Development of a Comprehensive System of Information Dissemination on Programme of Assisted Voluntary Returns and Its Implementation with a Focus on Needs of Migrants

Duration of the project: January 2008 – December 2008
Finance: The project was financed by the Ministry of Interior of Slovakia and by the EU through the European Refugee Fund.

In the framework of the Development of a Comprehensive System of Information Dissemination on Programme of Assisted Voluntary Returns and Its Implementation with a Focus on Needs of Migrants project a well-established system of preparation and realization of assisted voluntary returns was put in place, including provision of information to all potential applicants.

The necessary prerequisite for accepting an individual’s decision about voluntary return is the complexity of available information during his/her stay in the host country. In regard to the experience acquired during previous two projects dealing with assisted returns IOM was able to identify areas in which existing standards needed to be improved and based on this prepared a programme of complex return assistance. The mechanism of return counselling was strengthened through an effective use of available and tested communication channels. The central of these are regular personal meetings with the target group which are organized by IOM field workers in asylum and stay facilities of the Migration Office of the MoI. One of the tools of the field information campaign which are directly connected to these meetings and individual counselling are printed information materials. During the projects implemented between 2004 and 2006 IOM prepared information materials and registration forms in 11 language versions. With the aim of making the information available to a higher number of people IOM updated the set of registration forms with two new languages – Georgian and Armenian. This was done under the Development of a Comprehensive System of Information Dissemination on Program of Assisted Voluntary Returns and Its Implementation with a Focus on Needs of Migrants project.

Apart from field workers, non-governmental organisations providing legal counselling or other forms of assistance to the target group have an important role in the process of migrant counselling. It is vital for all the actors in this process to coordinate amongs themselves. For this purpose IOM organized several information exchange platforms attended by representatives of non-governmental organizations The Human Rights League, Slovak Humanitarian Council and the Goodwill Society. These meetings served to enhance information sharing about implemented activities, as well as about joint activites organized for benefit of the target group.

Within the framework of the Development of a Comprehensive System of Information Dissemination on Programme of Assisted Voluntary Returns and Its Implementation with a Focus on Needs of Migrants project IOM created and established complex access to potential applicants for assisted voluntary returns. This access included the provision of counselling, issuance of necessary visa and emergency travel documents, accommodation, essential medical care, airport assistance and financial support to cover expenses incurred after return to country of origin. Provision of basic medical care and expenses related to this constituted an important part of the assistance provided to the migrant registered in the Programme. This covered travel expenses related to doctor’s appointments, medical aids or medication for migrants without which their return to country of origin would be precluded.

One of the most vulnerable category of migrants are unaccompanied minors. Unaccompanied minors are children under the age of 18 residing outside of their home country, who are separated from both parents and who are not under the care of an adult responsible for them by law or by custom. Within the framework of the Development of a Comprehensive System of Information Dissemination on Programme of Assisted Voluntary Returns and Its Implementation with a Focus on Needs of Migrants project IOM organized return of a minor to country of destination where in cooperation with mission in the respective country it handed over the minor to parents or other competent organ.

Success stories

Films - Stories of migrants

Photogallery

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