IOM, Belarus Broaden Cooperation on Voluntary Return

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration

Minsk – This week (09/10) IOM Minsk, the Ministry of Interior and the State Border Committee of Belarus signed a Protocol of Intention on cooperation in the field of assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR).

AVRR is not defined yet in Belarusian legislation, which makes the Protocol a step forward in formalizing cooperation, identifying eligible migrants, describing the procedure and stipulating duties and obligations.

Information materials about AVRR were produced to accompany the signing of the Protocol. These include leaflets in English, Farsi, Bengali – the most common languages among migrants applying for AVRR in Belarus, as well as a video explaining the process.

Since the beginning of the year, 16 migrants have benefitted from AVRR.

“The Protocol we’ve just signed clearly defines the role of each party in the AVRR process and describes the referral mechanism,” commented Zeynal Hajiyev, Chief of IOM Mission in Belarus. “More importantly, the key purpose is to ensure the voluntariness of return. We assist migrants who face difficult situations and we have to make sure that they make well-informed decisions when they choose to return home.”

The Protocol and newly launched information campaign are further milestones in the implementation of the EU-funded project and building a migration management system in Belarus.

For more information please contact Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 2882742. Email:

  • Zeynal Hajiyev, Chief of Mission IOM Belarus, signs the Protocol on AVRR watched by Nickolai Melchenko, Deputy Minister of the Interior, Republic of Belarus. Photo: IOM