The Voluntary Return and Reintegration Support Program are guided by the IOM Framework for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration
The Framework sets out seven principles and six concrete objectives applied throughout the process of voluntary return and reintegration. These principles and objectives underpin IOM’s commitment to facilitating an orderly, safe and responsible migration and contributing to the socio-economic wellbeing of migrants, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Migration Compact and the Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF)
The principles and objectives of the IOM Framework for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Support Program:
1. Voluntariness of return
In the context of AVRR, voluntariness is assumed to exist if two conditions apply: (a) freedom of choice, which is defined as the absence of physical or psychological pressure to enroll in an AVRR program; and (b) an informed decision, which requires the availability of timely, unbiased and reliable information upon which to base the decision. In some cases, an assessment may be needed by qualified professionals to determine the extent to which a person is capable to take such a free and informed decision, and who,
should the person lack such a capacity, could legally take the decision on his/her behalf.
2. Migrant-centred response
AVRR puts the rights and needs of the migrants at the forefront. Individual assessments should be undertaken to provide tailored support to each migrant throughout the return and reintegration process in a gender- and age-sensitive manner. This is particularly important for migrants in vulnerable situations, who may require a thorough assessment of their situations and targeted assistance that meets their specific needs.
AVRR programs need to take into account safety considerations, such as the general level of security, and operational challenges that may affect the provision of return and reintegration assistance. Returns to certain regions or countries may need to be limited or suspended if one or a combination of these factors amounts to a situation that poses a threat to the safety of returning migrants and/or staff involved in the provision of AVRR assistance.
4. Sustainability of reintegration
The sustainability of migrant reintegration is at the core of the AVRR approach. Reintegration can be considered sustainable when returnees have reached levels of economic self-sufficiency, social stability within their communities and psychosocial well-being, which 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 a necessity.
Migrant privacy needs to be respected by putting in place strict safeguards for handling the personal data of AVRR beneficiaries, taking all reasonable and necessary precautions to preserve the confidentiality of personal data and the anonymity of individuals. All personal data must be collected, used, transferred and stored securely in accordance with international data protection standards.
(IOM Data Protection Manual
6. Dialogue and partnerships
Institutional dialogue fosters constructive and balanced exchanges between stakeholders involved at different stages of the AVRR process. It promotes a common understanding of challenges related to return and reintegration while informing and influencing policy development. Cooperation between a variety of actors – government and non-governmental – at the international, regional, national and subnational levels is required to enhance the range and quality of return assistance available to migrants, avoid duplication of efforts and foster the sustainability of reintegration processes.
7. Evidence-based programming
Systematic and continuous data collection, monitoring and evaluation must be established throughout the entire AVRR process to understand the impact of AVRR interventions and inform ongoing and future program design. Feedback mechanisms should also be in place to allow migrants to express their views on the assistance received in an open and confidential manner.
1. Migrants can make an informed decision and take ownership of the voluntary return process
2. Migrants reach their countries in a safe and dignified manner.
3. Returnees are able to overcome their individual challenges impacting their reintegration
4. Communities have the capacity to provide an enabling environment to reintegration
5. Adequate policies and public services are in place to address the specific needs of returnees and communities alike
6. Migrants vulnerabilities are addressed throughout the voluntary return and reintegration process
To learn more about IOM’s Framework for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, visit: