The assisted voluntary returns to the country of origin have been one of the key activities of IOM in Slovakia since 1999. The legal framework of the programme is based on the Cooperation Agreement between the International Organization for Migration and the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic on Assistance with the Return of Unsuccessful Asylum Applicants and Illegal Migrants to the Country of Origin, which was concluded in in 1998.

The right of a person to return to the country of origin is enshrined in a number of human rights documents. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”. The Slovak Republic in line with its international commitments respects the right of any person to return back to the country of origin. According to the Act no. 404/2011 Coll. on the residence foreigners can apply for a voluntary return from the Slovak Republic back to the country of their origin on any grounds.

The AVRR (Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration) Programme ensures coordinated, humane and cost-effective returns of third country nationals who cannot or do not want to stay in Slovakia and wish to return voluntarily to the country of origin. IOM assistance to migrants with reintegration into society upon their return through reintegration grants is also a part of the programme.

The programme is based on the principle of voluntariness. Thus, a foreigner registered with the programme can decide not to return to the country of origin at any time. IOM puts emphasis on ensuring safety and dignity of migrants throughout the whole return process. Other persons who could prevent a migrant from leaving are not informed about his/her decision.

The AVRR Programme web site: www.avr.iom.sk.

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Voluntary Return and Reintegration in Country of Origin (Individual Project). The project is co-funded by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Home Affairs Funds.