The LMI unit works with government, recruitment agencies and private sector companies to protect migrant workers and to optimize the benefits of labour migration for both the country of origin and destination as well as for the migrants themselves. IOM’s approach to international labour migration is to foster the synergies between labour migration and development, and to promote legal avenues of labour migration as an alternative to irregular migration. In a step towards regularizing labour migration, in 2021 Libya and Niger signed a memorandum of understanding that seeks to protect migrant workers through effective work visa issuance before employment and to better respond to Libya's labour market needs.

IOM’s Regional Office for MENA has supported several countries -among which Egypt, Tunisia and Libya- to develop and implement Bilateral Labour Agreements (BLAs) and Skills Mobility Partnerships (SMPs) to facilitate regular, safe and orderly labour mobility and build opportunities for workers and employers alike.

IOM for MENA pursues the following objectives:

  • Maximizing developmental benefits of migration through diaspora engagement, promotion of productive use of remittances and other financial gains from migration;
  • Promoting coherence between migration policies and broader development policies and mainstreaming migration into sectoral policies such as education, employment, economic development and poverty reduction;
  • Encouraging more effective regulative frameworks for labour migration and foreign recruitment, better informed, trained and empowered migrants.

LMI's work is directly related to the following SDG goals and GCM objectives:

SDG & GCM Objectives