Activities of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
Reply to Recommendation
| Doc. 11549
| 28 March 2008
- Committee of Ministers
by the Committee of Ministers on 12 March 2008, at the 1021st meeting
of the Ministers’ Deputies.
- Reply to Recommendation
- : Recommendation 1806
The Committee of
Ministers has noted with interest Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1806 (2007)
on activities of the International Organization for
Migration (IOM). It has transmitted the recommendation to member
states and to the European Committee on Migration (CDMG). The comments
received from the CDMG are appended to this reply.
2. The Committee of Ministers fully agrees with the Assembly’s
positive assessment of the IOM’s contribution to protecting the
human dignity and well-being of migrants, in encouraging social
and economic development through migration, assisting in meeting
the growing operational challenges of migration management and in
advancing understanding of migration issues. It notes that 40 member
states of the Council of Europe enjoy full membership and a further
four observer status within the IOM.
3. The Committee of Ministers remains strongly committed to ensuring
close co-operation and co-ordination in international action, in
particular on the European scene. It therefore agrees with the Parliamentary
Assembly that the Council of Europe should continue to ensure and
develop collaboration with the IOM, particularly on issues related
to the core values of the Council of Europe.
4. In this respect, and in response to the specific recommendations
of the Parliamentary Assembly in paragraph 7, the Committee of Ministers
notes with satisfaction the continued and active participation of
IOM representatives in the meetings and activities of the European
Committee on Migration and its subordinate committees. These activities
address, inter alia, issues
related to the protection and integration of migrants, including
children and elderly migrants, as well as the question of access
of persons of immigrant background to employment.
5. The Committee of Ministers agrees that the IOM is an ideal
forum through which the implementation of policy recommendations
of the Committee of Ministers in the fields of migration and integration
could be encouraged in order to promote the fundamental values of
the Council of Europe, raising awareness and strengthening the human
rights dimension of the work of the IOM. Recommendations CM/Rec(2007)9
on life projects for unaccompanied migrant minors and CM/Rec(2007)10
on co-development and migrants working for development in their
countries of origin are recent examples of such recommendations.
6. As the Assembly is also aware, the IOM held observer status
with the Ad hoc Committee on Action against Trafficking in Human
Beings (CAHTEH), the body responsible for the elaboration of the
Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human
Beings. The Committee of Ministers is therefore confident that the
Organisation, where appropriate, and in the framework of its activities
to counter trafficking, will bear in mind and promote the ratification
of this convention and its implementation in states parties following its
entry into force on 1 February 2008.
7. The Committee of Ministers takes note of the suggestion to
strengthen co-operation in the field of combating intolerance and
xenophobia. Particularly mindful of a number of relevant general
policy recommendations, and other pertinent activities carried out
in that field, the Committee of Ministers invites the European Commission
against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) to consider the usefulness
of reinforcing co-operation or information exchange with the IOM.
The Committee of Ministers has also transmitted Recommendation 1806 (2007)
and the present reply to the International Organization
for Migration, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance,
the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), as well as to the
European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (North-South
Centre) and the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) for information.
9. In this respect, the Committee of Ministers would draw the
Assembly’s particular attention to the fact that the North-South
Centre has worked closely with the IOM for a number of years, with
representatives of the IOM regularly associated with the centre’s
activities in the field of migration. In particular, the IOM participated
in a series of workshops on co-development, organised by the NorthSouth
Centre and the Directorate General for Social Cohesion between 2003
and 2006. These workshops allowed for a series of recommendations
on co-development policies to be drawn up, as a tool for addressing
the causes of migration. In 2007, the IOM followed the work of the
North-South Centre on “migrants, actors and vectors of intercultural
dialogue” in the framework of the consultation process for the Council
of Europe White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue. In 2008, the IOM
will also be associated in the North-South Centre’s EuroMediterranean
meeting on migration, co-development and intercultural dialogue
10. Finally, the Assembly should also be aware that over the last
three years, the CEB has continued its co-operation with the IOM
through the provision of grants to two different IOM projects, with
a third currently under preparation.
Appendix – Comments of the Bureau of the
European Committee on Migration (CDMG) on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1806 (2007) on the activities of the International Organization
for Migration (IOM)
Committee on Migration (CDMG) takes note of Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1806 (2007)
on the activities of the International Organization
for Migration (IOM).
b The IOM is an observer to the committee and it participates
actively in both its meetings and activities. Inter-secretariat
contacts are also maintained between the two organisations with
a view to establishing effective co-operation, avoiding unnecessary
duplication and achieving synergy.
c Representatives of the IOM field missions are regularly
invited to participate in relevant CDMG/secretariat events in the
member states. Moreover, opportunity is taken of these meetings
to develop contacts and explore possibilities of joint activities.
It is worth noting, in particular, the active participation of the
representatives of IOM in the regional meetings of CDMG members
in South-East and eastern Europe where they contributed to the debates
on future activities of CDMG.
d It is important to bear in mind the distinct missions
of the two organisations and the particular nature and work of the
CDMG as an intergovernmental committee in the fields of migration
and integration. Nonetheless, the CDMG considers that IOM (like
other observer organisations) has an important role to play in implementing
the policy recommendations of the Committee of Ministers in the
fields of migration and integration.
e In this context, the CDMG reminds the Committee of Ministers
of the relevant paragraphs in the statement (reproduced below) on
its role and future activities that the committee adopted at its
52nd meeting (Strasbourg, 6-8 November 2006), to the preparation
of which the IOM representatives contributed.
“xvi. The CDMG should develop
effective co-operation with the European Union and other international organisations.
The CDMG should aim to become a valuable forum for the exchange
of information on the activities of other organisations and thereby
improve co-ordination and co-operation. Through active partnerships,
particularly with the ILO, OSCE and IOM, the CDMG should identify
ways in which they can assist in the implementation of its policy
recommendations. Moreover, in order to make this co-operation more
effective the members of the CDMG should aim to improve co-ordination
between members and their national counterparts working with other