Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management aiming at orderly and humane return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.
As a core activity of IOM, AVRR activities provide vital assistance to thousands of migrants every year. Building on experience and a world-wide network of offices and partners, IOM’s AVRR programmes strive to ensure that migrants in need are assisted to return voluntarily, safely and in dignity, and are supported in achieving sustainable reintegration, in full respect for human rights, regardless of their status.
IOM’s AVRR-related activities are guided by the Framework for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration. The Framework outlines seven principles and six concrete objectives applied throughout the voluntary return and reintegration process. These principles and objectives underpin IOM’s commitment to facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration and to contribute to migrants’ socioeconomic well-being, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Compact for Migration and the Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF).
IOM’s Approach to Return and Reintegration
Recent years have seen the rise of larger scale irregular migratory flows as a result of continually limited regular migration channels and unaddressed drivers of irregular migration. While some migrants return to welcoming contexts and reintegrate in a smooth manner, many face challenges they cannot overcome on their own, and need support in their reintegration. At the same time, communities, regions and countries to which migrants return may – sometimes also as a result of a great number of simultaneous returns – not have the capacities to provide an environment conducive to successful reintegration due to a lack of local infrastructure and resources.
The notions of return and reintegration are intimately interlinked with that of sustainability. IOM asserts that: “reintegration can be considered sustainable when returnees have reached levels of economic self-sufficiency, social stability within their communities, and psychosocial well-being that allow them to cope with (re)migration drivers. Having achieved sustainable reintegration, returnees are able to make further migration decisions a matter of choice, rather than necessity”. To achieve this objective, it is necessary to approach migrant reintegration in a comprehensive manner, considering the factors that can affect reintegration and addressing them in a way to respond to the needs of the individual returnees as well as the communities to which they return in a mutually beneficial way, and address the structural factors at play.
Key to achieving this objective is monitoring and evaluation for evidence-based policy and action, as well as complementarity and collaboration between different government departments, international organizations, civil society organizations and private sector actors at international, national and subnational levels.