Many migrants experience violence, exploitation and abuse during and after their migratory journey. Addressing and reducing vulnerabilities in migration is one of the objectives of the newly adopted Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. However, this can be a challenge for protection actors and service providers, as there is no internationally accepted definition of “vulnerable migrant,” no clear procedures for identifying them, nor operational guidelines for their protection and assistance. To address this gap, IOM undertook development of the IOM Handbook on Protection and Assistance for Migrants Vulnerable to Violence, Exploitation and Abuse within the auspices of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT). The Handbook is intended to support case managers, service providers, communities, humanitarian and development actors, States and other actors working to provide protection and assistance to migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse.

IOM’s approach to migrant vulnerability is rooted in the belief that the human rights of all persons, including migrants, should be upheld and promoted and that migrants who are vulnerable, regardless of category or status, should be afforded the protection and assistance they require. IOM’s migrant vulnerability model was specifically developed to identify, protect and assist migrants who have experienced or are vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse – before, during or after migrating − and to guide the development and implementation of appropriate programmatic and structural interventions to reduce such vulnerabilities.
The Handbook recognize that migrants and their households and families, and the communities and groups to which they belong, are situated in a broader social environment, and that both resilience and vulnerability are determined by the presence, absence and interaction of risk and protection factors at the various levels – individual, household/family, community and structural. Each level also requires different approaches to address the risks of vulnerability, as outlined in each of the chapters in the Handbook.

Click here to download the full Handbook. Specific chapters can also be downloaded separately by clicking on the links below:

PART 1: THE DETERMINANTS OF MIGRANT VULNERABILITY

Part 1 of this Handbook introduces IOM’s determinants of migrant vulnerability model, which is used to assess risk and protective factors at the individual, household/family, community and structural levels. It also introduces IOM’s programmatic approach to protecting and assisting migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse. It discusses the model’s operationalization and its application at different stages of migration and in countries of origin, transit and destination.

The information presented in Part 1 is intended for case managers, service providers, local and national government officials, policymakers and decision makers, development partners, and members of the international community.

Click here to download Part 1 of the Handbook

 

PART 2: INDIVIDUAL CASE MANAGEMENT

Part 2 of this Handbook focuses on the determinants of migrant vulnerability at the individual level, and on appropriate programmatic responses for mitigating and addressing vulnerability factors at this level. It discusses protection, types of protection, and the ways in which protection systems and referral networks can be mobilized to protect migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation, and abuse. It outlines principles of assistance that should be followed in any effort to provide assistance to vulnerable migrants, and offers standards and guidelines on various forms of individual assistance for vulnerable migrants. Specific topics include: case management; shelter and accommodation; water, sanitation and hygiene; food and nutrition; personal safety and security; health and well-being; education and training; livelihoods, employment, and income generation; family tracing, assessment and reunification; access to justice; and case closure.

The guidance provided in Part 2 is intended mainly for individual case managers providing direct support and assistance to vulnerable migrants, including vulnerable migrant children. It may also be useful for those delivering services to vulnerable migrants, including health-care providers, law enforcement officers, and those working for service providers accessed by migrants.

Click here to download Part 2 of the Handbook

PART 3: HOUSEHOLD/FAMILY ASSISTANCE

Part 3 of this Handbook focuses on the determinants of migrant vulnerability at the household and family level, and on appropriate programmatic responses for mitigating and addressing vulnerability factors at this level. It discusses the concepts of household and family, and the roles of households and families in contributing to vulnerability or resilience. It outlines programming principles that should be followed in any household or family level intervention, and describes various forms of programming for addressing household and family vulnerability. Specific topics include shelter and accommodation; water, sanitation and hygiene; food and nutrition; personal safety and security; health and well-being; education and training; livelihoods, employment and income generation; social protection; and social capital enhancement activities.

The guidance provided in Part 3 is intended mainly for case managers providing direct support and assistance to vulnerable migrants, as consideration of household and family factors is usually a key consideration in developing and implementing individual protection and assistance plans. It is also intended for case managers, service providers and development actors involved in household/family-centred care, such as educators, health-care workers, community development actors, religious institutions and local government.

Click here to download Part 3 of the Handbook

PART 4: COMMUNITY PROGRAMMING

Part 4 of this Handbook focuses on the determinants of migrant vulnerability at the community level and on appropriate programmatic responses for mitigating and addressing vulnerability factors at this level. It provides a general introduction to the concept of community, and to the role of communities in contributing to vulnerability or resilience. It outlines programming principles that should guide the development and implementation of community programmes, and describes various forms of programming for addressing community-level vulnerability factors. Specific topics include: building local governance capacities; community development; addressing community-level instability and fragility; addressing attitudes, norms and beliefs; and addressing harmful practices.

The guidance provided in Part 4 is intended mainly for local and national governments, community leaders and development actors.

Click here to download Part 4 of the Handbook

PART 5: STRUCTURAL PROGRAMMING

Part 5 of this Handbook focuses on the determinants of migrant vulnerability at the structural level, and on appropriate programmatic responses for mitigating and addressing vulnerability factors at this level. It discusses the concept of structure, and the role that structures play in contributing to vulnerability or resilience. It outlines programming principles that should guide the development and implementation of structural or “upstream” programming. Part 5 begins with a general description of the enabling environment necessary for addressing migrant vulnerability – namely the policy, legal, regulatory and institutional environments – as well as efforts that can be undertaken to improve this environment, with a focus on capacity-building, advocacy, and data and research. The policy and issues that, taken together, address migrant vulnerability and enhance resilience are then discussed. Finally, migrant integration and combating xenophobia and discrimination is tackled in the conclusion.

The guidance provided in Part 5 is intended mainly for government policy and decision makers at different levels of government, and the actors who support these policy and decision makers in achieving their policy goals.

Click here to download Part 5 of the Handbook

PART 6: GUIDANCE FOR THE PROTECTION, CARE AND ASSISTANCE OF VULNERABLE CHILD MIGRANTS

Part 6 of the Handbook aims to provide guidance on how the best interests principle can be applied in practice to identify appropriate care, protection and long-term solutions for migrant children who are outside their countries of origin or habitual residence (in the case of stateless children) and are either travelling with their families and/or trusted adults or are unaccompanied or separated from their parents or those who previously cared for them.

This Part has been designed for use by any stakeholder implementing, or supporting the implementation of, the application of the best interests principle for a vulnerable migrant child.

Click here to download Part 6 of the Handbook