Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management. Within the framework of assisted return programmes migrants are provided with administrative, logistical, and financial support. On top of this, some migrants receive in-kind reintegration assistance post-arrival.
Services provided by IOM Georgia include pre-departure information provision, virtual counseling, reception/organization of onward transportation all over Georgia (including ambulance on the tarmac, referrals to medical and social programmes (comprehensive mapping of available services country-wide), temporary accommodation, enhancement of living conditions, medical assistance, vocational training, job placement, income-generating activities.
This assistance for Georgian nationals is provided by IOM counselors at five Migrant Resource Centers throughout Georgia.
Since 2003, 18,163 Georgian nationals have returned to Georgia with IOM’s support from 32 countries, most EU Member States and Switzerland. The biggest sending countries nowadays are Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Among them, 5100 cases (including 6546 persons) received one or more types of post-arrival assistance.
- Please refer to the chart below:
The most popular reintegration activity is income generating projects, where returnees initiate small businesses to provide subsistence for themselves and their families. The type of activity largely depends on the area of residence (urban v/s rural) and of course the experience and capacity of each individual returnee.
- Job Placement
Job placement support, as an additional component for the returnees from Belgium, has been implemented since 2016 in IOM Georgia along with the Belgian Voluntary Return Programme, funded by the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Fedasil).
This component envisages training needs assessment of the interested returnees, selection of a vocational training course related to their experience/interest and capacity, and then subsequent assistance in job placement. All this is done in close coordination with training providers and employers throughout Georgia.
As the main part of the returnees are young people with some new work experience and skills gained abroad, they need assistance to enhance their foreign language or professional skills or acquire any other new skills through training, that can help them to get a job easier in Georgia. After return, they often face challenges with finding employment or relevant vocational training, which increases their vulnerability. Accordingly, to enhance long-term reintegration opportunities for these migrants, IOM Georgia provides referrals to relevant vocational training, job search, job matching, and job placement primarily in the private but also in the public sector.
In the framework of this component IOM Georgia:
- Strengthens partnership with training providers and employers countrywide (mapping and updating the list);
- Increases awareness of returned migrants on the benefits of vocational training and promotes job placement;
- Provides training in career development.
In 2017-2021 - 88 returnees have received job counseling and referral, 42 persons took vocational training and 33 started work.
Based on existing contacts and experience IOM Georgia provides job counseling assistance to returnees from other countries as well.
- Return of Migrants with Health Needs
In April 2021 IOM started a pilot project: Enhancing Support to migrants with health needs returning from France to Georgia. In the framework of this project, it is planned to assist up to 100 Georgian migrants with health needs to return to Georgia and continue their treatment unimpeded. Since the beginning of the project, four persons with medical needs have already returned and 10 more are in the pipeline. Project activities involve information campaign in France, coordination with treating physicians in France, finding out treatment possibilities, facilities, and costs in Georgia, planning travel taking into account special medical needs of returnees, post-arrival treatment within six months of return.
Virtual Counselling (VC) component of AVRRs became more relevant and more frequently used by Georgian nationals living in Germany. Migrants were provided virtual counselling on restrictions and preventive measures in Germany and in Georgia.
Through Community Response Map (CRM) Platform IOM Georgia recorded counselling sessions, which enabled to track and monitor counselling sessions and outreach events. Thematic areas of VC: Health, Employment, Housing, Social welfare, Education, reintegration support, travel documents, post-arrival procedures etc.
Target group (profile of clients): Big majority were those with asylum claim rejected, the rest were those with irregular status, unregistered or their asylum claim still in process.
For 2021 IOM aims to extend the coverage of VC and engage more migrants. More targeted information campaign is planned to reach out to migrant communities. IOM Ireland and IOM the Netherlands were also interested in this idea and VC structure was set up with Irish and Dutch colleagues for the provision of individual and group on-line consultation sessions to Georgian nationals residing in respective countries.
On top of these, IOM Georgia provides case-by-case VC to all Georgian nationals in need of pre-departure information provision in their mother tongue (irrespective of the host country), as well as vulnerable cases for better planning the necessary follow-up immediately upon return.