People on the move need targeted protection and assistance. IOM’s work in this area is based on the understanding that protection refers to a broader category of actions to maintain the safety and well-being of individuals in accordance with the letter and spirit of relevant bodies of law, including legal, physical, and social protection interventions.

IOM’s Protection Unit provides protection and assistance to migrants in need, including trafficked persons, smuggled migrants with protection needs, (rejected) asylum seekers, migrants in irregular situations, stranded migrants, unaccompanied and separated migrant children, and migrants subjected to violence, exploitation, or abuse.

IOM’s work in countries of arrival, transit, and origin, includes the provision of extensive protection, assistance and case management services to the most vulnerable migrants assisted by the Organization, such as unaccompanied and separated migrant children and migrants vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation, including victims of trafficking.

IOM also protects migrants’ rights in the return process and provides reintegration support considering the economic, social and psychosocial dimensions across the individual, community and structural levels. Throughout the return continuum, IOM collaborates with a variety of actors, ranging from civil society to local authorities and communities. Their involvement is key to preventing, alleviating or addressing situations of vulnerability.

IOM’s Protection work comprises:

  • Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants (AVM);
  • Counter-trafficking in persons (CT);
  • Protection of Children in Migration;
  • Return and Reintegration.

IOM is committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Targets 10.7, 5.2, 8.7 and 16.2, which call for facilitating the orderly, safe, and responsible migration and mobility of people, and for the eradication of trafficking in persons, forced labor, child labor, and modern slavery, as well as Goal 17.