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IOM Migration Crisis Operational Framework


During the 101st session of the IOM Council, IOM's 149 Member States adopted the Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF), which is the result of a comprehensive review of IOM’s approach and response to the recent major emergencies in Haiti, Pakistan and Libya. 

IOM developed the MCOF as an analytical and operational tool to improve and systematize the way in which the Organization supports its Member States and partners in responding to the assistance and protection needs of crisis-affected, vulnerable populations.

The Framework was designed to enable the Organization to provide a holistic response to the complex nature of crisis-generated population flows; it therefore looks at all phases of a crisis (before, during, after) as a whole, and considers the specific needs and vulnerabilities of crisis-affected migrants who fall outside of existing protection frameworks.

Accordingly, the MCOF aims to identify and address institutional and operational gaps that exist in the current set-up of international responses to crises with a migration dimension. These gaps include, amongst others, the possible need for assistance and protection of stranded migrants; assistance to persons crossing borders who are not covered under international protection; vulnerable mobile populations requiring migration management; and reintegration assistance to migrants returning to their home communities as result of crisis in the host country.

IOM's Migration Crisis Operational Framework is intended to complement existing international protection systems, and is also meant to improve IOM's performance within these systems. The Framework thus allows the organization to respond to migration crises in a more coordinated, inter-connected way and reflects another step in IOM’s development from a stand-alone migration service provider to a collaborative humanitarian partner with clearly defined and strategic programs.

Key features of the MCOF:

  • Combines IOM humanitarian activities and migration management services in 15 sectors of assistance.
  • Covers pre-crisis preparedness, emergency response and post-crisis recovery.
  • Is based on international humanitarian and human rights law, and humanitarian principles.
  • Complements existing international systems (e.g. Cluster Approach) and builds on IOM’s partnerships.
  • Helps crisis-affected populations, including displaced persons and international migrants stranded in crisis situations in their destination/transit countries, to better access their fundamental rights to protection and assistance. 


Key documents to understand the MCOF

  • IOM's Migration Crisis Operational Framework (infosheet ) EN |FR
  • IOM Migration Crisis Operational Framework (full document) EN | FR | SP
  • IOM Council Resolution No.1243: Migration Crisis Operational Framework EN | FR | SP