Addressing and reducing vulnerabilities in migration is one of the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration adopted by Belarus. IOM’s approach to migrant vulnerability is based on the principle that the human rights of all persons, including migrants, should be upheld and promoted and that migrants who are vulnerable, regardless of their category or status, should be afforded the protection and assistance they require.

AVRR for Foreign Nationals Returning Home

The IOM assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programme provides a dignified return and fosters the sustainable reintegration of vulnerable migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin. AVRR activities are implemented by IOM Belarus in close cooperation with UNHCR, state migration authorities and NGO partners. 

In 2019, the national AVRR mechanism was set up through signing of a trilateral Protocol on intent of cooperation in the AVRR area between the Ministry of Interior, State Border Committee and IOM. Within its current projects, IOM pays sufficient attention to informing the government authorities on the option of AVRR. As one of the priority areas, IOM emphasizes building capacities of the Belarusian law enforcement and immigration agencies to develop tools and knowledge required to build and operate a sustainable voluntary return assistance system based on the respect for human rights of all migrants regardless their legal status. 

One of the IOM strategic foci is informing migrants of an AVRR option through diverse communication channels. In this regard, an animated video featuring the AVRR programme has been produced and widely disseminated through a partner network. As observed over the COVID-19 pandemic, reliable, timely and accessible information on assistance options, including pre-departure assistance within the AVRR programme, remains key in managing dignified and well-coordinated voluntary returns.

AVRR for Belarus Nationals Returning to Belarus

Within another component of the assisted voluntarily return and reintegration programme, IOM Belarus in close cooperation with other IOM missions delivers reintegration assistance to Belarus nationals returning to Belarus.

The reintegration assistance is aimed at facilitating returns and the socio-economic reintegration of AVRR beneficiaries in Belarus. 

Reintegration schemes give consideration to individual post-return needs of returnees, their local socio-economic environment, financial situation, family status, security issues and options with consultations and approval of sending missions. 

As a rule of thumb, reintegration support within the AVRR to Belarus programme, ranges from basic needs assistance to facilitating income-generating activities and vocational training schemes for the returnees. 

IOM Belarus undertakes efforts to take advantage of the best possibilities of sustainable reintegration of Belarus nationals at all stages of the reintegration process and is committed to their socio-economic reinsertion in Belarus in the long run.