Through its Migrant Protection and Assistance Division (MPA), IOM works to realize IOM’s commitment to address the needs, as well as promote and uphold the rights of migrants. 

IOM supports these individuals and communities to access and exercise their rights. It also offers support to governments in carrying out their duties to respect, protect and fulfil these rights, thus contributing to managing in line with international standards and practices.

IOM provides technical expertise in areas of migration policy, administrative and operational practices, procedures for countering human trafficking and smuggling, and direct assistance to migrants and returnees.

Assistance to vulnerable migrants 

IOM Somalia provides protection and assistance to people on the move, especially those vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, including unaccompanied children, smuggled migrants and victims of trafficking. 

Together with its partners, IOM has established a network of Migrant Response Centres (MRCs) at strategic locations along key migration routes in the East and Horn of Africa. The MRCs are permanent response mechanisms that provide individualized and direct assistance to migrants and returnees in need. Through these centres, IOM has also established systems to timely identify and refer migrants to specialized services they need. 

In Somalia, the first MRC was established in 2009 in Bossaso followed by the MRC in Hargeisa in 2011 and the MRC in Mogadishu in 2021. MRCs in Somalia provide the following services:

  • Screening and counselling
  • Basic medical assistance
  • Emergency assistance including non-food items, hygiene kits and referrals to health services
  • Shelter through referrals
  • Protection for unaccompanied minors and victims of trafficking
  • Psychosocial support
  • Awareness-raising and information 
  • Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) Assistance

IOM works with government stakeholders in the management of the MRCs through building the capacity of its staff to response to protection challenges for migrants.

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) 

IOM's Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes provide administrative, logistical and financial support, including reintegration assistance, to migrants unable or unwilling to remain in the host or transit country and who decide to return to their country of origin. 
IOM supports migrants stranded in Somalia to return to their countries of origin as well as Somalis stranded abroad to return to Somalia by providing reintegration support both in kind and/or in cash. 
IOM’s approach to reintegration addresses three dimensions: economic, social, and psychosocial. Sustainable reintegration occurs when returnees achieve economic self-sufficiency, social stability within their communities, and psychosocial well-being that allows them to cope with (re)migration drivers. 
Having achieved sustainable reintegration, returnees are able to make future migration decisions as a matter of choice, rather than as a necessity. 

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