The Republic of the Maldives became a member state of IOM in August 2011. IOM established its office in the country in April 2013 and has since been active in working with the Government to promote safe and orderly migration.

Maldives started to import labour in 1990s with the development of the tourism industry to serve in both professional category and unskilled category. The fast economic growth of the Maldives has attracted a steady flow of migrants, or ‘expats’ as they are more commonly known as, to the Maldives.

In the Maldives, IOM continues to play its part as a leading global organisation focusing on migration management. IOM addresses the migratory phenomenon from an integral and holistic perspective, including links to development, in order to maximize its benefits and minimize its negative effects.

The cooperation agreement was signed between IOM and the Government of Maldives on 5 August 2011. It in line with a holistic approach to migration management, IOM and the Government collaborate to build capacity, provide advisory services and technical cooperation on migration issues, migration and health, international migration law, migration and environment, migration information, counter-trafficking, migration of nationals and aliens. IOM also provides assistance to internally and externally displaced persons and other persons in need, return of qualified human resources and other assisted return activities, if these services are required.