Assisted Voluntary Return Becomes a Reality

Migration has become a central issue in European countries which struggle to deal with the complex and mixed migration flows in the recent years. Cyprus developed a series of policies for the administration of both documented and undocumented migration under the EU directives. At the same time, the public administration was supported through European funds, and particularly the European Return Fund, to promote the voluntary return of undocumented immigrants back to their home countries. In parallel, certain steps and plans at central level aim to the creation and adoption of mechanisms which coordinate voluntary return programs in collaboration with pubic services, volunteer, and private organizations.

In the abovementioned context, the research centre CARDET in collaboration with the University of Nicosia and Caritas International (BE), under the co-financing of the European Return Fund and the Republic of Cyprus, implements the Action entitled: "Establishment of Migrant Information Centre for Assisted Voluntary Returns – AVR Cyprus". The aim of the Action is to provide information, psycho-social, financial, and material support to asylum seekers, persons under international protection status, and undocumented Third Country Nationals (TCN) who wish to return back to their countries of origin. The project offers to the target groups the possibility of a humane, safe, legal, and dignified return. 

The beneficiaries have the choice either to return to their homelands or to travel for permanent residence to a country outside of EU. It is purely based on their own will to return.  Properly trained and qualified personnel, undertaking a human-center approach perspective, will attend to their general and special needs. It is the first time for Cyprus, that a systematic effort is implemented in this sensitive and highly important field of voluntary return. The action provides financial assistance, free training and counseling, personal future plan, and free repatriation flight.





The project "Programme of Voluntary Returns - Establishment of an Information and Support Center for Voluntary Returns", (Action 3.1.3, European Return Fund, Annual Program 2013) is co-funded by the European Return Fund (95%) and the Republic of Cyprus (5%).