Capacity Building, Information and Awareness Raising towards Promoting Orderly Migration in the Western Balkans

The project seeks to contribute to existing efforts towards promoting orderly migration within and from the Western Balkans

The project

The project’s objective is to foster local capacity to develop policy and provide migrants and would-be migrants with efficient information, advice and referral to appropriate services, thus preventing irregular migration and optimising their possibilities for legal migration.

Information, advice and referral services to migrants and potential migrants would be provided through the established regional network of Migrant Service Centres (MSCs). The MSCs will receive visitors daily and will provide them with individualized assistance and group counselling sessions where appropriate on the reality and risks of irregular migration and possibilities/procedures for decent work opportunities in the country and/or for legal emigration. Country fact sheets will be produced and continuously updated on the opportunities for legal migration to EU Member States. The MSCs will also provide referral services to relevant local institutions for individual skills development in view of improving employment potential both at home and abroad.

The MSCs will be embedded within identified local structures, such as local and regional Employment Offices and relevant Ministries. Local officials within these local structures will work in tandem with IOM staff receiving on-the-job training within the daily activity of the MSCs throughout the project implementation. This will allow for IOM full phase-out and hand-over of the tasks to relevant institutions by the end of the project duration.

In addition to providing direct services to migrants and potential migrants, the project will also focus on building capacity of local authorities to develop policy and good practice as sending and receiving countries in the context of current and projected foreign labour needs. The action foresees transfer of know-how and expertise at both regional and national levels. First, IOM and ILO will organise a Regional 3-day Training Workshop on Labour Migration Management in Tirana for policy-makers and migration managers such as national and regional employment services, ministries of labour and social affairs, labour inspectors, NGOs, workers’ and employers’ organisations in all the target countries and academia. For this activity, IOM and ILO will use their in-house expertise and human resources and the recently finalised “Handbook on Establishing Effective Labour Migration Policies in Countries of Origin and of Destination”. National-level Training and bilateral discussions/roundtables will follow the Regional Training Workshop. Expert groups composed of IOM and ILO officials as well as EU officials will visit each of the target countries for country-specific discussions and targeted training of practitioners to improve policy and national laws and practices (building the capacity of officials to regulate and monitor activities of Private Employment Agencies (PEA) as well as of Public Employment Services (PES) to collaborate with PEA).

The results of daily profiling of migrants and potential migrants undertaken by the MSCs will feed into the research report on legal emigration from the Western Balkans, which will provide analysis of the migration potential from the region as well as of current migratory trends, highlighting the challenges that lie ahead for the target governments and migrants towards optimising the use of legal avenues for migrating and minimising the risks of irregular movements.

All the IOM ILO newsletters of the project can be found here

Project location

Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia including the Province of Kosovo.

Project partners and associates

The project will be managed by the IOM regional office in Budapest (Hungary), with the support of the IOM offices in the participating countries and in coordination with ILO implementing team. It will be implemented in collaboration with:

  • Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (Albania)
  • Ministry of Civil Affairs (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
  • Federation Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
  • Ministry of Labour and War Invalids Welfare of the Republika Srpska (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
  • Croatian Employment Service (Croatia)
  • Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
  • NGO “Organizacija na Zeni na Opstina Kriva Palanka” (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
  • NGO Multikultura (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
  • State Employment Agency (Montenegro)
  • Ministry of Interior (Montenegro)
  • Ministry of Economy and Regional Development (Serbia)
  • NGO Grupa 484 (Serbia)
  • Institute of International Politics and Economics (Serbia)
  • Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (Kosovo Province, Republic of Serbia)
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs (Kosovo Province, Republic of Serbia)
  • National Library of Kosovo (Kosovo Province, Republic of Serbia)

Project newsletters

Project Newsletter No. 1 - September 2008

Project Newsletter No. 2 - December 2008

Project Newsletter No. 3 - March 2009

Project Newsletter No. 4 - July 2009

Project Newsletter No. 5 - November 2009

Project Newsletter No. 6 - January 2010

Further information

The network of Migrant Service Centres provides information, advice and referral services to migrants and potential migrants in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo under UNSCR No 1244, Montenegro and Serbia.

ILO/IOM Steering Committee Zagreb 7 July (in Serbo Croatian)

ILO/OSCE/IOM Handbook on Establishing Effective Labour Migration Policies in Countries of Origin and Destination (English version)

IOM Newsletter January 2010 about training activities in Albania related to the project and mentioning the launch of the ILO/OSCE/IOM Handbook in Albanian