of coordination among the Greek authorities and ameliorate their knowledge on the issue of migration. IOM in coordination with the Greek government funds programs which aim at the integration of immigrants into the Greek society.
Other important aspects of IOMs activities in Greece are the cooperation in the field of repatriation of immigrants of Greek origin back to their homeland, and the facilitation of Greek citizens who wish to work abroad.
As a further example of close interaction, it is to be noted that an IOM official participates at the Greek Special Committee of the Ministry of Justice for combating trafficking.
Furthermore we list a selection of Programs funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Program against trafficking and voluntary repatriation of persons trafficked”. This program envisages apart from the legal advice and interpretation services also the process of informing the public opinion about the problem of trafficking.
Program of education of Greek authorities which deal with the issue of international trafficking.
Program “Support of regional policies against trafficking”, which is being realized in cooperation with the offices of IOM in Pristina and Sarajevo.
Program of voluntary repatriation of Afghan Refugees which is being conducted in cooperation with the office of IOM in Afghanistan and envisages also the re-integration of the refugees in their society.
Numerous other programs are being funded in cooperation with the European Union.