Voluntary repatriation and return

Voluntary repatriation is often the preferred option for displaced persons.

The core component of voluntary repatriation is return in safety and with dignity.

Return in safety

Return which takes place under conditions of legal safety (such as amnesties or public assurances of personal safety, integrity, non-discrimination and freedom from fear of persecution or punishment upon return), physical security (including protection from armed attacks, and mine-free routes and if not mine-free then at least demarcated settlement sites), and material security (access to land or means of livelihood).

Return with dignity

The concept of dignity is less self-evident than that of safety. The dictionary definition of “dignity” contains elements of “serious, composed, worthy of honour and respect.” In practice, elements must include that refugees are not manhandled; that they can return unconditionally and that if they are returning spontaneously they can do so at their own pace; that they are not arbitrarily separated from family members; and that they are treated with respect and full acceptance by their national authorities, including the full restoration of their rights.

If refugees in complete freedom express the wish to return to their country of origin, they should apply to UNHCR in person for the counselling session. If based on an assessment a return to the country of origin is feasible, UNHCR will support the voluntary repatriation.

Voluntary Return

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) administers an Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programme (AVRR) under which travel could be facilitated.

You can address IOM and receive the information about the voluntary return program. As a rule, you cannot leave the territory of Georgia if criminal proceedings against you are ongoing or if you are serving the sentence in Georgia.

Related information

AVRR information brochure