Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration 2017 Key Highlights
2017 has been as a pivotal year for the International Organization for Migration (IOM). After joining the United Nations System on 19 September 2016, the Organization has actively supported the negotiation process of the Global Compact on “Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration” (GCM), which will be adopted in September 2018. Return and reintegration, among other thematic focuses, have formed an important part of the discussions In 2017, 72,176 migrants benefited from IOM’s assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) support. Strictly looking at numbers, this represents a 27 per cent decrease as compared to 2016, mainly due to a lower volume of voluntary returns from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. That said, the number of AVRR beneficiaries in 2017 remained significantly higher than the 2005-2015 period and should therefore rather be regarded as a “back to normal” after an exceptionally high number of beneficiaries assisted in 2016. Furthermore, some key trends observed in 2016 were confirmed last year, such as the increasing number of voluntary returns from transit countries, for instance from Greece or Niger, and the increasing number of South–South voluntary returns, particularly within the Middle East and the African continent.