Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) has been a core activity of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkey since 2009 and is integral to ensuring a comprehensive approach to migration management. The AVRR programme facilitates the 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. For many migrants who need or want to return home but lack the means to do so, the AVRR programme provides a safe and supportive pathway for them to return and rebuild their lives.

The most important component to IOM’s AVRR scheme, is that it is a voluntary, informed decision based on the free choice of the individual. This decision needs to be based on accurate information about the process, what will happen upon return and what the options are if someone would like to remain. The process is designed to both uphold the rights of the migrant and respect state sovereignty.

IOM aims to support individuals in the asylum process whose applications were rejected or withdrawn, stranded migrants and victims of trafficking or other vulnerable individuals. Assistance is available during

  • Pre-departure
  • Return and transit
  • Reception
  • Reintegration

During and after the process, the progress of individuals is monitored, which contributes to research that can inform future action.

Building Turkey’s legislation and national operations around AVRR has also become a key activity in the country. Coordinating with the Presidency of Migration Management (PMM) and other relevant parties like the police, removal centres, the Turkish coastguard and NGOs, IOM has also created guidelines for referral and assistance to embed migrant rights into Turkey’s growing institutions in migration management.