Migration offers a wealth of opportunities for migrants and their host communities, but also holds inherent risks for those who leave their homes. Vulnerability within the migration context is the result of a combination of individual, household, community, structural, and situational factors or circumstances that increase the risk of violence, exploitation, abuse and/or violations of rights.

IOM aims to provide vulnerable migrants comprehensive protective and assistance services that take into account the specific set of factors that contributed to their vulnerability, in order to develop tailored responses that maximize potential for sustainable recovery. IOM also aims to enhance the physical, mental and social well-being of the individual and his or her community and promote sustainability through institutional capacity building of governments and civil society. Furthermore, through policy and technical guidance, capacity building and training, and cross-cutting research and advocacy, IOM supports the development and implementation of referral structures, alternatives to detention, and regional and bilateral partnerships.

In Thailand, IOM works with the Royal Thai Government, the United Nations, international and non-governmental organizations, the private sector and development partners to assist stranded and vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking and unaccompanied and separated children.

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration

For migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin but lack the means to do so, IOM has been implementing Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes since 2013. This includes administrative, logistical and financial support for these migrants and reintegration measures at the individual or community level. In particular, IOM emphasizes that voluntariness remains a precondition for all its AVRR activities.

IOM's AVRR programme is divided into three stages. 

  • Pre-departure assistance: Counselling and return-related information dissemination on the country of origin; medical assistance (e.g. medical examinations and documentation); transport assistance arrangement, including travel documentation; and specialized assistance and referral services for vulnerable individuals. 

  • Travel assistance: Departure (including travel and miscellaneous allowances); transport (movement coordination, transit assistance, escort assistance based on individual needs and circumstances); and medical assistance. 

  • Post-arrival assistance: Reception; inland transport; health-related support; reintegration assistance (often in cooperation with local entities and non-governmental organizations); and monitoring, where feasible.