Activity Updates


International Women’s Day

On 08 March, IOM joins in the celebration of International Women’s Day and has created a website that is dedicated for this important commemoration, This website features stories of women around the world that IOM is proud to partner with and support in making better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.

IOM: International Women's Day 2015 Video


IOM Meets with Kosovo President to Discuss Irregular EU Migration

Kosovo - With the rise in irregular migration of Kosovo citizens towards the European Union (EU), Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga met with IOM Kosovo Chief of Mission Jorge Baca Vaughan on Thursday (12th February) to discuss the need to engage with local and international institutions to address migration management and the return of irregular Kosovar migrants from EU countries.

Please click here to read the full article.


IOM DG Addresses World Humanitarian Summit Regional Consultation in Budapest

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing has called for the world to join forces to end the unconscionable scale of deaths of migrants as they seek safety across the globe.

“Saving lives is one urgent step,” said the IOM chief, speaking in Hungary on the occasion of the World Humanitarian Summit Regional Consultation for Europe and Others. “But what the world needs now is concerted action, just like it achieved to end the scourge of piracy off the Somali coast.”

The Budapest meeting is one of eight regional gatherings to prepare for 2016’s World Humanitarian Summit, which will take place in Istanbul. It will bring together European and other delegates, including those from Mediterranean states such as Malta, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Spain, where a rise in people-smuggling from the Middle East and North Africa has resulted in the deaths of close to 5,000 migrants since 2013, according IOM’s Missing Migrants Project.

Please click here to read the full article.


Migration is necessary and desirable, to counteract the demographic trends, says International Organization for Migration

IOM views with concern the recent developments in the debate on migration, and its perceived consequences for Hungary. Census data shows that economic immigration to Hungary is modest compared to other European countries (1.4% of foreign citizens within the total population), and immigrants in Hungary come mainly from Europe and more specifically from the neighbouring countries. Still, this level of immigration is considered too low by experts to solve the negative demographic trends of the ageing population, compounded by the loss of human capital through out-migration from the country.

The native population in most developed countries, including Hungary, is actually in decline. Migration is key to supporting population levels and providing a base of working age people to support a growing number of retirees. Migrants fill gaps in industries where labour is in short supply; they renew decaying neighbourhoods and they shore up public payments to the elderly and unemployed by putting into government coffers much more wealth than they withdraw.

“In the wake of Charlie Hebdo attacks, we have been watching with dismay as hearts harden towards migrants, and communities begin to turn on each other,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “The world is showing us that there is a higher road to take. Our research with Gallup shows that that, with the exception of Europe, people are more likely to want immigration levels in their countries to either stay at their present level or to increase, rather than see immigration levels decrease. After four centuries of being a principle source of the world’s migrants, Europe is adjusting to being the world’s destination. That’s inevitable. It need not be conflictive.”

While recognising that the governments have a legitimate responsibility to ensure that migration is well managed and contributes to the economic and social prosperity of the whole society, IOM believes that that migration is necessary to meet labour demands and ensure the availability of skills and the vibrancy of economies and societies. Migration is also inevitable, because of, inter alia, demographic, economic and environmental factors. And finally, migration is desirable for migrants and host populations alike – when governed humanely and fairly as a path to the realization of human potential.

“If managed well, migration can be a source of positive economic, social and cultural development for Hungary, and contribute to the country’s growth and prosperity”, said Magdalena Majkowska-Tomkin, the Chief of IOM mission in Hungary. “IOM stands ready to assist the Hungarian government in finding comprehensive and balanced solutions to any challenges arising from migratory movements to Hungary”.

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration, with 157 member states, a further 10 states holding observer status and offices in over 150 countries. Hungary is a member state of IOM since 1991.

For more information, contact Balazs Lehel at, tel: + 36 1 472 25 00.

Please click here to read this press release in Hungarian.


"Global Migration Trends" Published On International Migrants Day (18 December 2014)

 Approximately one in seven people today are migrants: 232 million people are international migrants, or 3.2% of the world population, and 740 million are internal migrants.

Since 1990, the number of international migrants increased by 65% (53 million) in the global North, and by 34% (24 million) in the global South (UN-DESA). While the number of international migrants has increased in absolute terms, the share of international migrants in the world population has remained fairly constant in the same period, oscillating around 3%.

