Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) quarterly bulletin 2017/I (1 January - 31 March 2017)

2017 has been, so far, a year of significant developments for international migration. Events in Europe and in neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean, but also in Central America, South-East Asia and Africa have once more demonstrated, too often in a tragic way, that human mobility is an unavoidable feature of contemporary world. These events have also shown that migration worldwide has reached such a scale and complexity, that effective solutions can only be formulated through a concerted response between all parties involved. In this context, return migration has gained increasing importance in the agenda of national and international policymakers around the world because of its impact on host countries, transit countries, countries of origin and of course migrants and their communities. In 2017, Assisted Volutary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) has received renewed political recognition as preferred option to manage irregular migration as part of a comprehensive approach to migration management.

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management aiming at an orderly and humane return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

The successful implementation of AVRR programmes requires the cooperation and participation of a broad range of actors, including the migrants, civil society and the governments in both host countries and countries of origin. The partnerships created by IOM and a diverse range of national and international stakeholders are essential to the effective implementation of AVRRs – from the pre-return to the reintegration stages.

Since the International Organization for Migration (IOM) firstly introduced it in 1979, AVRR has been at the heart of IOM’s commitments to protect migrants’ rights while taking into due account the prerogatives and concerns of governments at the different ends of the migration spectrum. IOM has proven that AVRR contributes to an effective, humane and orderly management of migration, facilitating the dialogue among all concerned stakeholders and benefiting both migrants and society at large.

The AVRR Bulletin 2017 (January - March 2017) showcases IOM’s contribution to return management in 2017. It provides an overview of the current trends at both the global and regional levels regarding voluntary return and reintegration assistance. Among the returnees were migrants in vulnerable conditions who received specific attention and were assisted with tailored support in their voluntary return and reintegration process. The information presented for the first three months of 2017 is just an estimation and is presented through the use of new graphics and maps produced by IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), which will make it easier and more appealing for the reader to learn about the work carried out by the Organization.

In light of the current global migration trends, AVRR is likely to fluctuate unpredictably in the years to come – not only in the volume of migrants in need of assistance, but also in the number of actors involved and the intricacy of challenges. This scenario calls for additional efforts in formulating return policies that hold migrant dignity and well-being as their core objectives. Further engagement will also be necessary to implement robust reintegration strategies that provide a real alternative for returning migrants and help reduce irregular migration.

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