Since 1952, when Austria joined IOM as one of its first Member States, the IOM Country Office for Austria has worked to assist migrants and promote adequate responses to migration issues, bearing in mind the well-being of migrants and the interests of States and their societies.
In particular, in the wake of several crises during and immediately after the end of the Cold War era, Austria received large numbers of refugees, many of whom were subsequently resettled with the help of IOM and other agencies.
The IOM Country Office for Austria has undergone a number of changes over the years including its status as a Mission with Regional Functions (1997-2005) as well as its function as a Special Liaison Mission (2008-2011).
The main responsibility of the IOM Country Office for Austria is to analyse national migration issues and emerging trends to develop and implement projects and programmes to address these. The Country Office for Austria includes six units: the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Unit; the Counter-Trafficking Unit; the Integration Unit; the Operations Unit; the Research and Migration Law Unit; and the Resource Management Unit.
The Country Office for Austria is led by Marian Benbow Pfisterer, who is responsible for the manifold office activities. She has been with IOM since 2005 and has been in her current position since 2017.
In Austria, IOM undertakes a variety of activities that support the well-being of migrants, returnees and host communities.
Banner picture copyright: Nick Mangafas