1. Key Areas of Cooperation
Support to Vulnerable Migrants
IOM supports migrants who are in a situation of distress or at risk of being abused or exploited and whose human rights are threatened. They can, be among others, migrants stranded in transit or destination countries, unaccompanied minors, asylum seekers and refugees, stateless persons, victims of human trafficking, individuals with emergency medical needs, the elderly, single parents with children with no support mechanisms in countries of origin, and migrants who may have developed vulnerabilities or special protection needs as a result of suffering violence during the migration process.
- Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration
IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) unit assists and facilitates the voluntary return of Sri Lankans who fall into the categories of failed asylum seekers, irregular migrants and stranded migrants from many destinations from around the world and to reintegrate into their communities of origin.
- Counter Trafficking
Under its counter-trafficking programme, IOM has been involved in many policy discussions and successfully advocated for the establishment of a National Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking in 2010. Recognizing IOM as a lead agency on counter trafficking efforts, IOM’s assistance was sought by GoSL to provide technical and coordination assistance to the National Task Force.
- Resettlement Services
Refugees who are nationals from other countries will continue to receive assistance from IOM’s Resettlement Services. These services are delivered in Sri Lanka on behalf of the IOM’s Resettlement Support Centre for South Asia based in Damak, Nepal. IOM Sri Lanka’s case processing services include document processing, health assessments, cultural orientation and international travel assistance in preparation for refugees’ resettlement to third countries. From 2002 to 2014, IOM assisted 1,469 recognized refugees across 19 countries with the United States and Canada featuring as the two top destination countries. IOM will also continue its family reunification programme which assists family members in Sri Lanka to join their relatives in the country of resettlement.
Immigration and Border Management
The Immigration and Border Management (IBM) Division supports the government with the policy, legislation, administrative and technical structures and operational systems to tackle diverse migration issues. The objective of the IBM is to provide guidance and expertise to national entities to strengthen immigration and border management systems, facilitate and promote cross-border mobility, enhance security, encourage and enable cross-border cooperation in migration management.
The Labour Migration division provides programme development and technical support on policy and strategy development, to the government and work focuses on programmes and interventions concerning the effective protection and support services to migrant workers and helping optimize the developmental benefits of labour migration.
The Government of Sri Lanka have been working in close partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to ensure better health and development outcomes for all flows of migrant populations (inbound, outbound and internal) and the families they leave behind.
Early Recovery and Livelihood Development
IOM provides stability support through needs-based assistance that includes early recovery and community development activities. Under this programme area, IOM supports local and returnee communities through a multi-sectoral intervention process that focuses on assistance with movement, economic recovery, infrastructure development/rehabilitation and referral to specialized services.
Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change and Migration
Sri Lanka faces a multitude of natural hazards including seasonal flooding and drought, landslides, violent winds and tropical cyclones. Hazard risks are combined with environmental issues including post-conflict landscapes and other areas suffering from land degradation and deforestation, scarcity of water, resource extraction and coastal erosion.
Operations and Migrant Services
The Operations & Migrant Services (OMS) unit of IOM Sri Lanka is responsible for the provision of operational and visa support services. Those accessing the support include immigrants, refugees, immigration and consular departments, diplomatic missions, resettlement entities and visa applicants related to temporary or permanent migration.
2. Cross-Cutting Approaches
Facilitating Migration Services
IOM is uniquely positioned to assist governments seeking solutions to the challenges faced by their overseas visa and immigration offices in processing ever more complex and increasing caseloads with limited resources. With visa and immigration fraud as an ever-present challenge, governments are increasingly looking to trusted external service providers to facilitate reliable and affordable document integrity and verification solutions in support of sound visa decisionmaking and risk analysis in immigration-related matters.
Fostering Partnerships with the Private Sector
Involvement of the private sector, including financial institutions, is essential to the economic rehabilitation of former conflict-affected communities in the North and East. Private sector companies and institutions are looking for new markets in the country while also wishing to contribute to national economic revitalization efforts.
Mainstreaming Gender and Migration Programming
Gender mainstreaming is an integral part of IOM’s work and aims at ensuring that women and men are provided with equal opportunities to develop and utilize their skills and to participate in decisions affecting their lives.
Addressing Social Integration through Community Development
IOM’s community development programmes in the former conflict affected regions are designed to promote intra and inter community linkages and contribute to social cohesion among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups by mobilising them around issues of good governance, social inclusion and reconciliation while sharing improved access to resources, livelihood and socio-economic opportunities.
Promoting Research, Data Collection and Knowledge Management
IOM’s research work in Sri Lanka supports and informs migration policy and practice across a broad range of inter-linked issues. IOM has undertaken policy-oriented and operational research based on pragmatic and evidence-based analysis over the years, which has informed the implementation of multiple projects of IOM and partners and has positively influenced national policy debates and stimulated new operational approaches and activities.
Promoting Sound Programme Monitoring and Evaluation
IOM adopts monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mechanisms to enhance the effectiveness of the implementation of its programmes by establishing clear links between past, present and future activities and results. IOM uses a ‘theory of change’ approach to its M&E to identify ways in which lessons can be learned and utilized through the project cycle, rather than solely at its conclusion.
Communicating with Stakeholders on Migration Issues
Through effective communication about its role and capacities, IOM gains a trusted and understood reputation with partners, beneficiaries and the public, beneficiaries gain a clear comprehension of the services and support offered by IOM, and the public debate on migration is active and informed.