From the onset of a crisis, IOM works with national and local authorities and our partners to provide life-saving protection and humanitarian assistance to vulnerable and mobile populations.  

With safety and dignity as a priority, IOM provides shelter, non-food items, health, protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), as well as other services (see below) to affected populations and communities.  IOM plays a significant role in coordinating and managing camps and camp-like settings in crisis situations as well as in other sectors of assistance, including within IASC humanitarian coordination structures. IOM is also a leading provider of humanitarian data – particularly in tracking rates of displacements and conducting needs assessments – which informs evidence-based responses and enhances humanitarian interventions. 

The safe and dignified movement of people out of situations of vulnerability is also a core function of the Organization, such as arranging humanitarian charters for migrants to voluntarily return to their countries of origin from conflict-affected areas.  

Throughout its response to crisis, IOM puts people front and centre, involving populations and communities in the decisions that affect them. The Organization remains committed to localized approaches and works to ensure the respect and protection of the rights of all individuals, including protection from gender-based violence.  

Principled Approach in Humanitarian Action  

In line with the Charter of the United Nations and in the spirit of the humanitarian imperative, the IOM Humanitarian Policy, Principles for Humanitarian Action, reaffirms IOM's commitment to internationally-agreed humanitarian principles in the delivery of its humanitarian response, and the need for all those engaged in humanitarian action to promote and fully respect the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence

Accountability to Affected Populations 

The needs and rights of individuals and the well-being of communities are at the core of IOM’s operations; IOM’s humanitarian and other crisis-related work is accountable to these populations. 

IOM’s Accountability to Affected Populations Framework outlines IOM’s principles and commitments to affected populations through leadership, information-sharing and transparency, participation, complaints and feedback mechanisms and partner coordination. 

The Framework helps the Organization ensure quality and responsive programming in line with the evolving needs of affected populations and communities and to enforce the Organization’s zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse and other misconduct.