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RESTART II: Voluntary return and sustainable reintegration in the country of origin

Immigrants were encouraged to participate in the assisted voluntary return process through various activities, as well as information material in various languages.

Project dates 01/01/2010 - 31/07/2012
Total budget€625 230
EU contribution75%
Name of the entity managing the projectInternational Organisation for Migration

Project Description

The RESTART II programme helped the Maltese authorities as they sought to improve their processes for returning immigrants. The focus was on facilitating the voluntary return and sustainable reintegration of migrants in need of return assistance in their country of origin. The project targeted sub-Saharan African countries, in particular Nigeria, Sudan, Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

The scheme was introduced to particular groups of non-EU nationals, such as those who had not yet received a final negative decision in relation to their request for international protection, those enjoying a form of international protection or temporary protection, and those who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry or stay in an EU country. All these groups could take advantage of the voluntary return process.

Statistics were compiled on migrants who opted for an assisted voluntary return, with particular focus on the migrant’s profile and skills. This information allowed the Maltese government to take action in addressing development and cooperation with the most prominent countries of origin.

Benefits and results

RESTART II promoted ways and means to provide information on return as early as possible, and encouraged non-EU nationals to make use of the available voluntary return process. Seminars and joint training was organised for relevant authorities to educate staff on legal and practical aspects of the return operation. Other activities included return counselling, information on return and reintegration opportunities, support for the returnees in preparing reintegration plans and transport arrangements, and the provision of reintegration assistance.

Information material on assisted voluntary return and sustainable reintegration, in the form of posters, flyers and booklets, were produced and disseminated in Amharic, Arabic, English, French and Hausa.

The reintegration element of the project increased the sustainability of the returns. The establishment and development of a network of contacts in the respective countries of origin also contributed to the sustainability of the project after completion.

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