The Directorate of Immigration and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) introduced today an Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme. An 18-month pilot project agreement came into force on 1 August 2016.
The IOM runs similar projects around Europe, i.e. in Denmark, Finland and Norway, in cooperation with national governments. The main aim of the AVRR program is to make it possible for protection seekers to return voluntarily to their country of origin in a safe and humane manner without the involvement of the police or authorities. The program aims at protection seekers who have either withdrawn their application for protection or been denied protection in Iceland. It includes i.e. counselling, travel arrangements and travel escorts, if required.
Ever since its foundation in 1951 the IOM has worked closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners on promoting humane and orderly migration. Since 1979 the IOM has assisted more than 1,4 million migrants to voluntarily return to their home countries.
Never before have so many people sought protection in Iceland like last August. Already we have received more applications for protection this year than in the whole of last year, which makes 2016 a record year with regard to asylum applications. Accordingly, the need for offering professional assistance to those who wish to return to their home countries, in a safe and humane manner and without the involvement of the police, has increased. The Directorate of Immigration therefore welcomes the new phase that the IOM agreement marks.
Representatives of IOM Helsinki are in Iceland to meet with the Ministry of the Interior and Directorate of Immigration in Reykjavík and also to introduce the agreement and the work of the IOM to stakeholders.
Agreement between The Icelandic Directorate of Immigration and The International Organization for Migration on Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Support to Asylum Seekers in Iceland.