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In the United Kingdom, IOM implements programmes in the areas of Assisted Voluntary Return, Counter-trafficking, Research on Migration, Refugee Resettlement and Migration for Development. IOM UK also provides transit assistance to refugees and migrants at Heathrow Airport.

Movement, Emergency and Post-conflict Migration Management

IOM plays an important role in the resettlement of refugees to the UK, working on health assessment, document handling and travel assistance before they are helped to settle in communities by local NGOs.

The Gateway Protection Programme aims to help refugees resettle into the UK from different parts of the world. IOM’s worldwide reach means it is well placed to provide resettlement services to the UK Government. The programme is funded by the UK Border Agency and European Refugee Fund and implemented under the umbrella of the Gateway Protection Programme in partnership with the UK government, IOM, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), local authorities and an interagency partnership of a number of NGOs in the UK.

Since November 2010 IOM has been assisting UNHCR with the travel to the UK of recognized refugees to UK as well as British Red Cross with family reunification.

Moreover, IOM UK, together with nine other European missions, participate in a joint IOM, UNHCR and International Catholic Migration Commission project – Promotion of Resettlement in the European Union through Practical Cooperation by EU Member States and other Stakeholders. The project aims to promote greater engagement of the EU Member States in resettlement activities and, in view of policy towards an EU Resettlement Scheme, to strengthen cooperation between the Member States by drawing on the benefits of a coordinated multi-stakeholder approach. The project will promote practical and logistical cooperation, sharing of knowledge in selection and screening of candidates and pre-departure activities as well as development of the joint activities in resettlement within the selected EU Member States.

Main Projects

  • Gateway Protection Programme
  • Promotion of Resettlement in the European Union through Practical Cooperation by EU Member States and other Stakeholders
  • UNHCR Mandate Resettlement Cases and British Red Cross Family Reunification

Regulating Migration

Through the Facilitated Reintegration Scheme (FRS) IOM offers post arrival reintegration assistance to detained migrants upon return to their countries of origin.

IOM provides return and reintegration assistance to EE/EA Victims of Trafficking referred by NGOs, police and other stakeholders. In coordination with IOM offices in EE/EA countries, IOM conducts needs and risk assessments, travel arrangements and airport assistance and provision of a reintegration grant.

Main Projects

  • Facilitated Reintegration Scheme (FRS)
  • Voluntary Return and Reintegration of EE/EA Victims of Trafficking

Migration and Development

In cooperation with other IOM Missions, IOM UK has been implementing projects under Migration and Development, which include:

  • Migration and Development in the Western Balkans
  • Albania Youth Employability and Migration Programme
  • Diaspora Engagement Project for Ghana
  • Platform for Diaspora Development
  • Qualified Expatriate Somali Technical Support-Migration for Development in Africa (QUESTS-MIDA).

These projects seek to engage Diasporas in the development of their Countries of Origin through organizing meetings with representatives of diaspora community groups with representatives of countries of origin, video conferences, mapping exercises, surveys, and so forth.

The MIDA in Western Balkans, funded by the European Commission, aims to contribute to the development of the Western Balkans to the mutual benefit of migrants and the countries of origin. The first project phase has been initiated and outreach activities conducted to inform relevant diaspora communities of the programme.

Within the Albania Youth Employability and Migration programme, IOM UK is providing support by mobilizing Albanian communities in the UK towards development efforts in their home country.

The purpose of the Diaspora Engagement Project for Ghana is to contribute to the efforts of the Government of Ghana (GoG) to mobilise the country’s diaspora toward its socio-economic development through dialogue and subsequent developmental engagements in Ghana.

QUESTS-MIDA is a joint project between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IOM that uses skills and expertise from qualified Somali expatriates from the diaspora and provides opportunities for applying those skills for the benefit and development of Somalia. The initial phase of QUESTS-MIDA focuses on public institutions that deal with the core government processes in the areas of legislative and policy development, human resource management, and public financial management. At a later stage, the project will assess the demand and operational ability to engage in additional sectors for support. Due to security concerns, QUESTS-MIDA initially facilitates the temporary return of qualified Somalia expatriates to Somaliland and Puntland, and eventually to South Somalia when the security situation improves.

In addition, IOM UK has participated in three diaspora development research activities:

  • Pilot Research Project – Kenya Diaspora profiling in the UK
  • Pilot Research Project – Sudan Diaspora and Sudanese Communities in the UK
  • Zambia Diaspora Survey in the UK

Within the framework of the project "Establishment of a Labour Migration Unit at the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development and the Creation of Tools for the Assessment of Dynamics of Labour Migration in Kenya and of the Kenyan Diaspora", a pilot diaspora research project has been conducted in the UK to gather information leading up to the development of an internet based tool gathering analytical and statistical information on the Kenyan Diaspora, which includes the location of the Diasporas, how they regard services being provided by the Kenyan authorities, and potential to invest and return to Kenya.

Within the framework of the project "Technical Support to Improve Migration Information Management through the Establishment of a Sudan Migration Research and Information Centre", a pilot diaspora research project has been carried out to gather information on the diaspora and diaspora organizations in the UK, including current and potential initiatives to involve Sudanese diaspora in the development of Sudan. This research intends to provide information on diaspora needs and developments, as well as return intentions, in order to develop appropriate and effective migration policies.

Within the frame work of the project "Institutional Capacity-building for Diaspora Engagement in Zambia", a disapora survey has been conducted in the UK to identify the main diaspora communities; analyze their potential input into the development of Zambia (associations, networks, community groups, business initiatives, chambers of commerce etc;) gather information on trade and investment driven by the diasporas; identify possibilities, constraints and strategies for engaging the diaspora in the development of their country of origin; and identify any existing initiatives driven by the diaspora and/or by the Zambian Missions/Embassies.

Main Projects

  • Qualified Expatriate Somali Technical Support-Migration for Development in Africa (QUESTS-MIDA)
  • Technical Support to Improve Migration Information Management through the Establishment of a Sudan Migration Research and Information Centre
  • Establishment of a Labour Migration Unit at the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development and the Creation of Tools for the Assessment of Dynamics of Labour Migration in Kenya and of the Kenyan Diaspora
  • Institutional Capacity-building for Diaspora Engagement in Zambia

Migration Research and Publications

In cooperation with other IOM Missions, IOM UK has been conducting research on Unaccompanied Minors (UAMs), which includes:

  • The Best Practices for a Coordinated Approach to Assist UAM Asylum Seekers and Former UAMs in the EU MS (CAUAMs)
  • Separated Asylum Seeking Children in 12 European Member States: An examination of living conditions, provisions and decision-making procedures in 12 European Member States through child-centered participatory research

The first research aims to contribute to the creation of a common approach for better addressing the needs of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) and former UASC. Activities include an assessment in 10 European Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom); drafting of the "Assessment and Recommendations for a Common Approach" report; organisation of an international conference to discuss the assessment and the report; and creation of awareness raising leaflets for UASC.

The second research was undertaken to better understand the situation of separated children, especially their point of view concerning their life conditions. It also examined good practices, and identified areas of improvement in safeguarding children’s rights . The research itself followed a special approach due to the study's focus on special needs of separated children as a group. The child-friendly approach included consideration for child and youth's rights (for example, doing away with classical interview or survey styled inquiries) and above all, emphasised the identification of children’s needs.

Main Projects

  • The Best Practices for a Coordinated Approach to Assist Unaccompanied Minors Asylum Seekers and Former UAMs in the EU MS (CAUAMs)
  • Separated Asylum Seeking Children in 12 European Member States: An examination of living conditions, provisions and decision-making procedures in 12 European Member States through child-centered participatory research
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