Since 1979, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has implemented Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programs around the world. These programs have assisted over 1.5 million people.

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management aiming at orderly and humane return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

The successful implementation of AVRR programmes requires the cooperation and participation of a broad range of actors, including the migrants, civil society and the governments in both host and transit countries and countries of origin.

The Regional Migration Program works to build the capacities of countries in Central America and Mexico, regarding migration governance, including return. Below is a summary of the activities implemented so far:

  • Assisted Voluntary Return Program for members of Caravans (2018-2019)
  • Regional Guide on best practices and available national and regional assisted voluntary return programs (2018)
  • Technical assistance for States in order to improve national procedures for assisted voluntary return (continuous)
  • Direct Assistance and Voluntary Return Program for Vulnerable Migrants in the region (2010-2018)


AVR Program in the Caravans Context


This program supports those who have participated in the migrant caravans in Central America and Mexico and who for various reasons are unable to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return to their countries of origin and/or residence. This program benefits people of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who are stranded in Guatemala or Mexico.

Beneficiaries can receive land transportation to the capital of their country of origin, medical examinations if needed, food and kits during their travels, and assistance communicating with family members, among other forms of assistance.

IOM has developed this program in order to protect migrant populations and offer them a way to return to their homes that is dignified, safe, regular, and humane.


More information on the Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) Program

Situational report - Voluntary Return program

IOM's Voluntary Assisted Return program aims to achieve voluntary, orderly and humane return of those migrants who might not want or be able to stay in their countries of transit or destination, and wish to go back voluntarily to their countries of origin. This program has assisted 1406 people in returning home. 

Migrant Caravan | What is the return process like for an accompanied minor?

Many of the people of the Migrant Caravans decide to return because they are accompanied by minors, who are more vulnerable to the risks of the road. Know what the return process is like if you are traveling with a minor.

Migrant Caravan | How does the Assited Voluntary Return Program work?

Learn in this video how is the assisted voluntary return´s process. Montserrat explains to you! 

Migrant Caravan | The dangers of the journey (testimony)

Many people from #MigrantCaravans decide to return to their country due to the multiple risks they encounter along the way. Know the history of one of them.

Migrant Caravan | Testimony of a voluntary returnee (Mario)

“I advise mothers who bring their children, or fathers, to take care of them, and if they couldn’t find another solution, to return, because the ones in danger are the children.”- Mario Alfredo Albir, a Honduran man who returned to his country voluntarily after leaving with a migrant caravan.

Migrants from the Caravans Receive IOM Support to Return to their Countries

Since 4 November 2018, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) has facilitated the voluntary and safe return of hundreds of Central Americans who were part of the caravans of migrants traveling US-bound through Mexican territory.

Testimony of an Assisted Voluntary Return

Dennis, a Salvadoran who left in one of the migrant caravans, is one of the 453 people who, between November 4 and 28, 2018, returned to their country with the support of IOM, upon encountering a strong police and legal barrier to cross the border to the United States.

Assisted Voluntary Return Program for Migrants

It is a special temporary program created by IOM to facilitate assisted voluntary return for migrants who are stranded in Mexico or Guatemala and lack the resources necessary to return to their homes.