CONSTITUTION of the INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION for MIGRATION *
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THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES
the Resolution adopted on 5 December 1951 by the Migration Conference in Brussels,
that the provision of migration services at an
international level is often required to ensure the orderly flow of
migration movements throughout the world and to facilitate, under the
most favourable conditions, the settlement and integration of the
migrants into the economic and social structure of the country of
that similar migration services may also be required for temporary migration, return migration and intra-regional migration,
that international migration also
includes that of refugees, displaced persons and other individuals
compelled to leave their homelands, and who are in need of international
that there is a need to promote
the co-operation of States and international organizations with a view
to facilitating the emigration of persons who desire to migrate to
countries where they may achieve self-dependence through their
employment and live with their families in dignity and self-respect,
that migration may stimulate the
creation of new economic opportunities in receiving countries and that a
relationship exists between migration and the economic, social and
cultural conditions in developing countries,
that in the co-operation and
other international activities for migration the needs of developing
countries should be taken into account,
that there is a need to promote
the co-operation of States and international organizations, governmental
and non-governmental, for research and consultation on migration
issues, not only in regard to the migration process but also the
specific situation and needs of the migrant as an individual human
that the movement of migrants
should, to the extent possible, be carried out with normal transport
services but that, on occasion, there is a need for additional or other
that there should be close
co-operation and co-ordination among States, international
organizations, governmental and non-governmental, on migration and
that there is a need for the international financing of activities related to international migration,
DO HEREBY ESTABLISH
The INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION, hereinafter called the Organization, and
ACCEPT THIS CONSTITUTION.
PURPOSES AND FUNCTIONS
- The purposes and functions of the Organization shall be:
- to make arrangements for the organized
transfer of migrants, for whom existing
facilities are inadequate or who would
not otherwise be able to move without special
assistance, to countries offering opportunities
for orderly migration;
- to concern itself with the organized
transfer of refugees, displaced persons
and other individuals in need of
international migration services for whom arrangements
may be made between the Organization and the States
concerned, including those States undertaking
to receive them;
- to provide, at the request of and in
agreement with the States concerned,
migration services such as recruitment,
selection, processing, language training, orientation
activities, medical examination, placement, activities
facilitating reception and integration,
advisory services on migration
questions, and other assistance as is in
accord with the aims of the Organization;
- to provide similar services as requested by
States, or in co-operation with other
interested international organizations,
for voluntary return migration, including
- to provide a forum
to States as well as international and other organizations
for the exchange of views and experiences, and
the promotion of co-operation and
co-ordination of efforts on
international migration issues, including studies
on such issues in order to develop practical solutions.
- In carrying out its functions, the Organization
shall co-operate closely with international
organizations, governmental and
non-governmental, concerned with migration, refugees
and human resources in order, inter alia, to facilitate
the co-ordination of international activities in
these fields. Such co-operation shall be
carried out in the mutual respect of the
competences of the organizations concerned.
- The Organization shall recognize the fact that
control of standards of admission and the
number of immigrants to be admitted are
matters within the domestic jurisdiction of
States, and, in carrying out its functions, shall
conform to the laws, regulations and policies of the
The Members of the Organization shall be:
- the States being Members of the Organization
which have accepted this Constitution
according to Article 34, or to which the
terms of Article 35 apply;
- other States with a demonstrated interest in
the principle of free movement of
persons which undertake to make a
financial contribution at least to the administrative
requirements of the Organization, the rate of which
will be agreed to by the Council and by the
State concerned, subject to a two-thirds
majority vote of the Council and upon
acceptance by the State of this
Any Member State may give
notice of withdrawal from the Organization
effective at the end of a financial year.
Such notice must be in writing and must reach
the Director General of the Organization at least four
months before the end of the financial year. The financial
obligations to the Organization of a Member
State which has given notice of withdrawal
shall include the entire financial year in
which notice is given.
- If a Member State fails to meet its financial
obligations to the Organization for two
consecutive financial years, the Council may
by a two-thirds majority vote suspend the
voting rights and all or part of the services to
which this Member State is entitled. The Council shall
have the authority to restore such voting rights and
services by a simple majority vote.
- Any Member State may be suspended from
membership by a two-thirds majority vote of
the Council if it persistently violates the
principles of this Constitution. The Council
shall have the authority to restore such membership
by a simple majority vote.
There are established as the organs of the Organization:
- the Council;
- the Executive Committee;
- the Administration.
