Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR)

Policy makers have been increasingly recognizing that the governance of return migration is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management. This can only be achieved through complementary efforts and coordination amongst State and non-state actors at both national and international levels.

At the same time, IOM advocates for including assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programmes in national return policies to take into account the rights of the migrants interests and those of countries of destination, transit and origin.

IOM has been working to counter trafficking in persons since 1994. Since then, we have assisted over 90,000 trafficked persons globally. In the region, we provided assistance to 768 victims of trafficking in 2016, almost the double of the cases assisted in 2015.

IOM has been working to counter trafficking in persons since 1994. Since then, we have assisted over 90,000 trafficked persons globally. In the region, we provided assistance to 768 victims of trafficking in 2016, almost the double of the cases assisted in 2015. IOM AVRR programmes derive from a multidisciplinary approach agreed with governments of host and origin countries. They serve multiple beneficiaries depending on status, country of return, profile of migrants, national practices and laws. IOM AVRR programmes derive from a multidisciplinary approach agreed with governments of host and origin countries. They serve multiple beneficiaries depending on status, country of return, profile of migrants, national practices and laws.

IOM AVRR programmes provide a dignified return and foster the sustainable reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin. Together with a vast network of partners comprising governmental authorities and non-governmental partners both in the region and in the countries of origin, we assist migrants to make informed decisions on their return and to facilitate their reintegration in their countries of origin. 

The European Economic Area represents the birth place for IOM’s AVRR programmes and to date, IOM – in partnership with the national governments - implements assisted voluntary return and reintegration programmes in the vast majority of EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. Until today, the region continues to be the primary host region for migrants engaging in IOM assisted voluntary return and reintegration programmes, representing approximately 75 per cent of IOM’s implemented AVRR operations in 2017.

The region reveals high diversity in patterns of voluntary return by nationality. Trends are constantly evolving and overall comparison of AVRR caseload per country is uneven. In 2017, 3.6 per cent of the almost 51,000 migrants assisted where in need of medical assistance, victims of trafficking or migrant children (up from 1.7 per cent in 2016).

The Different Stages of an AVRR Programme