Livelihoods, Protection, Social Cohesion, and Consular Services: IOM and Japan to Enhance Human Security in Areas of Return

KyivThis week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mission in Ukraine, has launched a new project focusing on implementing human security* solutions in those regions of Ukraine that are facing significant returns of people, as the result of more than a year of full-scale war. The 9-months project, funded by the Government and People of Japan, covers Kyiv City and six communities in Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Poltava regions.

Human security is a broad framework that guides the activities envisioned in this project and encompasses seven inter-connected components: economic, political, food, health, personal, community, and environmental security. In this project, IOM adopts a multi-sectoral approach to cover as many aspects of human security as possible. This will also allow IOM to work across a broad range of stakeholders, including the Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Employment Services, the State Social Services, at the central, regional, and local level.

To ensure a solid evidence-base for the project implementation, IOM will conduct comprehensive research on the impact of the war on human security as well as a labour market assessment to determine the conditions of markets at the local level. Based on this assessment, people among returnees, displaced and those who have remained in targeted communities will benefit from a range of livelihood opportunities, including vocational and requalification trainings, while business grants for local micro and small enterprises will promote job security and contribute to creating new job opportunities for the most vulnerable people. In order to capitalize on these activities, IOM will organize a business fair for professionals to build new or solidify existing partnerships.

Livelihoods, Protection, Social Cohesion, and Consular Services: IOM and Japan to Enhance Human Security in Areas of Return

With the biggest economic downturn in the history of independent Ukraine, many people have lost their sources of income and heavily rely on support from the state and humanitarian actors. This situation increases people’s vulnerability to risks of human trafficking. According to IOM data, every second Ukrainian (59%) risks being exploited or is willing to accept at least one type of risky job offer. Within the project, local non-governmental organizations supported by IOM will provide more information to people in targeted communities on protection mechanisms that reduce the risk of human trafficking, exploitation, and abuse. Those affected or at high risk of human rights abuses and violations will receive tailored support, which can include legal, health and psychosocial services, basic relief items, and more.

At the community level, IOM will work with groups of active community members and facilitate dialogue with local authorities in order to jointly identify priority needs for the community and provide tools and resources for communities to lead their activities. In addition, displaced people, returnees and local communities will be engaged in mental health and psychosocial support interventions, community cohesion sessions, and social activities with objective to prevent possible tensions in communities.

“This project reinforces the human security approach by bringing all sectors together in the same places at the same time. Our aim is to ensure that people have a greater opportunity to enjoy all their rights and more fully develop their human potential. Eventually, the project will contribute to Ukraine free from fear, want, and indignity,” said IOM Ukraine Deputy Chief of Mission Stephen Rogers, opening the kick-off session in Kyiv.

The project will be implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that will be supported in modernizing its information systems in order to improve consular services provided to war-affected people, including those seeking safety abroad.

Livelihoods, Protection, Social Cohesion, and Consular Services: IOM and Japan to Enhance Human Security in Areas of Return

IOM estimates that as of 23 January 2023, the number of people who have returned to their habitual places of residence in Ukraine (5.6 million) has surpassed the number of internally displaced people (5.4 million), with approximately 1.4 million people having returned to Kyiv alone. Overall, 75 per cent of the returnee respondents reported that many people in their area were unable to earn money as a result of the war, and 34 per cent reported having monthly income per one household member equal to or below UAH 2,600.

*Human security approach has been introduced by the UN General Assembly resolution 66/290 to identify and address widespread and cross-cutting challenges to the survival, livelihood and dignity of people. The Government of Japan took the lead to establish the UN Trust Fund for Human Security and since then has been mainstreaming human security approach in crisis response throughout the world.

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko,, +38 067 447 97 92.

Active community members, youth and community initiative groups in Kyiv City and Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Poltava regions are encouraged to participate in the project and contact IOM Ukraine via mail by 26 March 2023.  

SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
SDG 5 - Gender Equality
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions