Event Series Option Voluntary Return (Option Freiwillige Rückkehr - OFR)

03 June 2022

With Option Voluntary Return (Option Freiwillige Rückkehr - OFR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - BAMF) and the German Agency for International Cooperation GmbH (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH - GIZ) have joined forces to present their complementary return and reintegration services, to highlight synergies and to promote professional exchange in the field of voluntary return. The project is based on an interdepartmental return initiative of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (Bundesministeriums des Innern und für Heimat - BMI) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministeriums für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung - BMZ).

As part of their cooperation, IOM, BAMF and GIZ developed three core messages that highlight the commonalities of the partners in the field of voluntary return and reintegration:

  • We support people who cannot or do not want to stay in Germany to return with dignity.
  • We inform people about their individual options so that they can make their own well-informed decision.
  • We accompany people from counseling them in Germany to sustainable reintegration in their region of origin.

OFR addresses a broad professional public, consisting of return counselors, volunteers, and representatives of states and municipalities. In 2018, the three partners started by organizing 14 regional networking meetings, where more than 720 governmental and civil actors exchanged ideas. Since then, the event series has enjoyed great popularity and has been continued in different concepts. What they all have in common is that the OFR events provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss concrete questions with colleagues and project staff from IOM, BAMF and GIZ.

In 2019, for example, the series of events focused on "Dialogues on Voluntary Return and Sustainable Reintegration" in different regions of origin, while in 2020, under the impact of the global health cri-sis, it was dedicated to the topic of "Effects of Corona on Return and Reintegration Work." With "Ac-companying a Returnee", the 2021 event series focused on the topic of women's vulnerability in re-turn and reintegration, using a fictitious journey of a returnee to also comprehensively highlight other services offered by the three partner organizations. After a suspension of face-to-face events as part of the OFR series due to the pandemic, these can now be held again in 2022 in the form of nationwide and regional events, each with a different focus.

Nationwide events:

  • Berlin, 31.05.2022: "Return Counseling in the Digital World"
  • Nuremberg, 18.10.2022

Your contact at the International Organization for Migration:

Luzie Dallinger
Tel.: + 49 30 27877 8816
E-Mail: fdallinger@iom.int