Over 50,000 Migrants Opted for Assisted Voluntary Return in First Half of 2016: IOM

Switzerland - IOM assisted 51,031* migrants in the first half of 2016 under its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes. The migrants were from 150 different countries of origin and were returned from 92 host and/or transit countries.

Based on the figures outlined in the first AVRR bulletin the number of AVRR beneficiaries is likely to reach 100,000 by the end of the year.

By comparison IOM assisted 69,540 migrants in 2015 – nearly 60 percent more than in 2014, when it helped 43,786 migrants to return to their countries of origin in a safe and dignified manner.

The majority of migrants assisted by IOM to return voluntarily in the first half of 2016 departed from the European Economic Area, with Germany accounting for over half of the total.

“Voluntary returns from other regions such as the Middle-East and North Africa, and West and Central Africa, have also increased in 2016. For example, Niger and Morocco are among the top 10 most important host and/or transit countries for AVRR in the first half of the year,” said Anh Nguyen, Head of IOM’s Migrant Assistance Division. 

According to the bulletin, 32 percent of returnees assisted by IOM between January and June 2016 were women and 27 percent were children. Nearly 600 victims of trafficking were also helped to voluntarily return home under IOM specific standards, principles and guidelines.

The AVRR bulletin was produced by IOM Migrant Assistance Division with the support of IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC). For further information on AVRR programmes, please click here.

To download the bulletin please go to:

* Periodic data is provisional and should therefore be considered as an estimation. AVRR global data is reviewed and finalized on an annual basis.

For further information, please contact Nicola Graviano at IOM HQ. Tel.: +41 22 717 94 72, Email: