The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supports the development of temporary, circular labor migration schemes, as an alternative to spontaneous and irregular migration.
In 2016 – 2017, IOM Georgia, under the pilot project on “Temporary Labour Migration to Poland and Estonia,” funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF), has implemented a number of activities aimed at gradually building the capacity of the government of Georgia in the regulation and implementation of circular labor migration processes; in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (MoLHSA) of Georgia, IOM managed to create a temporary labor migration management model for the employment of Georgian migrant workers abroad, that has contributed to the design and implementation of the currently regulated labor schemes with different countries of destination of Georgian migrants.
Under the EU-funded project “Sustaining Border Management and Migration Governance in Georgia (SBMMG),” IOM Georgia continued to support capacity building of the government of Georgia in the field of labour migration management, interstate cooperation, and regular temporary employment of citizens of Georgia.
Since 2019, under the IDF-funded project “Facilitating an Integrated Operational Framework for Migrant Reintegration, Integration, and Labour Migration,” IOM Georgia pursues its efforts to ensure that the migrants are able to access effective, integrated reintegration, integration, and labour migration assistance. IOM Georgia continuously supports capacity building of the relevant entities of the government of Georgia in the field of labour migration management, through delivering targeted in-depth trainings, including international labour recruitment policies and practices, international standards of ethical recruitment, etc. Through conducting thematic assessments and research, IOM contributes to the further improvement and development of the labour migration policy in Georgia.
IOM Georgia contributes to the operationalization of the temporary labour migration schemes between Georgia and destination countries including, through providing expertise, capacity building, and delivering technical support to the staff of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Health, Labour and Social Affairs and the State Employment Support Agency in the field of circular labor migration, as well as, development of related information materials and facilitating pre-departure orientation training courses.
Migration and Development
Throughout the years IOM Georgia has been implementing activities to use the potential of migration for Georgia’s development. Georgians living abroad have great intellectual and business skills which may also successfully be applied to accelerate Georgia’s development and build economic opportunities in the country.
Under the EU-funded project “Sustaining Border Management and Migration Governance in Georgia (SBMMG)” IOM Georgia has broadened its activities in the direction of Migration and Development (M&D). These activities are being implemented in the following two main directions: 1. Awareness-raising of the central and local authorities of Georgia, migrants, and diaspora organizations on M&D issues through targeted training courses and information meetings; 2. Mainstreaming of migration into local economic development policy (local development strategies and action plans, targeted state programmes, investment projects, social projects, supporting the development of economic cooperation between countries, etc.).
In 2019, IOM started the implementation of the “EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia,” which is the joint initiative of the European Union and four UN Agencies – United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The joint programme aims to enhance entrepreneurship and business sophistication by strengthening the government and local entities’ capacities to develop and operate clusters and support companies directly with strategic investments and better connect to diaspora groups. Within the project, IOM is creating opportunities for business2buisness networking and cooperation between Georgian Diaspora and various business clusters, which are active in the country (packaging materials, agriculture, wood products, winemaking, fishing, tourism, hospitality, etc.) and provides information to Georgian Diaspora on the business development and trade opportunities in these sectors.
On February 27, 2021, with the EU support, under the patronage of the President of Georgia and in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IOM organized the Diaspora Economic Forum. The virtual Forum provided an opportunity for the Georgian diaspora to participate and receive comprehensive information on opportunities for doing business and investing in Georgia, means of accessing financing, available business development support programmes and services offered by State and non-state actors. The online event hosted 109 diaspora persons from more than 20 countries (Austria, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain, USA, etc.). The forum brought together diaspora representatives with diverse academic, professional, and educational backgrounds, potential investors, individual businesses, local stakeholders, international organizations, local and international financial institutions and various industry leaders.
Besides, IOM supports short-term assignments of Georgian Diaspora professionals in different fields. Through the years, over 60 such assignments were enabled for Georgian Diaspora experts, who traveled to Georgia to share professional knowledge and experience to their counterparts in the state agencies, private sector, and civil society organizations.
Diaspora web portal remains to serve as a dedicated space for the diaspora to provide updated information on cultural, social, and economic development in the country, particularly on doing business and on investing in Georgia to generate and encourage diaspora engagement in the local development process.