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An intergovernmental organization established in 1951, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

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  • More than 480 field locations
  • More than 8,400 staff working on more than 2,600 projects
  • More than US$ 1.3 billion expenditures in 2013

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Capital Lusaka
Population (2013): 14.5 million
Area:  752,612 km sq
Languages :  English
Currency:  Zambian Kwacha (ZMK)
GDP per Capita PPP (2013): USD 3,181
HDI Rank (2013): 141 of 187
Remittances (2013 estimate):  USD 73 million
Net Migration Rate (2010-2015):     -0.6 migrants/1,000 population
Immigrants (2013):  0.7%
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants  (2013): 49.5%
Population under 15 (2013): 47%
Adult HIV Prevalence (2013):  12.50%
Sources and Definitions


Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 156 member states, a further 10 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all.

Zambia became a Member State of IOM in 1990 however IOM started its operations in Zambia in 1992.   IOM Zambia’s programmes focus on:

  • Labour migration and development
  • Diaspora engagement
  • Counter human trafficking and migrant smuggling
  • Border management
  • Migration research
  • International migration law and migrants’ rights
  • Migration health and gender
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Voluntary repatriation and resettlement of refugees


Movement, Emergency and Post-crisis Migration Management

IOM Zambia is working closely with the Government of the Republic of Zambia and other stakeholders to provide durable solutions for refugees. The return of relative peace to Angola after over three decades of political turmoil made it possible for Angolan refugees in the sub-region to return home. In Zambia, the organized Voluntary Repatriation (Volrep) of Angolan refugees was first launched in 2003 and a total of 74,000 refugees were repatriated in safety and dignity between 2003 and 2011. However, some Angolan refugees are still living in the settlement of Mayukwayukwa in the Western Province and Maheba in the North-western province.

The end of June 2013 saw the invocation of the cessation clause for Angolan refugees. Nevertheless, there are still an estimated 23,793 former Angolan refugees still in Zambia (Maheba refugee camp: 7441; Mayukwayukwa: 8,044; and urban and spontaneously settled: 8,310). From 16 June 2011 up to 31 August 2014, a total of 5,214 refugees have been repatriated to Angola using Chartered Zambia Air Force aero planes.


 UNHCR Funding

PRM Funding

GoJ Funding

















2014 (Aug)










Main Projects

  • Voluntary repatriation of Angolan refugees
  • Resettlement of refugees to third countries


Camp Coordination and Camp Management


Globally, IOM’s activities relating to emergency and post-emergency operations assistance focus on: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. In Zambia, IOM provides capacity building support to the Disaster Mitigation and Management Unit, in cooperation with other national actors. As the global cluster co-lead on Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) IOM has been supporting Member States to build their capacity to manage displacements due to natural disasters. This entails development of nationally appropriate training materials and rolling out such trainings at all levels and targeting a broad range of stakeholders including the relevant government Ministries and civil society actors who form the bedrock of the national Disaster Risk Management structure.

Main Project

  • CCCM and DRM Capacity Building Programme in Southern Africa: Phase II


Migration Health


IOM Zambia works as part of the regional Partnership on Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa (PHAMESA). PHAMESA focuses on health promotion activities targeting migrants, mobile populations and host communities in identified spaces of vulnerability. In Zambia the major spaces of vulnerability being targeted include transport corridors, urban informal settlements, mixed migration routes including border posts and extractive industries. PHAMESA Zambia works in the following areas:

  • Advocacy for Policy Development – working with the Government of Zambia to develop and implement migrant-friendly health and complimentary policies
  • Research – to highlight the HIV and health vulnerabilities of migrants in Zambia, monitor migrants’ health and inform migration and health programming.
  • Capacity-building and supporting delivery of HIV and health promotion services within identified spaces of vulnerability.

Main Project

  • Partnership on Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa (PHAMESA) Zambia


Since June 2013, IOM Zambia has been implementing a tuberculosis screening programme on behalf of the United Kingdom Home Office. The programme aims to reduce the resurgence of TB in the UK through early identification and treatment of those diagnosed with TB before they travel and thus significantly prevent spread of TB in their home country and to the UK. The TB screening targets long term visa applicants who intend to reside in the UK for 6 months or more.

