Case Studies and Success Stories

International Organization for Migration

International Organization for Migration

The Challenge

The German government provided compensation and a formal apology to more than 125,000 Holocaust survivors of forced and other Nazi victims such as forced slave labor during the 1930s and 1940s. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), based out of Geneva, Switzerland called us due to our extensive experience handling claim forms based on our work with the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC).  IOM was created to help refugees and displaced persons in Europe after World War II.  They needed to act quickly to gather and process claims from candidates throughout the world as many of them were elderly.  The following official IOM statement tells of the impact of the program.

With claimants throughout 40 countries, the logistical challenge required adherence to strict privacy laws and time lines imposed under the German agreement.  The tight deadlines to allow claims to be filed and paid also added to the sense of urgency.  Claims were in multiple languages including Serbian, Macedonian and Greek.  Claim attachments of original documents consisting of letters, passports, photos were in very poor quality but the accurate scanning and data capture was vital to the validation of the claim so Holocaust survivors and their families could receive just recognition and compensation.

Our Solution

Over 40 countries in multiple languages, ILM helped to design the electronic and paper claim forms that ensured legibility, accuracy and ease of capture.  Taking advantage of our outsourced digital mailroom services to receive incoming mail, documents and packages, a stringent docketing system was used to track a claim throughout the claim life-cycle. Over 2 million pages were scanned to produce high quality TIFF and PDF images with special care taken to link related claims and attachments.   Using multiple data capture and extraction techniques such as OCR, barcode, and doubled keyed data entry to get the claimant details from the claim forms.

The Results

More than 125,000 claimants applied over an eight-month period. All data and over 2 million sensitive pages were captured and returned to the organization within 18 months. The client has paid over US$1.25 billion.

“We were surprised by the tremendous impact these programmes had on the victims and their heirs,” reports Norbert Wühler, the Director of IOM’s Claims Programmes. “We continue to receive hundreds of letters, e-mails and telephone calls from survivors and beneficiaries who express their gratitude and who in particular appreciate the fact that their suffering was finally recognized.”

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