With the aim of both, supporting the Government of Malta in the development of an integrated, harmonized and sustainable return policy, and assisting migrants in Malta who often find themselves in difficult situations, IOM Malta has been actively working in the area of assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR).
Since January 2009, IOM Malta has been implementing the project 'RESTART' ('RESTART I-III: Voluntary Return and Sustainable Reintegration in the Country of Origin' and 'RESTART IV-V: Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration in the Country of Origin'), funded by the European Return Fund and the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security of Malta. IOM’s activities within the framework of RESTART address all stages of the voluntary return process and consist of outreach, information dissemination, counselling, pre-departure assistance (travel arrangements, including facilitation of issuance of travel documents, purchase of plane tickets, arrangement of transit and arrival assistance and medical escorts, if needed), departure assistance, and provision of tailor-made reintegration packages to support returnees’ re-establishment in their countries of origin. Whenever feasible, reintegration monitoring is also carried out.
Under the five completed phases of the RESTART project, a total of 271 AVRR returnees (RESTART I – 25; RESTART II – 65; RESTART III – 73; RESTART IV – 72 and 3 children; RESTART V - 33) have been assisted to return from Malta to over 15 countries of origin, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
RESTART V was under implementation from 1 July 2014 until 30 June 2015. The project was funded by the European Return Fund under AP 2013 (75%) and by the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security (25%). This phase followed the same model as the previous RESTART projects, however, under this project, the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security piloted a three-tier reintegration system through which a potential returnee stood to benefit from a higher reintegration grant, if he/she chose to return immediately upon arrival. Given the low number of arrivals for the second half of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, the MHAS abolished the three-tier structure and all returnees were eligible to EUR 4000. IOM addressed all stages of the AVRR process, including the reintegration and the monitoring phase.
IOM Malta has successfully completed the following projects in the area of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration: RET 2008-01 RESTART, RET 2010-01 RESTART II, RET 2011-03 RESTART III, RF 2012-02 RESTART IV and RF 2013-04 RESTART V.