IOM provides protection and assistance to migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation, and abuse, including victims of trafficking. IOM’s approach to migrant vulnerability is rooted in the belief that the human rights of all persons, including migrants, should be upheld and promoted and that all migrants who are vulnerable, regardless of their affiliation to any particular category or holding of any particular status, should be afforded the protection and assistance services they require.

IOM is convinced that an inclusive and human rights-based approach that guarantees the availability and accessibility of psychosocial support and mental health care for all migrants and their host communities can contribute to positive social, economic and cultural outcomes for migrants, their families, communities, and also the societies of both origin and destination countries.

In Germany, IOM is active in the area of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) with several projects:

  • IOM offers low-threshold psychosocial support tools for Syrian men in Germany, including a self-care handbook aiming to encourage and empower Syrian men to reflect on their psychosocial wellbeing and to develop strategies to effectively manage stress and to strengthen their resilience. The project is funded by the Integration Commissioner of the Federal Government.
  • Victims of the former German sect "Colonia Dignidad" in Chile receive financial support of the German government through IOM. The Help Concept for Victims of “Colonia Dignidad”, which was developed by the German Parliament and the German Federal Foreign Office, seeks to promote acknowledgement of the physical injuries that victims endured, and to provide support in dealing with the psychological fallout of those experiences. The services, including payments, are provided to victims living in Germany, Chile, Austria and Canada.
  • The transnational U-CARE project aims to build up and develop alternative care models for unaccompanied youth (14+) and young adults (18+) in Belgium, Germany, and Greece. These models include family-based care, for example foster families, and supervised independent forms of living, with a special focus on so-called care leavers.
  • In a joint project with IOM Iraq, IOM Germany examines the expectations of Yazidi women living in Germany, who survived conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) and want to take part in a reparation programme by the Government of Iraq. In 2014, the self-named Islamic State (IS) committed genocide against the Yazidis, during which 6,800 women and girls were forced into sexual slavery. Of those who were able to flee, the biggest Yazidi diaspora resides in Germany.