Facts and Figures
18.4 million
Net Migration Rate (2021)
-0.5 migrants/ 1,000 population
USD 241.7 million

The Southern African region is historically characterized by dynamic human mobility that contributes to countries’ economies and individual livelihoods. Migration has long been a feature of the social and economic fabric of Zambia, with Zambia being a country of origin, transit and destination for male, female and child migrants from neighbouring countries and beyond. While migration dynamics are complex, there are significant opportunities for migration to be an enabler of sustainable development in Zambia. Rather than seeing migration as a problem to be solved, IOM recognizes that it is a reality to be managed, and that if well managed it can be beneficial to countries of origin, transit and destination, as well as migrants and society.

IOM in Zambia

IOM has had a presence in Zambia since 1990 and became an IOM Member State two years later in May 1992. The IOM Zambia office falls under the auspices of the IOM Regional Office for Southern Africa. With its base in Lusaka, IOM Zambia implements migration governance programmes country-wide. IOM Zambia employs a comprehensive approach to programming through multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder engagements and interventions, addressing issues that impact migrants and migration-affected communities at the individual, community, national and structural/ policy levels. IOM Zambia’s programming follows a human rights-based, gender-sensitive and participatory approach.

The IOM Regional Office for Southern Africa provides strategic and programmatic guidance, as well as administrative and technical support to IOM Zambia. The United Nations in Zambia is a Delivering as One country and supports the Government and people of Zambia in their efforts to realize the long-term national Vision 2030. It reflects the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals, including the principle of Leave No-one Behind. As part of ‘Delivering as One’, the UN Country Team in Zambia operates through the UN Sustainable Development Partnership Framework (UNSDPF 2016-2021). The three priorities for SDPF are: inclusive social development; environmentally sustainable economic development; and governance and participation, all of which reflect the priorities of IOM in Zambia. IOM Zambia contributes to the delivery of the Government of Zambia’s Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) through its participation in the UN governance structures.

IOM Zambia is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits individuals and society alike and sees migration as the new constant going forward. IOM’s vision is for a world in which migrants move as a matter of genuine choice and not as a desperate necessity, in which the rights of migrants are protected throughout their migratory cycle, and in which migration is a well-governed and enabler of development, for the benefit of all, and leaving no one behind.

Based on current priorities and needs in the country, IOM Zambia’s work during 2019-2022 will focus on three key areas of intervention, which are aligned to the Migration Governance Framework:

  • Impact statement: Migration is well-governed to advance the socio-economic well-being of migrants and society
  • Impact statement: Forced migrants and at-risk communities are protected and more resilient to the mobility dimensions of crises
  • Impact statement: Migration management systems are designed and effectively implemented to support regular channels of migration, address irregular migration, and protect the dignity and rights of migrants
  • Advance the socio-economic wellbeing of migrants and society Good migration governance is based on effective responses to the mobility dimensions of crises Migration takes place in a safe, orderly and regular manner
Migration activities

Diaspora engagement: The Government of the Republic of Zambia launched its Diaspora Policy in 2019. This is in line with the SADC Regional Labour Migration Policy Framework and Action Plan. The Diaspora Policy is intended to provide the necessary frameworks for migrant workers and Zambians in the diaspora to participate in the development of Zambia.  IOM’s diaspora related programming in Zambia focuses on:

Labour Migration and Development: Data and information on labour migration is relatively scarce in Zambia. However, the recent finalization of the Migration Profile and inclusion of a Migration Module in the Labour Force Survey, provide a foundation for an evidence base in Zambia. Youth migration, south-south migration, the gender dimensions of labour migration, and protection of migrant workers’ rights, are important to consider in the response. IOM Zambia’s programming on labour migration focuses on:

Migration and Health: Migrants and migration-affected populations in Zambia are affected by the high levels of communicable diseases, particularly HIV and tuberculosis, while the impacts of migration on non-communicable disease and conditions, such as nutrition, maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health and mental health, remains largely unstudied. Migration and mobility are increasingly recognized as central determinants of health, affecting health outcomes in various ways. IOM’s interventions will take into consideration ‘spaces of vulnerability’, as well as the social and economic determinants of health, promoting inclusive frameworks for health service delivery, and health-seeking behaviours among migrants, mobile populations and migration-affected communities. IOM’s interventions on Migration and Health are guided by, among other things, the World Health Assembly agreement 70.15, which includes commitments towards achieving universal health coverage, and the 61st World Health Assembly Resolution on the Health of Migration (WHA 61.17), to:

