Migration Management & International Organizations: A history of the establishment of the International Organization for Migration

The MIMIO research project examines the emergence of the policies, practices and discourses related to the concept of ‘migration management’; this is achieved by tracing the establishment and the activities of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), the first intergovernmental organization accorded the task of regulating migration flows in the post-World War II era. The ICEM was renamed to International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 1989, after having been gradually transformed into one of the main migration management bodies in the contemporary world.


The project documents the consolidation of the international regulation of human mobility in the immediate post-war era, the establishment of the Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe (PICMME) and its transformation into a permanent agency, the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM). It focuses on the ICEM’s activities in the 1950s, the formative years during which the organization set up and developed its structures and put its priorities into practice. Based on extensive archival research in a number of countries, through a transnational approach, the project contextualizes the inception and the evolution of the ICEM, cataloguing its creation as an international bureaucracy, the elaboration of its rules and priorities and the shaping and implementation of its practices.