1) What is the International Organization for Migration?
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading intergovernmental organization working in the field of migration. IOM currently has 127 member states and collaborates closely with national governments, non-governmental organizations, international organizations and independent experts.
IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. To this aim, IOM strives to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to find practical solutions to the challenges posed by migration and to provide humanitarian aid to migrants in need of assistance.
IOM assists migrants through individual, targeted projects. Over 96% of funding for IOM's activities comes from voluntary contributions toward specific projects. The remainder is funded by member state contributions.
2) What does IOM Vienna do for migrants?
IOM Vienna assists migrants directly through targeted projects and facilitates policy development on national, regional and international levels.
Direct assistance is provided by IOM Vienna in the areas of resettlement, family reunification and assisted voluntary return and reintegration.
On the policy level, IOM Vienna is active in the areas of counter-trafficking, assisted voluntary return, labour migration, migration and development, migration and gender and environmental migration.
3) Is IOM Vienna responsible for counselling migrants?
IOM Vienna cooperates with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide counselling and protection in the areas of counter-trafficking, assisted voluntary return and family reunification.
IOM Vienna's main counselling partners are Caritas, European Homecare, Verein Menschenrechte Österreich (Human Rights Association Austria) and the Austrian Red Cross.
IOM Vienna does not provide counselling for migrants during their stay in Austria, but can provide information and subsequently refer migrants to the appropriate NGO for further counselling.
Within the framework of country-specific assisted voluntary return and reintegration projects, migrants have the opportunity to visit the IOM Vienna office and verify the information on reintegration and to contact returnees via telephone who have already completed the reintegration measures.
4) Is IOM Vienna responsible for implementing Austrian migration policy?
Austria is a Member State of IOM. As such, Austrian government entities are important counterparts for IOM and assist in funding project activities. However, the formulation and implementation of migration policy is the sovereign right and responsibility of the Austrian Government. IOM Vienna is a separate entity and is not obliged to or subcontracted by the Government of Austria to carry out its migration policy.
5) Does IOM Vienna determine the outcome of asylum applications in Austria?
No. IOM Vienna does not have any influence on the outcome of asylum applications. However, the actual voluntary return affects the decision in the asylum procedure. After the voluntary returnee has left Austria, his/her asylum application will be considered unfounded. Applications for voluntary return can be withdrawn at any time.
6) Does IOM assist in deporting migrants?
No. IOM has no role in deportations and only provides return services to migrants who lodge an application for assisted return of their own accord.
Ascertaining the voluntariness of a return is a pre-requisite to any return arrangements made under the auspices of IOM. Any information provided by IOM aims to enable migrants to make a fully informed decision regarding their return.
Migrants who have already been deported cannot be assisted through voluntary return funds.