The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a humanitarian organization which was born in 1951. Its purpose is to help worldwide governments coping with migration in order to build a world without racism and differences, highlighting the positive influences of migration on society. In fact, the topic of IOM commission in IMUN Venice is how to eradicate racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, especially addressed towards migrants.

During the first session, the delegates started talking about their countries’ problems concerning this argument, drawing the attention on the problems about integration and intolerance towards migrants. According to the delegates, the main problems were about the discrimination towards people with different origins, or belonging to a particular ethnic minority or because of the skin; furthermore, some countries have to deal with the problem of the huge migrant flows affecting them, while some others have to cope with eradicating a bad perception of the presence of migrants in their countries. Thus, it was pointed out that the main cause of racism is non-integration, which is provoked by a non-understanding by both parts: on the one hand, sometimes host countries lack of proper programs of integration, but on the other hand migrants tend to isolate themselves by always staying together, creating real “parallel worlds” at the interior of a same city. In addition, racism is “justified” by the fact that migrants can be appear to be a threat, especially the illegal ones, and concerning the criminal issues some migrants are involved into. Therefore, the delegates tried to work on solutions, which necessarily have to be differentiate from country to country according to their welfare and open-mindedness, to economic and social issues, in which governments implement programs addressed directly to migrants, and to integration policies, aimed at allowing migrants who already work not to suffer discrimination, by granting them a good salary, equality of graduation, possibility to have citizenship and others. Some of the most important points, of which delegates confronted each other, agreeing and disagreeing, concerned the necessity of analyzing why people go away from their countries and why migrants can commit crime, as a way of survive, the importance of integrating migrants in the labor market, both for the economy and for their autonomy, the proposal for a better distribution or even a selection of migrants, the importance of organizing educational programs, campaigns and meetings in order to raise awareness of this issue, the necessity of implementing compulsory courses so that migrants can learn the host country’s language, the crucial role of social media in order to tackle fake news about migration’s effects on the countries and others.

The second session was characterized by longer Unmoderated Caucuses, in which delegates could really talk face to face about their problems and started elaborating the solutions, creating new alliances which are crucial for the drafting of the final resolution. Thus, many other issues and possible solutions emerged from the discussion between delegates. For example, it was stressed out the importance of guaranteeing a work place to migrants, and, connected to that, it was analyzed the problem concerning parenting, namely how to grant women migrants, more affected by discrimination than men, a work and also the possibility to raise their children. Moreover, it was highlighted the possible importance of the work of NGOs, which can become an intermediary between migrants and governments, taking the responsibility for assuring migrants to accede to work and protecting their rights, with the help of possible international trade unions, for the recognition of their degrees, for creating databases where migrants’ status about health, education and eventual troubles with the law is registered. These databases can be used also to tackle the problem of housing, by granting renters of the situation of migrants who can be hosted. With respect to health services, it was proposed to create health cards through which migrants can access to public services. Finally, it was stressed out again the importance of implementing educational programs, both addressed directly to migrants so that they can continue with their studies and also aimed at raising the awareness of this topic, for example by organizing meetings where migrants can talk about their situation, with the purpose of tackling fake news and showing the truth about this issue.

In the third session, delegates started working really hard on their draft resolutions. Alliances were formed: on the one hand, there were Peru, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Denmark, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Kuwait, Viet Nam, Iran, Mexico, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Libya, South Africa and China; on the other hand, there were Sweden, UAE, Finland, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, India, Belgium, Italy, Indonesia, Spain, Venezuela and Iraq. Everything delegates had discussed about during the first day had to appear in the resolutions and was divided into subtopics. First of all, it was highlighted the topic of fighting discrimination in the labor market, by giving regular contracts, facilitations for employers, by implementing programs dealing with the problem of parenting, and by using the help of NGOs and international trade unions, such as ILO, in order to facilitate information to find work abroad. Then, resolutions had to deal with how making migrants access to health basic services, and also creating centers for the recognition of the health status of migrants or even for granting them psychological assistance. About housing rights, in order to follow the principle of giving them a safe place where to live in, resolutions had to highlight how to facilitate migrants with renting houses, such as by creating a database, crossing data with Interpol, in order to find information about migrants and to detect eventual criminal activities, and also how to relocate migrants in a city so that they do not live only in the suburbs. Concerning education, it was highlighted the importance of creating specific courses addressed to them, of making their eventual graduations recognized and of raising funds for granting migrants scholarships. Finally, in order to increase a positive perception of the presence of migrants, it was stressed out the necessity of organizing meetings, campaigns, events, involving both sports and artistical fields, in order to raise awareness of the topic and to fight fake news. Furthermore, during the session, a sudden event upset the equilibrium: a crisis emerged in the south-east of Asia about huge migration flows of Rohingyas, a minority who live in Myanmar whose rights are not recognized. As neighboring countries don’t accept them and don’t protect their rights, Rohingyas are victims of sexual assaults and rapes, they lack of basic needs, and this emergency is said to be a genocide. Thus, delegates had to integrate solutions in order to deal with this crisis.

During the fourth session, delegates finished their draft resolutions and then concretely discussed the solutions, which involved the collaboration of many NGOs and UN bodies and which include the raising of funds, the organization of campaigns, sports and artistical competitions, in order to raise awareness of this topic. Thus, the delegates confronted each other, exchanged their opinions, asked for more precise and practical details about how financing programs and how really effective certain projects are. Especially, delegates talked about solutions in order to tackle the Rohingya crisis. Some of the most important points concerned the creation of human corridors, for example in India or in Indonesia, the use of peacekeepers in order to help Rohingyas to be transported to safer places, the collaboration with the Security Council in order to sanction those countries whose governments are not alleviating the situation and the necessity of raising awareness through civil societies, with the help of organizations such as Amnesty International. Finally, the delegates, together with the Chair, revised their draft resolutions.

During the last session, delegates presented their draft resolutions, discussed about them, expressed doubts and asked for more precise information. After writing the last amendments, it was finally the time to vote: at the end, both resolutions passed.

The closing ceremony took place in the beautiful palace of Ca’ Giustinian and saw the participation of many exponents of the municipality of Venice as well as of the United Network’s president. Finally, every committee presented their resolutions, pointing out the positive aspects, and delegates had to express their final votes. For IOM committee, the delegate of Switzerland presented the first resolution and the one of Norway talked against it, while the delegate of Peru talked in favor of the second resolution and the one of Canada highlighted its drawbacks. Last but not least, the award ceremony left everyone happy and proud of their work. Thus, the second edition of IMUN Venice unfortunately wrapped up – but we are looking forward to the third one!

Irene Martinolli