The IOM Mission in Belgrade was established in 1992. The Republic of Serbia became an IOM Member State in November 2001.
Serbia has been a destination for refugees and a country of origin of many migrants – countless thousands who sought protection in the European Union (EU), the United States of America and other countries.
Over the years, following the needs and priorities of the Government of Serbia, IOM’s activities have broadened in Serbia to include post-emergency humanitarian assistance programmes, psychosocial support, transition and recovery support, counter-trafficking, assisted voluntary return, compensation programmes, durable solutions for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), capacity building in migration management, labour migration, and migration and development.
Serbia has been faced with all forms of migration: external and internal, forced and voluntary, regular and irregular, migration of highly qualified and unqualified workers, immigration and emigration. This variety leads to a number of different but clearly linked challenges to modern migration management.
In close partnership and coordination with the Ministry of Interior of Serbia and Commissariat for Refugees, IOM Serbia has supported Government efforts in managing migration challenges. Serbia has proven its readiness and ability to address these challenges in a comprehensive and holistic manner, both through the concrete steps taken and through innovations in the normative migration management framework. These efforts have respected European standards and expanded the application of the EU migration legal framework, while at the same time respecting national requirements essential for transforming migration into a positive force for further economic and social development in the country.
IOM’s work in Serbia has been characterized by outreach and an extensive Field presence, which has been the foundation of strong and durable partnerships with locally elected governments as well as with national and local non-governmental organizations. Open dialogue and true partnership is what has allowed IOM to achieve its goals.
We remain committed to helping migrants and the Government to manage the challenges and embrace the opportunities of migration.