Capacity Building and Implementation of Assisted Voluntary Return Programme II

Duration of the project: May 2006 – November 2006
Finance: The project was financed by the Ministry of Interior of Slovakia and by the EU through the European Refugee Fund.

In May 2006 IOM Bratislava launched a new project called Capacity Building and Implementation of Assisted Voluntary Return Programme II. This project was built on and expanded the experience acquired during implementation of the Capacity Building and Implementation of Assisted Voluntary Return Programme I. between 2004 and 2005.

As part of the Capacity Building and Implementation of Assisted Voluntary Return Programme project IOM launched a targeted information campaign in the MoI facilities. This campaign consisted of regular information meetings with the target group and of distribution of information materials. This campaign served to enhance the provision of truthful and complex information about the Programme and prevented the spreading of disinformation which might discourage migrants from the return.

Cooperation with relevant partners working with the target group was improved through a series of trainings. These partners included workers from the Procedural Department of the  Migration Office and from the Department of Asylum of the Border and Alien Police, as well as social workers from the Migration Office. This professional training about the steps and procedures of the Programme was reflected in an increased quality of the provision of information which is essential for migrant’s decision.

During the 7 months that the project lasted 295 participants in group sessions and 49 participants in individual information meetings were informed about the Programme. During the implementation of the project 60 persons were registered in the Programme. Out of all persons registered 38 returned to their country of origin. Travel document was issued for 21 persons.

For the purpose of enhancing individual counselling about IOM voluntary returns a low-rate phone line 0850 211 262 was set up as part of the Capacity Building and Implementation of Assisted Voluntary Return Programme project. All calls to this information line were charged a price equal to price of local calls from any place within Slovakia. Throughout the duration of the project this line was used by migrants, partners cooperating on the project, as well as other people wishing to discuss questions related to the Programme or a concrete migrant case.

Voluntary returns were organized into the capital of country of origin with migrants having to travel hundred more kilometres to the place of their residence. Moreover, the returnees had to deal with problems related to securing their basic needs, taking into consideration a long-term absence of any income. IOM provided the returnees with a lump-sum financial support intended to cover basic living costs and overcome the difficult adaptation period following the return. By adopting this measure the Programme became available to a wider group of migrants.

Throughout the duration of the project IOM provided accommodation for every registered applicant whose asylum procedure was ceased while his/her return was being prepared and who was granted a tolerated stay for the purpose of carrying out the return.

A website section dedicated to assisted voluntary returns became a useful tool in spreading relevant information. The main aim of this website was to make information and process of the Programme easily accessible to all parties involved in a complex and effective way.

Success stories

Films - Stories of migrants


Voluntary Return and Reintegration in Country of Origin (Individual Project).

This project is co-funded by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Internal Security Fund.

Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegrations
International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Slovakia