The International Organization for Migration (IOM): Gaining Power in the Forced Migration Regime
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) remains understudied, despite its dramatic growth in recent decades, particularly in the humanitarian sphere. In this article I examine key factors driving IOM’s expansion, and implications for the forced migration regime. Despite lacking a formal protection mandate, IOM has thrived by acting as an entrepreneur, capitalizing on its malleability and reputation for efficiency, and carving out distinctive roles in activities including post-disaster camp management, data collection, and assistance for migrant workers in crises. I reflect on IOM’s efforts to accrue increased authority and power, and suggest that understanding IOM’s humanitarian engagements is now essential to understanding the organization itself and, increasingly, the forced migration regime.
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