Voluntary return of irregular migrants stranded and destitute in Serbia and Montenegro November 2005 – July 2007
In cooperation with the Governments of Serbia and Montenegro, IOM Belgrade and IOM Podgorica provided assistance with the voluntary and orderly return of 333 stranded irregular migrants and rejected asylum-seekers from Serbia and Montenegro to their countries of origin between November 2005 and July 2007 and enhanced the AVR framework in cooperation with the relevant authorities. The project was implemented at the request of the Government of Serbia and Montenegro (at the time State Union) to effectively and humanely returns the rising number of identified irregular migrants stranded in their countries.
Throughout the project, IOM Belgrade and IOM Podgorica provided return counselling and information, medical screening as necessary, transportation to countries of origin as well as reception and post-arrival services wherever possible. IOM AVR staff interviewed migrants on a one-on-one basis, worked with relevant embassies to ensure the provision of necessary documentation and used its global network of offices to ensure safe and dignified travel to final destination. At the same time, the project allowed to significantly build the capacity of both Ministries of Interior to assist irregular migrants, including rejected asylum-seekers, and provided a humane and cost-effective return solution for migrants stranded and often destitute while making their way to Western Europe.