New Delhi: India will soon be a full member of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) which will enable it to engage more actively improving conditions for Indian workers abroad.
The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Thursday gave its approval to obtain full membership of IOM, an intergovernmental organisation dealing with the issue of migration.
“India’s membership of IOM will enable us to engage more actively with this intergovernmental organisation dealing with the issue of migration in areas of interest to us, particularly those related to improving conditions for Indian workers abroad,” Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here.
The IOM, based in Geneva, was established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration. It has 122 states as members, with 92 observers, including 18 countries.
India obtained an observer status at IOM in 1991 after the Iraq invasion on Kuwait when IOM helped to airlift several Indian nationals.
IOM was of much help when some 300 Indian nationals had been stranded off the coast of Mauritania and in another incident, supported 59 stranded Indian migrants in Kamsar in Guinea Conakry and facilitated their safe repatriation.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs as the Ministry in-charge of all emigration from India to overseas countries and return of emigrants is also engaged with IOM in a process known as the Colombo process on Labour Migration.