Press Release

ICMPD opens more Migrant Resource Centres in Iraq, Pakistan

07 June 2024

Iraq, Pakistan

VIENNA, 6 June 2024 – The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) opens new Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) in Iraq and Pakistan. The MRCs promote safe and regular migration processes for prospective migrants, fight trafficking and people-smuggling through raising awareness, provide pre-departure counselling for emigrants, post-arrival briefings to migrant workers and offer re-integration support for the returnees.

“The work of the MRCs cannot be emphasised enough. By offering comprehensive support and resources, our MRCs help migrants navigate the complexities of the migration process, ensure compliance with immigration laws and regulations, and facilitate their successful integration into their new communities,” says Michael Spindelegger, ICMPD Director-General.

Since their launch in 2016, the MRCs have served around 120 million people across the nine centres that are currently operating. With over 60 staff including counsellors and coordinators throughout, ICMPD’s MRCs have been providing:

  • Individual support and counselling for walk-in and potential migrants on safe, orderly, and legal migration; access to programmes and protective services; risks of irregular migration; and a referral system and support for re-integration for returnees;
  • Information outreach to communities through social media and advertisements, promoting (potential) migrants’ rights and well-being in their journey of emigrating or return;
  • Building capacities and partnerships with civil society organisations, local media, religious institutions, private sector, and the national government to address the needs of members of the community.

Over the years, MRCs have also provided guidance on visa and scholarship applications, legal advice on other migration options, facilitating language and cultural orientation programs, and referring migrants to other support services such as housing, employment, healthcare, and education.

The centres also work with the private sector and the government, for job referrals and recognition of qualifications for returning migrants to re-integrate in the local economy; facilitate safe and orderly transfer of vulnerable groups seeking protection and assistance in humanitarian situations; and skills development for potential emigrants and returnees.

The MRCs in Erbil and Peshawar are an addition to the currently operating centres in Cumilla and Dhaka (Bangladesh), Baghdad (Iraq), Osh (Kyrgyzstan), Islamabad and Lahore (Pakistan), Batticaloa (Sri Lanka), and Dushanbe (Tajikistan). ICMPD also runs a virtual MRC for Afghanistan; and will launch another centre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Sulaymaniyah, Iraq in September 2024.

“The launch of our 10th and 11th MRC in Erbil and Peshawar is very timely, especially in response to the increasing risks of migrants becoming victims of people-smuggling, exploitation, trafficking, and abuse,” says Golda Roma, Senior Project Manager for the Silk Routes Programmes.

The MRCs receive support from various donors including the European Union, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. 

Find more information on MRCs and ICMPD activities in Central Asia here: