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The main migration challenges facing Georgia are: high outward migration motivated by the lack of economic opportunities at home; development of the country’s migration management system; reintegration of returnees; challenges to capture the scale and scope of remittance flows sent by labour migrants; fostering links between migration and development; continued engagement on the issue of trafficking in persons; internal displacement issues and disaster risk reduction.

IOM is assisting the government in addressing some of these migration challenges by means of a number of capacity building and technical assistance initiatives, including supporting the Georgian government to meet its commitments vis-à-vis the European Union in the field of migration. Return assistance for reintegration is provided to migrants coming back to Georgia from a number of European countries. IOM’s counter-trafficking engagement in Georgia covers all aspects, including prevention and victim assistance. IOM is also working on tackling migration at the grassroots level through its job counselling and placement centres operational nationwide to assist returning migrants, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and potential migrants to address the root causes of migration and improve their employment prospects. IOM is active in the area of migration and development contributing towards forging links between migration and development through several initiatives.

Regulating Migration


In the area of regulating migration IOM works with the Georgian Government on border management, staff training, curriculum development and improvement of the legal basis. The recent developments between the EU and Georgia in the field of migration, namely the Joint Declaration on the Mobility Partnership, the Visa Facilitation Agreement and the Readmission Agreement have enhanced cooperation on migration management issues, with IOM’s involvement in many areas including technical assistance in readmission.

IOM is engaged as partner in the Targeted Initiative for Georgia (TIG). This three-year project aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • To build the capacity of relevant state authorities in the management of return migration and reintegration assistance;
  • Support the reintegration of returned migrants through tailored individual assistance projects;
  • Conduct targeted information dissemination across Georgia on the realities of migration.

In this project, IOM is responsible for delivering assistance through its Job Counseling and Placement centres in Tbilisi and Kutaisi, for the implementation of four labour market surveys and operation of the Informed Migration website. IOM also acts as administrative support partner for the international TIG project team.

IOM is active in supporting the Government of Georgia to further upgrade its counter-trafficking policy. IOM regularly provides expert advice to the government, such as contribution to the update of the national counter-trafficking action plan and trafficking prevention in secondary schools. In close cooperation with its governmental and non-governmental counterparts, IOM Georgia offers victims of trafficking and other vulnerable migrants a comprehensive assistance package, including safe return to their home countries as well as pre- and post-return protection.

IOM operates a number of assisted voluntary return and reintegration programmes for citizens of Georgia who were denied asylum in Europe. The reintegration package includes various types of medical treatment for returnees, temporary accommodation, vocational training courses, setting up small businesses and public education. The assistance is designed to help people identify income-generating activities to become financially independent and to reintegrate and settle successfully. Since 2003, IOM has assisted more than 1,500 Georgian citizens to return and resettle back home.

Main Projects

  • Provision of country-specific information from the country of origin, participation in IRRICO II (Information on Return and Reintegration in Countries of Origin)
  • Assisted voluntary return and reintegration of Georgian nationals from Switzerland with component on medical assistance
  • Assistance for the voluntary return and reintegration of returnees to Georgia from Austria
  • Post-arrival reintegration assistance for Georgian nationals returned from the Netherlands
  • Post-arrival counselling, referral and reintegration support (CRRS)
  • Secondary school education in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan to contribute to the prevention of trafficking in persons
  • Building capacity to enhance Georgia’s referral mechanism and international law enforcement cooperation in the field of counter-trafficking
  • Strengthening of comprehensive anti-trafficking responses in Azerbaijan and Georgia
  • Capacity building of migration management in Georgia
  • Introducing a systematic approach to migration management in Georgia
  • Support to the authorities of Georgia to implement the Readmission Agreement with the European Union
  • Capacity building of Georgian law enforcement structures
  • Job and task analysis for the finance academy and investigation service of the Ministry of Finance
  • Building mock port of entry for the police academy
  • Reduction of drug demands; enhancement of treatment facilities; capacity building of medical personnel

Movement, Emergency and Post-Conflict Migration Management

In reaction to the humanitarian crisis that evolved in August 2008, IOM provided assistance to the conflict-affected populations to meet their emergency as well as mid- to long-term needs. Since then, IOM has assisted the internally displaced through the various initiatives such as the delivery of non-food items, emergency shelter repair, psychosocial support, income generation and small business development.

With the support of the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF), IOM is implementing a socio-economic reintegration project for another vulnerable group, mine victims, to improve their social and economic conditions by providing financial and non-financial services such as micro-credits, social intermediation, business skills development trainings, counselling and referrals. The project also has a regional component for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Main Project

  • Socio-economic reintegration programme for mine victims in Georgia

Migration and Development

Unemployment is a major issue in Georgia. In order to improve employment prospects with particular outreach to IDPs, IOM is implementing job counseling and placement projects, building on its experience in the area. During its economic empowerment programme, IOM has undertaken several labour market surveys in order to ensure effectiveness of the programme and flexibility to adapt to changing labour market needs.

IOM is also implementing livelihood support initiatives at the community level through needs-based vocational skills training and business start-up grants.

IOM is working to strengthen the linkages between migration and development through greater involvement of diasporas and use of migrants’ potential for the development of their home country.

Main Projects

  • Economic empowerment for internally displaced persons and unemployed in Georgia through job counselling and placement as well as targeted small business development and vocational training
  • Support to the reintegration system at the Georgian labour market – Job Counselling and Placement (JCP) centres
  • Labour market surveys

Migration Health


  • Swiss Federal Office for Migration
  • United States Department of State – Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)
  • IOM 1035 Facility (IOM Development Fund)

IOM has been implementing projects to address the problem of drug addiction and to contribute towards the reduction of drug demand in Georgia.

In response to the crisis of 2008, IOM implemented a comprehensive psychosocial assistance project to strengthen capacities of primary health care and psychosocial service providers, to deliver direct psychosocial assistance to the internally displaced populations and to facilitate community-based awareness raising on mental health and psychosocial issues.

Supported through 1035 Facility, IOM has launched a project to conduct a comprehensive survey on the health care access, health seeking behaviours as well as risk factors for non-communicable diseases among returned/returning migrants, foreign migrants, victims of trafficking and internal forced migrants in Georgia and to share the findings and recommendations with government counterparts and other stakeholders.

Main Projects

  • Social rehabilitation and reintegration of former drug users; capacity building in the field of drug addiction
  • Capacity building of medical personnel and improvement of infrastructure to reduce drug demand in Georgia (Phase I and II)
  • Mental health and psychosocial support to conflict-affected populations
  • Research study on health of migrants in Georgia

Last updated:
Main text: October 2011
Facts and figures: September 2014

Population (2015):4 million
Area:69,700 km sq
Languages :Georgian
Currency:Georgian Lari (GEL)
GDP per Capita PPP (2014):USD 7,582
HDI Rank (2014):76 of 188
Remittances (2014 estimate):USD 2,065 million
Net Migration Rate (2015-2020):-2.5 migrants/1,000 population
Immigrants (2015):4.2%
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants (2015):56.8%
Population under 15 (2015):17.3%
Adult HIV Prevalence (2014):0.3%

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
19 Tengiz Abuladze Street
0162 Tbilisi

Tel: +995.3 229 38 94, +995.3 225 22 16
Fax: +995.3 225 22 17
Email: iomtbilisi@iom.int
Country Website: http://www.iom.ge