Wy a campaign against the International Organisation for Migration [IOM] makes sense
27.Sep.02 - Q: During the presentation of the IOM issue at a meeting an immigration lawyer argued that the IOM was no real target to him. He is working very much on refugee issues and knows about IOM (or more exactly, their work in Germany) since maybe ten years. From his point of view, IOM is just an organisation to help migrants on "voluntary return" by paying them the flight and maybe some additional money for a new start in their home countries. Of course he knows that these "voluntary returns" happen only due to real pressure on the respective migrants, but he said the point is that this pressure is not coming from the IOM (how should it) but from the state, so IOM really has a secondary meaning in the whole expulsion thing...
A: It is a good example as it shows exactly what is so vicious about the
IOM but also why a campaign is necessary to expose the real nature of
In the case of Germany, the IOM usually offers solutions to 'cases' that
are otherwise difficult to solve, and they offer it quicker and cheaper
than any other agency, because of their established links with airlines
and the 60 % discount they have. They manage 'return' flights to
destinations, mainly crisis regions, that are otherwise difficult to
enforce. Behind this simple-looking service of providing a ticket lies
the liason with the German government. The IOM's office in Berlin is not
simply implementing this practice/the politics of the German government,
it is designing this kind of politics, sells it to the government, that
pays for it and orders the IOM to implement that. For that purpose the
IOM has contracts with welfare agencies such as the AWO, who 'sell' the
product to a refugee. In such a case, it is the AWO staff who puts
pressure on the individual refugee, but he does that on behalf of the
IOM, who again has been authorised by the government. What the lawyer
deemed as 'helping migrants on voluntary return' is only the last step
in a system of breaking migrants' commitment and whish to be here and to
be safe, and the IOM is involved at any step (fighting migration in the
sending and transit countries, helping the migration enemies, designing
return strategies, finally returning people) and not just at the end of
the process. The lawyer may not know this.
In fact, the IOM is the leading global organisation in migration policy
matters. They accumulate their member states' knowledge, techniques and
politics, merge it into a comprehensive system of global migration
control and aim to 'harmonize' migration policy all around the globe for
the sake of economics, the new world order, and its member states. As it
has been said in an earlier message, the IOM is the central mastermind.
Isn't that enough?!
Whatever they do needs to be seen in the wider context of their
politics. 'Orderly management of migration', as their aim is, is not
exactly the same as 'freedom of movement', 'global justice' and
'equality', it is an alianated politics of ruling over other peoples'
lives, informed by neoliberalism and social control. That builds on
segregation and selection between the wanted and the unwanted.
The IOM builds on three tactics to disguise their real aims:
First, they sell themselves as a humanitarian organisation,
second, they hide themselves behind NGOs, whom they functionalise and
who may not necessarily know about the wider context,
third, in the West they give the impression of only being a service
business whilst in the East there behavior is much more aggressive.
As it has been said elsewhere, the IOM is an agency with may faces, and
there are many questions left unanswered. They do have humanitarian
elements, but would you call the Worldbank a humanitarian agency because
they official aim is to overcome global poverty?!
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