Zambia experiences all types of movements, including displacement due to natural and man-made disasters. Zambia is prone to environment and climate related emergencies, including flooding and drought, and the resultant insecurities. This often leads to population displacement. IOM’s work in this area helps to:

Lengthy and porous borders, the continued increase in mixed migration flows, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, to from and through Zambia, presents challenges for migration management and for the protection of migrants’ rights. Migrants with vulnerabilities can include victims of human trafficking, stranded and stateless migrants, and unaccompanied and separated migrant children.
In Zambia, IOM will:

Advance the socio-economic wellbeing of migrants and society

  • Supporting the infrastructural and coordination structures to harness the development potential of the diaspora;
  • Provision of technical guidance and capacity building support for an enabling legal and regulatory framework for diaspora interventions;
  • Expanding the knowledge and evidence base on diaspora and sectors of their participation.
  • Capacity development for officials, awareness-raising among migrants on their rights, support for the development of bilateral agreements and other legal frameworks for the rights-based management of labour migration;
  • Promotion of skills transfer, ethical recruitment practices, skills development, retention and reintegration, among others, to maximize the benefit of labour migration for all.
  • Promote and support development of inclusive frameworks for health service delivery, and health-seeking behaviours among migrants, mobile populations and migration affected communities;
  • Strengthen systems for monitoring migrant health;
  • Strengthen partnerships, networks & multi-country frameworks for the response to migration and health.

Good migration governance is based on effective responses to the mobility dimensions of crises

  • Enhance coordination among intuitions for the prevention and response to mobility dimensions of crisis;
  • Build the capacity of institutions to prevent and respond to the mobility dimensions of crisis and promote community resilience;
  • Provide support in implementing durable solutions for those displaced by natural and manmade disasters and conflict, including in for refugees;
  • Support post-crisis response, including transition and recovery and resilience building. In Zambia, this includes supporting the local integration of former refugees, with particular focus on social cohesion.

Migration takes place in a safe, orderly and regular manner

  • Provide support to the Government of the Republic of Zambia to ensure that policies, legislation and operational procedures provide for the rights of migrants, in the spirit of leaving no one behind;
  • Work with partners to ensure the identification, referral and provision of protection assistance to migrants in need, and that migrants have adequate access to information on their rights;
  • Support traditional leaders and other partners with community outreach on safe and regular migration under the umbrella of the Communications Strategy that was launched by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, entitled ‘Know Before You Go!’
  • Facilitate strengthened immigration and border management, following an integrated border management approach;
  • Strengthen border mobility schemes and systems that promote open but secure borders;
  • Provide capacity-building support for immigration and other border officials, as well as cross-border and migrant associations, on integrated border management, safe, orderly and regular migration, and migrants rights;
  • Strengthening adherence to public health requirements, screening for infectious diseases, and strengthening the capacity of officials to prevent and respond to public health concerns at borders.
Related Documents
Careers Opportunities
Position Grade Closing Date
Medical Assistant (Data Management) G4 10 December 2023
Medical Assistant (Customer Care and Data Management) G4 10 December 2023
Medical Assistant (Data Management) G5 10 December 2023
PSEA Officer NO-A 14 September 2023
Medical Assistant G4 10 September 2023
Procurement Opportunities
Notices Closing Date

Expression of Interest 
(All expression of interest should be emailed sent to IOM LUSAKA PROCUREMENT iomlusakaprocurement@iom.int )

15 December 2023


Contact information

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Rhodes Park Plot No.4626
Mwaimwena Road
Lusaka, Zambia

Tel: +260 1 25 67 01/02, +260 211 25 40 55
Fax: +260 211 25 38 56

Email: iomlusaka@iom.int
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Twitter: @Iom.zambia