The Myth of Voluntary Deportations – “Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration” from Greece

“Many people are literally broken by the unbearable living conditions in Europe’s refugee camps and by an asylum procedure lacking core standards of fairness to apply for IOM’s return programme… Once migrants have signed the agreement, IOM and other participating states and agencies seem to consider themselves discharged from the responsibility for the returnee’s well-being.

Many people signing up for the AVRR programme experience nothing close to a “safe and dignified” return. Before their return, they are treated as badly as deportees: transported in handcuffs, held in detention and affected by violence in the pre-removal centers. Back in their home countries, many returnees are again exposed to detention, exploitation and the persecution they fled from seeking safety and a decent life in Europe.”

Powerful piece from comrades at HarekAct border-monitoring, on the realities of the EU’s so-called “voluntary” returns programme.