Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Minors and Young Adults from Moldova with emphasis on the Prevention of (Re-)Trafficking

Duration: 15 June 2012 to 31 December 2013

From 15.06.2012 to 31.12.2013, IOM implemented the project "Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Minors and Young Adults from Moldova with emphasis on the Prevention of (Re-)Trafficking", which was co-financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and the European Return Fund. With due regard to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the project provided tailored rehabilitation and reintegration assistance to minor and young adult trafficked persons and vulnerable individuals who returned to the Republic of Moldova from Austria. These assistance measures aimed to lower the risk of these individuals being (re-)trafficked.

The project took two approaches to ensuring that minor and young adult trafficked and/or vulnerable persons were assisted and protected following their voluntary return to the Republic of Moldova: (1) Strengthening national and transnational networking and cooperation between Austrian and Moldovan administrative authorities, executive bodies and service providers; and (2) Implementing a pilot project for the assisted voluntary return, rehabilitation and reintegration of minor and young adult Moldovans up to 25 years of age in the Republic of Moldova.

The following activities were implemented through the project:


  • Creation of a Steering Committee comprised of Austrian and Moldovan stakeholders
  • Two study visits to the Republic of Moldova and two study visits to Austria
  • Cooperation with Moldovan service providers that assist minors, trafficked persons and vulnerable individuals
  • Round tables for Moldovan NGOs and service providers that assist children, trafficked persons and/or vulnerable persons
  • Creation of a compendium and comparison of Moldovan and Austrian actors and mechanisms in the areas of AVRR and counter-trafficking. Available here.


  • Family tracing in the Republic of Moldova prior to the return (for project beneficiaries under 18)
  • Organizaton of travel, including flight booking
  • Assistance at the Vienna airport before departure
  • Reception assistance at the Chisinau airport


  • Temporary accommodation after the return
  • Psychological and legal counselling
  • Medical and psychosocial support
  • Support for education and vocational trainings
  • In-kind support for income-generating activities, such as purchasing equipment (for project beneficiaries of the appropriate physical and psychological constitution)
    • Level of in-kind support for business start- ups: up to €2,500 per project beneficiary
    • Additional support was possible

Monitoring activities following beneficiaries' voluntary return was carried out by IOM Chisinau staff. In addition, a monitoring visit by IOM Vienna to the Republic of Moldova took place in June 2013.

IOM coordinated all activities with return counsellors and was always available for individual, case-specific questions. An International Workshop for Return Counsellors was held in fall 2012 in order to allow return counsellors to exchange information and experiences with colleagues in the countries of return who provided reintegration assistance to project beneficiaries who have voluntarily returned from Austria. IOM staff from the Republic of Moldova and other countries of return attended the workshop to present their work, provide insight on the situation of project beneficiaries and to answer questions.

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