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We live in an age of unprecedented human mobility. Migration is considered one of the defining global issues of the early twenty-first century, with more and more people on the move today than at any other point in history.In Central Asia, which has been a crossroads of goods and people from the days of the Silk Road, hundreds of thousands of people move daily across the international borders in search of employment and opportunity. Millions of Central Asians work abroad and remit funds to their families. Over the last decade, migration became a major contributor to development throughout Central Asia, but also created many complex challenges for migrants, societies and governments alike, including but not limited to: increase in irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling of human beings; population displacements as the result of conflict, natural disasters, and economic crisis; security, law enforcement and public health issues; as well as difficulties of inter-state cooperation on migration issues. IOM has been present in Central Asia since 1992, providing sustainable and collaborative solutions for managing migration to all five region’s states through the network of IOM offices, IOM partner NGOs and through regional information sharing and training.

IOM believes that migration is a potential catalyst for development and economic growth in Central Asia and can play a key role in helping countries realize their development goals. In order to harness the positive benefits of migration and reduce its negative impacts, IOM in Central Asia supports efforts of governments, societies and migrants to promote humane and orderly migration, facilitate integration and uphold human dignity and well-being of migrants, encourage social and economic development through migration, assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management and advance the understanding of migration issues.

The purpose of this Central Asia Operational Strategy outlines IOM vision by identifying key challenges, main thematic areas and specific programmatic solutions that are tailored to specifically address the migration dynamics in Central Asia. This document has been developed through a joint effort of IOM offices in the region and taking into consideration individual migration challenges facing each of the IOM Member States in Central Asia. This Operational Strategy for Central Asia for the period of 2011-2015 is based on the IOM Strategy adopted by Member States in June 2007.

IOM remains committed to working with Central Asian governments, civil societies, NGOs, donors and other relevant stakeholders to achieve the goal of Managing Migration for the Benefit of All.