Assistance for the Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Returnees to the Russian Federation / the Chechen Republic

Duration: 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2015

The project “Assistance for the Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Returnees to the Russian Federation / the Chechen Republic” was part of a three-step initiative which was co-financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and the European Return Fund. In 2008 a Study on the Situation and Status of Russian Nationals from the Chechen Republic Receiving Basic Welfare Support in Austria was undertaken. In 2009 structures for the reintegration of voluntary returnees were developed in the Russian Federation / the Chechen Republic and a pilot project for the support of the voluntary return and reintegration of the target group was implemented. Concurrently, an International Working Group was founded in 2009, consisting of representatives of UNHCR, return counselling organizations, IOM (Vienna and Moscow), and partners in the Chechen Republic (Chechen Chamber of Commerce and Industries, NGO Vesta). For more information, please see Completed Projects.

From 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2015, IOM implemented the project “Assistance for the Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Returnees to the Russian Federation / the Chechen Republic”, which was co-financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and the European Return Fund. Within the framework of this project, Russian citizens from the Chechen Republic wishing to return home were assisted not only in their return, but also in their reintegration within the home region.

After their return, project participants received support from the local partner organization (NGO Vesta) that provided social, legal and economic counseling along with individual reintegration measures (e.g. continuing education, business start-up, purchasing of tools or materials, etc). These reintegration measures were supported in the form of in-kind assistance of a maximum value of EUR 2,000 (only one person per household was allowed to participate). For business start-ups that required registration, an additional grant of a maximum value of EUR 1,000 (in kind) was granted. Furthermore, all returnees received a cash grant of EUR 500 to cover their living costs during the first months following their return.

Reintegration measures could be used for the following measures, among others:

  • Vocational training, e.g. computer or language courses, accounting, appliance repair, cell phone repair, mechanic, woodworker, hair stylist, manicure, sewing, etc.
  • Purchase of equipment/materials necessary for the returnee’s area of work
  • Support for small business start-ups (e.g. in agriculture, dairy industry, crop farming, livestock farming, welder, seamstress/tailor, carpenter, small shops, beauty salons, garages, internet cafes, etc). The support in the form of non-cash contributions wasmostly used for purchasing equipment/materials necessary for beginning work and for business planning and management trainings, if necessary.
  • Child care and medical assistance were provided to returnees with special needs

The target groups of the project were asylum seekers, recognized refugees, individuals with subsidiary protection as well as individuals who were not or no longer permitted to legally reside in Austria, who wished to return to the Russian Federation / the Chechen Republic.

For further information, please contact avrr.vienna@iom.int">mailto:avrr.vienna@iom.int">avrr.vienna@iom.int.

 

This project was co-financed by the European Return Fund and the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.