Development and Implementation of a Pilot Project for the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Chechens

Duration: 01.07.2009 to 30.06.2010  

The project foresaw the development and subsequent implementation of a pilot project for assisted voluntary return and reintegration for (failed) Chechen asylum seekers, recognized refugees, individuals with subsidiary protection, and individuals not or no longer permitted to legally reside in Austria. Based on the results of the "Study on the Situation and Status of Russian Nationals from the Chechen Republic Receiving Basic Welfare Support in Austria", which was carried out in 2008/09 by IOM Vienna and IOM Moscow, functioning structures and networks for a return and reintegration program were to be established in Austria and in the Russian Federation.

The following activities were carried out:

a) Development and/or support of well-functioning structures for

  • the counseling of potential returnees in Austria
  • the support of the reintegration of returnees in the Chechen Republic

including a detailed action plan for a pilot project for the support of return and reintegration, based on the results of the profile study, national experiences and international best practices;

b) The efficient organization and smooth implementation of the return from Austria and subsequent support of reintegration in the Chechen Republic within the framework of the pilot project for twelve selected Chechens.

In Austria, a network of organizations and administrative authorities was established within the framework of an International Working Group in order to ensure and intensify the provision of information and counseling of potential participants from the Chechen Republic.

In Moscow and the Chechen Republic, a network of institutions, administrative authorities, organizations and service providers (e.g. unemployment services, course organizers, etc.) was established with the help of local partners and potential reintegration measures were identified.

Following the development phase, twelve Chechens were assisted to voluntarily return home and reintegrate into the Chechen Republic within the framework of a pilot project. The participants attained the necessary basis for successful and sustainable reintegration into their home society and economy through comprehensive counseling. Beyond financial support for living costs during the first three months following their return, participants received information and counseling on possible reintegration measures (such as information about language and IT courses, job search, etc), business consulting and financial support for selected activities.


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