The Migrant Protection and Assistance (MPA) Division supports migrant persons and communities to exercise their rights and address their needs. It also offers technical assistance to governments in the field of protection and assistance of migrants in vulnerable situations so that State actions can respond to the needs of migrants in the framework of international humanitarian law and international human rights instruments. The Division’s activities aim to reduce protection risks of migrants in vulnerable situations, and in particular those who are exposed to abuse, exploitation and violence, and to increase this population’s resilience. 

The MPA Division responds through the following six pillars: 

  • Direct assistance: support to protect and defend migrants’ rights and to address their vulnerabilities.  
  • Thematic guidance: benchmark for migrant protection and assistance within IOM for external partners and other stakeholders through guidelines and technical assistance. 
  • Convening and dialogue: facilitating the exchange of experiences and coordination in integration forums to improve the access of migrants to rights, among others, through the United Nations Network on Migration.  
  • Training and capacity development: theoretical and practical training for States and stakeholders involved in protection and assistance activities.  
  • Data, research and knowledge management: data collection, analysis and safe dissemination to improve the understanding of relevant topics and the exchange of good practices. Programs and policies based on empirical information and data.  
  • Advocacy and communications: promotion of migrants’ rights and provision of timely assistance with the highest protection and assistance standards.

The Division is executing the following projects:

  • Assistance for vulnerable migrants: IOM provides protection and assistance to migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse.  
  • Trafficking in persons: IOM works in partnership with governments, the United Nations, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and other partners on all aspects of counter-trafficking responses —prevention, protection and prosecution, and the promotion of strategic partnerships. 
  • Assisted voluntary return and reintegration: IOM supports the return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.