News & Events


In the lead-up to International Migrants Day (18 December), IOM UK and partners organised an eclectic and engaging showcase event held which combined a panel discussion, an exhibition portraying voices and stories from the Calais camps and beyond, a theatre performance screening and live illustration.

The panel discussion moderated by Timothy Large, award-winning journalist and editor, provided a forum for informed debate on the Evolving Dynamics of the Refugee and Migrant Response with speakers Elspeth Guild, Professor of Law at Queen Mary, University of London and Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands and Dipti Pardeshi, IOM Chief of Mission in the UK.

Dipti Pardeshi put the evolving migrant and refugee dynamics into perspective and reflected on how crucial it is for everyone to work together to respond to the current migrant and refugee challenges as an opportunity. She noted that: “At the UN General Assembly Summit this September, world leaders took the important decision to launch a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of two much-needed international compacts: on one hand, a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration; and on the other a Global Compact on Refugees.The decision to develop these compacts is a momentous one. The promise of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is that migration, like other areas of international relations, will at last be guided by a set of common principles and approaches”.

Professor Elspeth Guild added reflections on the importance of language when discussing refugees and migrants: “When one wishes to speak about people in a positive manner, who are forced to move from one place to another, refugees is unassailable. We are at the moment at a crossroads in the transformation of the international framework of law and politics on movement of persons. This has opened a whole new framework to how we are going to use language and think about migration”.

To illustrate how different actors are involved in framing migration, selected works from the Migration Museum Project's exhibition “Call me by my name: stories from Calais and beyond” were presented, as well as a screening of a theatre performance by students from City & Islington College, exploring media representations of migration.

This event was part of the Ethics and Politics of the Refugee Crisis programme, an integrated programme of knowledge exchange activities including an art exhibition, learning labs and school theatre projects, in partnership with Citizenship and Governance research at The Open University, Centre for Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford, the Migration Museum Project, ActREAL and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Throughout the project, “not only have we been forced to question the politics and ethics of engagement, including researching and reporting of the refugee and migrant issues, but we have also been compelled to revaluate our understandings of hospitality, compassion, justice, citizenship, borders and migration”, explained Bridget Anderson, Professor of Migration and Citizenship and Research Director of COMPAS at the University of Oxford.

These initiatives are to further long-term and critical-reflective collaboration between academic research, civil society, education, and the culture sectors via avenues of creative expression. This programme demonstrates but also assesses the ways in which art, and the ideas inspired through art, can serve as genuine catalysts for positive exchange.

For further information, interviews, or images, please contact: Christopher Gaul at | 020 7811 6053

Today, the International Organization for Migration turns 65. Throughout our history, we have been standing #ForMigration.

IOM rose from the ashes of World War Two 65 years ago. In the battle-scarred continent of Europe, no government alone could help survivors who wanted no more than an opportunity to resume their lives in freedom and with dignity. The first incarnation of IOM was created to resettle refugees during this post-war period.

IOM's history tracks the man-made and natural disasters of the past 65 years - Hungary 1956; Czechoslovakia 1968; Chile 1973; the Viet Nam boat people 1975; Kuwait 1990, Kosovo and Timor 1999; the 2003 invasion of Iraq; the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.

IOM quickly grew from a focus on migrant and refugee resettlement to become the world’s leading intergovernmental organization dedicated to the well-being, safety and engagement of migrants.

2016 has been a landmark year for migration. IOM and UN Member States grasped a historic opportunity to officially bring IOM into the UN system, giving a much-needed voice to migrants in the international community. And on 19 September, the United Nations hosted the first ever Summit on Refugees and Migrants.

Over the years, IOM has grown into 165 Member States. Its global presence has expanded to over 400 field locations. With over 90 percent of its staff deployed in the field, IOM has become a lead responder to the world’s worst humanitarian emergencies.

Today, one in every seven people is a migrant - be it a refugee, a student, a migrant worker or a professional who moves between international postings.

Today, as we look forward to the future, we continue to uphold the beliefs that brought us into being 65 years ago: that migration builds resilience and that migrants are agents of change and development.

Figures released today by the Home Office show that 4,162 Syrian refugees were granted humanitarian protection under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPR) in the YE September 2016.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been working continuously, in partnership with the UK Government, UNHCR and local authorities in the country to support the resettlement and integration of Syrian refugees.

“Resettlement offers a noble humanitarian durable solution for those in need of international protection. With a little over 21 million registered refugees with UN and nearly 65 million forcibly displaced, the need has never been greater. With over 4,000 Syrian refugees resettled in a year from the initiation of UK’s Syrian resettlement scheme last September, IOM remains committed to work closely with UNHCR, partners and the UK Government to resettle the most vulnerable Syrian refugees to the UK”, says Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK’s Chief of Mission.

Since March 2011, more than 250,000 Syrians have been killed and 4.8 million have been forced to flee the country. In 2016, an estimated 13.5 million people, including 6 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance. The UNHCR states that the five countries neighbouring Syria host 97% of the refugees.

Resettlement is a sometimes unrecognised, yet compelling instrument and a symbol of international solidarity when searching for a solution for refugees who are unable to return to their country of origin and do not have the option to stay in the country of asylum. Given the ongoing situation in Syria and the influx of Syrians to the neighbouring countries, resettlement in countries like the UK is the only option for many of the most vulnerable refugees.

For more than 60 years, IOM has played a vital role in refugee resettlement around the world. IOM’s partnership with the UK Government through the SVPR meets the organisation’s wider objective of providing safe and humane migration management to vulnerable refugees, and its commitment to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

For more information, please contact Christopher Gaul ( or Gabriela Boeing ( 020 7811 6000