Understanding Voluntary Return from Austria: IOM Releases Guidelines

Guidelines on assisted voluntary return and reintegration © IOM 2023  

Within the framework of the project RESTART III – Support for the Austrian return system and the reintegration of voluntary returnees*, IOM Austria published four guidelines on assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR). Each of the guidelines (available in German only) covers a different aspect of the field: 

Guideline 1: ASSISTED VOLUNTARY RETURN AND REINTEGRATION provides a general introduction to the field with a focus on the Austrian, but also on the EU context. The first guideline is meant for all those who want to learn more about the principles, the legal framework or target group of return assistance and for those who want to get to know the basics of reintegration. 

Guideline 2: COUNSELLING IN THE FRAMEWORK OF ASSISTED VOLUNTARY RETURN AND REINTEGRATION focuses on the counselling of voluntary returnees in different settings (e.g. optional or mandatory counselling). This guideline has been designed for return counsellors, and it outlines their tasks and roles and describes models as well as communication techniques that can be helpful in difficult counselling situations.

Guideline 3: THE AVRR SYSTEM IN AUSTRIA provides an overview of the historical development and current set-up of the Austrian return system. The guideline offers orientation for all those who want to know more about the most important actors in the national return system and their spheres of responsibility, and for those who want to understand the process of assisted voluntary return from Austria.

Guideline 4: VOLUNTARY RETURN OF PERSONS IN VULNERABLE SITUATIONS elaborates on the concept of vulnerability with a special practical reference to assisted voluntary return. This guideline provides information on the circumstances that can make returnees particularly vulnerable, on how vulnerability can best be addressed in the context of assisted voluntary return or on the existing legal provisions for the protection of persons in vulnerable situations.


*This project is co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Union and the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior. 

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities