The project “Support to Implementation of EC Readmission Agreements with the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine: Facilitation of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration” (SIREADA) aims at further development of the implementation of readmission agreements as well as promoting sustainable reintegration of voluntary returnees and serving the economic and political interests of countries of origin, transit and destination.
The project is the part of the EC Thematic programme on cooperation with third countries in the areas of migration and asylum 2009. It is financed by the European Union. The duration of the project is: March 2011 – February 2013.
The project is implemented by IOM missions in the Russian Federation, Moldova and Ukraine in cooperation with relevant governmental counterparts (in the Russian Federation - Federal Migration Service; in Moldova - Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova,; in Ukraine - Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, State Border Guard Service of Ukraine), with the UK Border Agency (Home Office), as well as with some non-governmental agencies, such as Institute for Penal Reform (IPR) in Moldova; Chernihiv Public Committee for Human Rights Protection and Volynsky Perspectyvy in Ukraine.
In general the project activities in three countries (Russian Federation, Moldova, Ukraine) include assisted voluntary return and reintegration of third-country nationals and own nationals, humanitarian assistance for migrant detainees in Moldova and Ukraine as well as policy dialogue and capacity building on readmission/ return and reintegration for Moldovan, Russian and Ukrainian migration bodies.
The activities are closely coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Migration Service of Russia.
The general approach of EU and IOM is that voluntary form of return is a much preferred option for a migrant in an irregular situation. To complement the on-going work on creating efficient mechanisms of readmission in Russia, in August 2008, IOM launched a pilot Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) Project which aims to assist irregular stranded and destitute migrants currently in the Russian Federation who choose to voluntarily return home and whose countries of origin or permanent residence are not the CIS or OECD or EU Member States.
The beneficiaries are selected on the basis of their particular vulnerability. The general criteria of candidate selection is that the applicant is in irregular situation, stranded and destitute and is willing to return home voluntarily however has no means and/or permission to leave the Russian Federation. IOM’s assistance includes counseling and provision of information on the availability of voluntary return assistance; support in obtaining necessary travel documentation through relevant consular authorities and the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation; return transportation arrangements; and departure assistance.
By February 2010, IOM was able to assist a total of 91 persons who were found eligible to benefit from the AVR Programme. The pilot AVR project targets to assist up to 100 persons with returning to their homes by the end of the Programme and will also be extended to a number of vulnerable irregular migrants of Russian origin currently staying in EU countries and having no means to return back to Russia.