The screening process includes clients undergoing a physical examination and  chest x-ray, and if this screening is non-suggestive of pulmonary TB, the  client is issued with a certificate to facilitate their visa application and travel. Clients whose physical examination and/or chest x-rays are suggestive of pulmonary TB undergo further investigative tests including sputum smear and culture to determine the next course of action. Clients found to have active pulmonary TB are required to undergo TB treatment before they travel to the UK. For bookings and the medical screenings clients can contact the IOM office via telephone (0972 176 983 or +260 211254 055), by email ( or visit the IOM office (4626 Mwaimwena Road, Rhodes Park).

Main Project

  • Tuberculosis screening for prospective immigrants to the United Kingdom


The four year UN - GRZ joint programme on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) has been developed to support the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) in implementing the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), with particular focus on the recommendations on violence against women that are contained in the July 2011 CEDAW concluding observations and the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its causes and consequences; and to support institutional transformation to facilitate the implementation of Zambia’s Anti-GBV Act . The programme thus aims to contribute towards reduction of GBV in Zambia through a four pronged approach aimed at strengthening health, legal and social protection systems for survivors while reinforcing national and subnational coordination mechanisms for an integrated GBV response.

IOM's mandate in the joint programme is to ensure due recognition of the specific vulnerabilities and needs of migrants and mobile populations and mainstreaming these into the four prongs of the response. Major activities include capacity building for health workers, district GBV task forces, traditional and other civic leaders on GBV and migration, caring for trafficking victims and addressing the specific vulnerabilities of mixed migration flows to GBV. The programme will also include awareness raising on GBV targeting migrant and mobile populations.


Main Project

  • Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) – United Nations (UN) Joint Programme on Gender Based Violence


Migration Management


Counter Human Trafficking & Protection of Migrants Rights: IOM, in collaboration with technical partners in various government ministries and departments, has developed comprehensive training materials for service providers, law enforcement officers and prosecutors on the operationalisation of the Zambia Anti-Human Trafficking Act. This training has reached more than 75 trainers, who have in turn assisted in the training of a further 500+ law enforcement officers, prosecutors and service providers nationwide. In collaboration with UN partners (including UNICEF, ILO and UNHCR) IOM has supported the Government in the development of Minimum Standards Guidelines for the Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking, Protection Guidelines for Vulnerable Migrants, and associated National Referral Mechanisms. IOM has trained more than 500 government and civil-society partners using these tools. Furthermore, IOM has provided technical and financial support for improvements to shelters in Zambia to ensure they meet the minimum standards of care for the protection of victims of trafficking, including safety, security and rehabilitation of shelters.  IOM offers direct assistance to vulnerable migrants, in collaboration with its partners. This includes facilitating accommodation in places of safety, medical and psychosocial support, skills development, vocational training, reintegration assistance and the options of voluntary, safe and dignified return to countries of origin, or resettlement to third countries in extreme cases. Beneficiaries include victims of human trafficking, unaccompanied and separated minors, and stranded migrants, among others. 

Border and Migration Data Management: IOM Zambia has supported the deployment of electronic Border Management Information Systems (BMIS) at ports of entry & exit in Zambia.  Improved BMIS enhances border officials’ capacity to monitor & manage migration, as well as identify cases of human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Coupled with training on the protection of vulnerable migrants in need of assistance, these systems also contribute to the capacity of officials to identify and refer migrants, such as victims of trafficking, unaccompanied and separated minors and asylum seekers to appropriate services.  Additionally, IOM Zambia has provided support to Zambia Police to modernize its crime statistics reporting system, including data on human trafficking related issues, through the development of an Electronic Occurrence Book (E-OB), and is working with Zambia Prisons Service to improve collection and management of data on migrants in detention. 

Labour Migration & Development: IOM labour migration programming includes capacity building through offering policy and technical advice to national governments; assisting with the development of legislation and administrative structures that promote efficient, effective and transparent labour migration flows; assisting governments to promote safe labour migration practices for their nationals; facilitating the recruitment of workers, including pre-departure training and embarkation preparedness; advocating for the integration of labour migrants in their new workplace and society. Furthermore, IOM’s work in Zambia has included institutional capacity building for diaspora engagement and the promotion of diaspora engagement for development.

Main Project

  • Protecting Migrant Children from Trafficking and Exploitation
  • Building the Capacity of Zambia Prisons Service to Protect the Rights of Vulnerable Migrants
  • Addressing Irregular Migration Flows in Southern Africa (Phase V)


Last updated:
Main content: November 2014
Facts and figures:
August 2014