Assisted Voluntary Return

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management aiming at 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.


For migrants who need to return home but lack the means to do so, IOM’s AVRR programmes are often the only solution to their immediate plight. Beneficiaries of IOM’s assistance include:

  • individuals whose application for asylum was rejected or withdrawn
  • stranded migrants
  • victims of trafficking, and
  • other vulnerable groups, including unaccompanied migrant children, or those with health-related needs.

IOM’s Approach  

IOM is mandated by its Constitution to ensure orderly migration, inter alia, through voluntary return and reintegration assistance. In particular, IOM emphasizes that voluntariness remains a precondition for all its AVRR activities.

In line with its mandate, IOM’s key policy considerations when developing and implementing AVRR projects encompass: 

  • safeguarding dignity and rights of migrants in operating returns, while seeking adherence to applicable international principles and standards
  • preserving the integrity of regular migration structures and asylum procedures
  • enhancing dialogue and cooperation between origin, transit and host countries involved in the return process and reinforcing the responsibility of countries of origin towards their returning nationals
  • addressing, to the extent possible, the root causes of irregular migration
  • advocating for the adoption of comprehensive approaches towards voluntary return, including post-return reintegration assistance; and
  • working with national and international partners in both host country and country of origin, to promote international dialogue and implement capacity-building for AVRR initiatives.