The share of international migrants in the total population varies widely across countries: it is above 50% in some of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) such as the United Arab Emirates (84%), Qatar (74%), Kuwait (60%) and Bahrain (55%) and is relatively high in traditional destination countries like Australia (28%) and Canada (21%). In main destination countries in Europe, namely Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, it usually stands between 10 and 12%, but in Sweden it is 16%.

Women account for 48% of the global migrant stock. Migrants in the North are on average older than migrants in the South (42 years as median age in the North, 33 in the South), and most international migrants are of working age (74% of the global migrant stock; UN-DESA).

Please click here to download "Global Migration Trends".








Missing Migrants Project

The Missing Migrants Project draws on a range of sources to track deaths of migrants along migratory routes across the globe. Data from this project are published in the report “Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost during Migration,” which provides the most comprehensive global tally of migrant fatalities for 2014, and estimates deaths over the past 15 years.

With a count surpassing 40,000 victims since 2000, IOM calls on all the world’s governments to address what it describes as “an epidemic of crime and victimization.”

“Our message is blunt: migrants are dying who need not,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, “It is time to do more than count the number of victims. It is time to engage the world to stop this violence against desperate migrants.

For more information please click here.


Getting a ‘Head Start’: IOM Integration Conference in Rome to Focus on Supporting Migrants before They Leave Home

Supporting migrants at the pre-departure stage of the migration journey will be tackled in depth at a conference organized by IOM and partners in Rome as part of a project called “HEADSTART: Fostering Integration Before Departure”.   

The conference is underpinned by the increasing recognition in European Union (EU) policy of the role that countries of origin can play in fostering the successful integration of newly arrived migrants to the EU, which hinges on innovative measures that can be taken before migrants depart.

Sound pre-departure initiatives in countries of origin can lead to a more successful overall migration experience, reduce the risks that migrants fall prey to exploitation, and can help them use their newly gained skills back home, upon return.

Many initiatives undertaken in migrants’ countries of origin work to ensure that migrants have accurate and timely information on the immigration rules in a country of destination and that they are informed of their rights and responsibilities. Such services include language tuition or vocational training to help them find jobs and settle in more quickly upon arrival.

Migrants can also be better integrated into the receiving societies when support offered in countries of origin helps migrants to use legal means to enter the country and assists them in finding their place in the labour market.

The conference is the centrepiece of the HEADSTART project and will showcase promising practices in the field of pre-departure integration support and offer an opportunity for service providers in countries of origin to meet with their counterparts in countries of destination.

Representatives of European governments, public and private employment services, NGOs and social service providers, city officials and academia will discuss integration boosters such as cultural orientation, language assessments, job-matching measures, recognition of skills and qualifications and migrant skills development. 

IOM will present the initial findings of a global review it carried out to take stock of existing pre-departure practices.

The Workshop will also feature an EXPO where institutions will exhibit their projects and initiatives in the field.

The HEADSTART project is undertaken in partnership with the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES) and authorities in charge of integration issues in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia, and co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals, Ministries of Interior of Italy and Austria and the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers in the Netherlands (COA).

You can also go to


Evaluation Report on the Reintegration Assistance of Assisted Voluntary Returnees from Hungary to Kosovo (UNSCR 1244) is now available

The report has been prepared as part of the Reintegration Assistance to Assisted Voluntary Returnees to Kosovo (UNSCR 1244) project, co-funded by the 2012 Hungarian national allocation of the European Return Fund and the Hungarian Ministry of Interior, and implemented by IOM Budapest in cooperation with IOM Prishtina. One of the components of the project was to collect the beneficiaries’ feedback concerning the evaluation of their assisted voluntary return and in particular their reintegration assistance. The major conclusions of the analysis are presented in ten recommendations. Please click here to download the report. The report is also available for download in the Recent Publications section of the website.




IOM's Newsletter for International Migrants Day (18 December 2014)


The HEADSTART project website features information and deliverables from the various project components, most prominently the Comparative Report and the practitioner's library with good practice case studies, Migrant Resource Center (MRC) Handbook as well as the ongoing virtual marketplace for service providers. Click on image to visit the website.


The network of Migrant Service Centres provides information, advice and referral services to migrants and potential migrants in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under UNSCR1244. Click on image to visit the website.


The multilingual Volret website, which is accessible in eight languages – Albanian, English, French, Persian, Serbian, Vietnamese, Urdu and Mongolian – provides information on voluntary return and reintegration options for migrants who wish to return to their home countries from Hungary. Click on image to visit the website.