Who We Are
WHO WE AREThe International Organization for Migration (IOM) is part of the United Nations System as the leading inter-governmental organization promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all since 1951, with 175 member states and a presence in over 100 countries. IOM has had a presence in Austria since 1952.
Our WorkAs the leading inter-governmental organization promoting humane and orderly migration, IOM plays a key role to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through different areas of intervention that connect both humanitarian assistance and sustainable development. Across Austria, IOM analyses national migration issues and emerging trends to develop and implement projects and programmes.
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Assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programmes are a core activity of IOM and provide vital assistance worldwide to thousands of migrants every year who seek, or need, to return home but lack the means to do so. Building on many years of experience and a global network of offices and partners, IOM’s AVRR activities range from the preparation of the return journey to the provision of reintegration assistance in the countries of origin. The programmes promote international dialogue and cooperation between host countries and countries of origin.
In Austria, IOM offers logistical return assistance as well as a number of target-group specific reintegration projects.
The successful implementation of AVRR programmes requires the collaboration and participation of a broad range of actors, including migrants, civil society and the governments in both host countries and countries of origin. IOM advocates for the adoption of comprehensive approaches towards voluntary return, including post-return reintegration assistance and monitoring. Safeguarding the dignity and rights of migrants is an important principle in this context. Furthermore, the needs of vulnerable migrants, such as trafficked persons, unaccompanied minors or persons with medical conditions need to be taken into account.
In the framework of projects and programmes, returnees can be supported with activities in destination countries, during transit, and in countries of origin. This can include pre-departure counselling, the organization of the return journey, reception in the country of origin, temporary accommodation after return and reintegration measures, which promote the social and economic independence of the returnees and contribute to the development of their local communities.
The actual availability of services depends on the funding of relevant projects and their project design as well as the structures in place in the countries of return. For information on which services are available, learn more through the ongoing RESTART III project.
The video “A return with dignity, an opportunity back home” provides an easy to understand insight into the process of AVRR:
Migrants who are unable or unwilling to stay in Austria but lack the means to return to their countries of origin can be assisted in their voluntary return.
In the framework of the “General Humanitarian Return Programme”, IOM Austria offers logistical assistance for the voluntary return of migrants in cooperation with non-governmental organizations and public authorities.
In addition, IOM Austria implements a number of projects offering reintegration measures in the returnees’ countries of origin. Assistance has been provided in Afghanistan, Georgia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Republic of Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Russian Federation/the Chechen Republic, Somalia, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Kosovo* as well as to trafficked persons and unaccompanied minors. Upon request, IOM Austria also provides country of origin information in order to assist migrants in making an informed decision on whether to return.
More information on voluntary return can be provided by legal and return counselling in Austria.
Detailed information on ongoing projects is available further below.
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Unit
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Country Office for Austria
1010 Vienna, Austria
Tel: 0043/ 1 585 33 22 35
*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).