The functions of the Council, in addition to those mentioned in other provisions of this Constitution, shall be:
- to determine the policies of the Organization;
- to review the reports and to approve and direct the activities of the Executive Committee;
- to review the reports and to approve and direct the activities of the Director General;
- to review and approve the programme, the Budget, the expenditure and the accounts of the Organization;
- to take any other appropriate action to further the purposes of the Organization.
- The Council shall be composed of representatives of the Member States.
- Each Member State shall have one representative and such alternates and advisers as it may deem necessary.
- Each Member State shall have one vote in the Council.
The Council may admit, upon their
application, non-member States and international organizations,
governmental or non-governmental, concerned with migration, refugees or
human resources as observers at its meetings under conditions which may
be prescribed in its rules of procedure. No such observers shall have
the right to vote.
- The Council shall meet in regular session once a year.
- The Council shall meet in special session at the request of:
- one third of its members;
- the Executive Committee;
- the Director General or the Chairman of the Council in urgent circumstances.
- The Council shall elect, at the beginning of each regular session, a Chairman and other officers for a one-year term.
The Council may set up such sub-committees as may be required for the proper discharge of its functions.
The Council shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
The functions of the Executive Committee shall be:
- to examine and review the policies,
programmes and activities of the Organization, the annual reports of the
Director General and any special reports;
- to examine any financial or budgetary questions falling within the competence of the Council;
- to consider any matter specifically
referred to it by the Council, including the revision of the Budget, and
to take such action as may be deemed necessary thereon;
- to advise the Director General on any matters which he may refer to it;
- to make, between sessions of the Council,
any urgent decisions on matters falling within the competence of the
Council, which shall be submitted for approval by that body at its next
- to present advice or proposals to the Council or the Director General on its own initiative;
- to transmit reports and/or recommendations to the Council on the matters dealt with.
- The Executive Committee shall be composed of
the representatives of nine Member States. This number may be increased
by a two-thirds majority vote of the Council, provided it shall not
exceed one third of the total membership of the Organization.
- These Member States shall be elected by the Council for two years and shall be eligible for re-election.
- Each member of the Executive Committee shall have one representative and such alternates and advisers as it may deem necessary.
- Each member of the Executive Committee shall have one vote.
- The Executive Committee shall meet at least
once a year. It shall meet, as necessary, in order to perform its
functions, at the request of:
- its Chairman;
- the Council;
- the Director General after consultation with the Chairman of the Council;
- a majority of its members.
- The Executive Committee shall elect a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman from among its members for a one-year term.
The Executive Committee may,
subject to review by the Council, set up such sub-committees as may be
required for the proper discharge of its functions.
The Executive Committee shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
The Administration shall comprise a Director General, a Deputy Director General and such staff as the Council may determine.
- The Director General and the Deputy Director
General shall be elected by a two-thirds majority vote of the Council
and may be re-elected. Their term of office shall normally be five years
but may, in exceptional cases, be less if a two-thirds majority of the
Council so decides. They shall serve under contracts approved by the
Council, which shall be signed on behalf of the Organization by the
Chairman of the Council.
- The Director General shall be responsible to
the Council and the Executive Committee. The Director General shall
discharge the administrative and executive functions of the Organization
in accordance with this Constitution and the policies and decisions of
the Council and the Executive Committee and the rules and regulations
established by them. The Director General shall formulate proposals for
appropriate action by the Council.
The Director General shall
appoint the staff of the Administration in accordance with the staff
regulations adopted by the Council.
- In the performance of their duties, the
Director General, the Deputy Director General and the staff shall
neither seek nor receive instructions from any State or from any
authority external to the Organization. They shall refrain from any
action which might reflect adversely on their position as international
- Each Member State undertakes to respect the
exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the
Director General, the Deputy Director General and the staff and not to
seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.
- Efficiency, competence and integrity shall be
the necessary considerations in the recruitment and employment of the
staff which, except in special circumstances, shall be recruited among
the nationals of the Member States of the Organization, taking into
account the principle of equitable geographical distribution.
The Director General shall be
present, or be represented by the Deputy Director General or another
designated official, at all sessions of the Council, the Executive
Committee and any sub-committees. The Director General or the designated
representative may participate in the discussions but shall have no
At the regular session of the
Council following the end of each financial year, the Director General
shall make to the Council, through the Executive Committee, a report on
the work of the Organization, giving a full account of its activities
during that year.
- The Organization shall have its Headquarters in Geneva. The Council may, by a two-thirds majority vote, change its location.
