From 2018 until now, with the help of the Assisted Voluntary Return (AVRR) program from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1,088 people have returned to their countries of origin, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirmed to the FENA news agency.
As mentioned, the interest in the program and the benefits it offers is growing, but the realization of returns due to the limitations caused by the coronavirus pandemic has greatly limited the opportunities for voluntary return to certain countries whose borders are still closed. .
All beneficiaries returning to their countries of origin receive financial assistance, and those from particularly vulnerable and marginalized groups, according to basic needs, also receive additional reintegration support for starting a small business, education, treatment and / or housing.
The IOM says the largest number of voluntary returns took place in Iraq, Pakistan, Morocco, Iran, Algeria, Afghanistan and Tunisia.
People who decide to return to their country of origin have different motives and reasons for such a decision, and the AVRR program is there to ensure the opportunity for voluntary return to take place in a safe and dignified manner.
“Despite the benefits that the AVRR program offers to its beneficiaries, the possibility of returning to their country of origin is the last option for a certain number of migrants on the path to a better life,” they say from IOM.
They also note that families with children very rarely decide to return voluntarily, as they have invested heavily in their travel to European Union countries and want to continue at all costs.
The circumstances of the pandemic further complicate the process of making voluntary returns, because some of the countries, such as Morocco and Algeria, have been closed for some time and a large number of migrants registered for voluntary return are from these countries.
Also, warmer weather in summer is usually a time of more intense migratory movements and numerous attempts to cross the border irregularly in the hope of reaching the final destination in the European Union, and, consequently, interest in AVRR decreases.
IOM announces that in the coming period it will work more intensively on informing migrants about all the opportunities offered by the program and will try to obtain information about AVRR for any person from the migrant population who wishes to return home voluntarily.
They add that communication with countries of origin and diplomatic and consular missions will be strengthened in order to provide migrants with as specific information as possible about the re-issuance of travel documents and the situation in countries of origin.