Posted on 12/09/03 in Migration
People go from continent to continent and from country to country: some for a business trip, others just for a holiday or maybe even for a study session with the Greens. But there are some people who go from one continent to another because they want to have a better life, not only for themselves but also for their families, have to flee from environmental tragedies or conflicts. They are even willing to risk their life and all the money they have to get into Fortress Europe. After disappearing into illegality and subsequently going through a long lasting asylum-seeking procedure which often ends in refusal. Those who are refused get in touch with the International Organisation of Migration (IOM). What kind of organisation is this? What are their goals and do they have any hidden goals?
The IOM is an intergovernmental organisation with the objective of providing a service under the title of “Assisted Returns Service” and work with “migrants and governments”. The IOM:” assists rejected asylum seekers, trafficked migrants, stranded students, labour migrants and qualified nationals to return home on a voluntary basis. IOM also works with other organisations helping to repatriate refugees”.
IOM says that they work on a voluntary basis but how voluntary is their service?. For example, the IOM gives an indication to the Dutch government if people are technically able to return to their home country. If the IOM says that the people from an certain country are able to return home, then these people are forced by the Dutch government to go back to their home country. The government simply puts them on the street or outside the reception centre without any money. If the IOM has said that these people can enter their home country it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can in practice.
The IOM tries to make it attractive for immigrants to return with the help of IOM. On their website you find strange ways to persuade people to travel with the help of the IOM. If you look for example at the IOM Oslo website, they are taking about the benefits of returning with the IOM. They compare it with deportation forced by the police. They say: “Travel with IOM is a civilised and dignified return”. How can this be civilised and dignified return, if on return they have to face their families with shame and having spent the families savings? How can they support them in the future in a financial way? The IOM is also saying: ”You will travel as a normal passenger. When deported by police the airline is aware that you are being deported. Your national immigrant authorities will also be informed about your deportation in accordance with bilateral agreements.” In this way the IOM is scaring the immigrants, especially the people who fear for their lives. For such written things they get even more scared.