- The meetings of the Council and the Executive
Committee shall be held in Geneva, unless two-thirds of the members of
the Council or the Executive Committee respectively have agreed to meet
The Director General shall submit
to the Council, through the Executive Committee, an annual budget
covering the administrative and operational requirements and the
anticipated resources of the Organization, such supplementary estimates
as may be required and the annual or special accounting statements of
- The requirements of the Organization shall be financed:
- as to the Administrative part of the
Budget, by cash contributions from Member States, which shall be due at
the beginning of the financial year to which they relate and shall be
- as to the Operational part of the Budget,
by contributions in cash, in kind or in services from Member States,
other States, international organizations, governmental or
non-governmental, other legal entities or individuals, which shall be
paid as early as possible and in full prior to the expiration of the
financial year to which they relate.
- Member States shall contribute to the
Administrative part of the Budget of the Organization at a rate agreed
to by the Council and by the Member State concerned.
- Contributions to the operational expenditure
of the Organization shall be voluntary and any contributor to the
Operational part of the Budget may stipulate with the Organization terms
and conditions, consistent with the purposes and functions of the
Organization, under which its contributions may be used.
- All Headquarters administrative
expenditure and all other administrative expenditure except that
incurred in pursuance of the functions outlined in paragraph 1 (c) and
(d) of Article 1 shall be attributed to the Administrative part of the
- all operational expenditure and such
administrative expenditure as is incurred in pursuance of the functions
outlined in paragraph 1 (c) and (d) of Article 1 shall be attributed to
the Operational part of the Budget .
- The Council shall ensure that the management is conducted in an efficient and economical manner.
The financial regulations shall be established by the Council.
The Organization shall possess
full juridical personality. It shall enjoy such legal capacity, as may
be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of its
purposes, and in particular the capacity, in accordance with the laws
of the State:
- to contract;
- to acquire and dispose of immovable and movable property;
- to receive and disburse private and public funds;
- to institute legal proceedings.
- The Organization shall enjoy such privileges
and immunities as are necessary for the exercise of its functions and
the fulfilment of its purposes.
- Representatives of Member States, the
Director General, the Deputy Director General and the staff of the
Administration shall likewise enjoy such privileges and immunities as
are necessary for the independent exercise of their functions in
connection with the Organization.
- These privileges and immunities shall be
defined in agreements between the Organization and the States concerned
or through other measures taken by these States.
- Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
Constitution or rules made by the Council or the Executive Committee,
all decisions of the Council, the Executive Committee and all
sub-committees shall be taken by a simple majority vote.
- Majorities provided for in this Constitution
or rules made by the Council or the Executive Committee shall refer to
members present and voting.
- No vote shall be valid unless a majority of
the members of the Council, the Executive Committee or the sub-committee
concerned are present.
- Texts of proposed amendments to this
Constitution shall be communicated by the Director General to
Governments of Member States at least three months in advance of their
consideration by the Council.
- Amendments shall come into force when adopted
by two-thirds of the members of the Council and accepted by two-thirds
of the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional
processes, provided, however, that amendments involving new obligations
for Members shall come into force in respect of a particular Member only
when that Member accepts such amendments.
Any dispute concerning the
interpretation or application of this Constitution which is not settled
by negotiation or by a two-thirds majority vote of the Council shall be
referred to the International Court of Justice in conformity with the
Statute of the Court, unless the Member States concerned agree on
another mode of settlement within a reasonable period of time.
Subject to approval by two-thirds
of the members of the Council, the Organization may take over from any
other international organization or agency the purposes and activities
of which lie within the purposes of the Organization such activities,
resources and obligations as may be determined by international
agreement or by mutually acceptable arrangements entered into between
the competent authorities of the respective organizations.
The Council may, by a three-quarters majority vote of its members, decide to dissolve the Organization.
Article 34 **
This Constitution shall come into
force, for those Governments Members of the Intergovernmental Committee
for European Migration which have accepted it in accordance with their
respective constitutional processes, on the day of the first meeting of
that Committee after:
- at least two-thirds of the Members of the Committee,
- a number of Members whose contributions represent at least 75 per cent of the Administrative part of the Budget,
shall have communicated to the Director their acceptance of this Constitution.
Article 35 **
Those Governments Members of the
Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration which have not by the
date of coming into force of this Constitution communicated to the
Director their acceptance of this Constitution may remain Members of the
Committee for a period of one year from that date if they contribute to
the administrative requirements of the Committee in accordance with
paragraph 2 of Article 25, and they shall retain during that period the
right to accept the Constitution.
The English, French and Spanish texts of this Constitution shall be regarded as equally authentic.
The present text incorporates into the Constitution of 19 October 1953
of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (former
designation of the Organization) the amendments adopted on 20 May 1987
and which entered into force on 14 November 1989.
** Articles 34 and 35 were implemented at the time of the entry into force of the Constitution on 30 November 1954.