FamA – Family Assessment of unaccompanied migrant children wishing to voluntarily return to their country of origin

Within the framework of the FamA project, implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Country Office for Austria, a family assessment can be conducted with respect to unaccompanied minors living in Austria, who wish to voluntarily return to their countries of origin. The outcome of this assessment is intended to primarily facilitate child and youth welfare organizations, entrusted with the care of unaccompanied migrant children, in their decision-making process with respect to the voluntary return of minors under their care.

The voluntary return of unaccompanied minors can only be arranged by IOM by taking into account internal IOM rules, which are based on international standards governing the treatment of unaccompanied minors, such as, inter alia, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. One of the requirements set out by IOM includes a “best interest determination” by the legal guardian in Austria, which should ideally factor in the minor’s family situation in the country of return. Such an open-ended assessment of the minor’s family situation can be conducted within the framework of the FamA project.


• Consent of the legal guardian in Austria
• Consent of the minor
• Consent of the minor’s family in the country of return


The assessment is carried out by an IOM office in the respective country of origin, ideally by paying a personal visit to the minor’s family. Should this however not be possible, the family is contacted by phone and invited to the IOM office. A standardized template is used to obtain information on, inter alia, the minor’s family, their socio-economic situation and housing conditions, as well as access to school/ education and medical care in the region of return.

The results of the assessment are subsequently presented to the relevant child and youth welfare organization, whilst having due regard to IOM’s data protection guidelines.


The project will run from September 1, 2015 to December 31, 2021 and envisages the implementation of up to 20 assessments.


For further information, please contact:

Edith Vasilyev

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Nibelungengasse 13/4
1010 Vienna

Tel: 0043/1 585 33 22 35
Email: avrr.vienna@iom.int

This project is financed by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior.