The launch of the ERRIN-Armenia ‘Gov2Gov’ cooperation project ‘Return and Reintegration of Migrants’ took place in Yerevan, on 8 November 2018.
The event was organised by implementing partner, Armenian office of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMDP), in cooperation with the Armenian Migration Service (AMS). The event brought together representatives of the Armenian government, diplomatic missions, EU representatives and local and international NGOs.
Presenting the project, Head of ICMPD Office in Armenia and ERRIN Project Manager, Mr Carel Hofstra said: “This is not the first project to focus on re-integrating returning Armenian migrants. However, the difference here is the central role of the Armenian Migration Service,” said Hofstra.
“The Government’s commitment is also important in view of the possible start of the Visa Dialogue between Armenia and the EU.”
The overall aim of the project is two-fold: firstly to build capacity of the Armenian government in managing migration, and secondly, to strengthen post-arrival reintegration assistance for Armenian nationals who return voluntarily or involuntarily from ERRIN member states. This will include provision of information, referral services, counselling and support.
In particular, the project will provide assistance to the Armenian government in organising the professional development of migrants, their training and retraining, support in setting up small businesses, providing necessary medical services and temporary accommodation. Up to 400 returnees are expected to benefit.
Following the presentation, ERRIN Project Manager, Carel Hofstra, and Head of the Armenian Migration Service, Armen Ghazaryan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on further cooperation. Participants also had an opportunity to exchange information on post-arrival assistance and reintegration needs.
“It is important not only to help migrants return home but also support their reintegration into society.”
The Head of Armenian Migration Service, Mr Armen Ghazaryan, talked of the importance of this project for the government’s migration policy: “We need to remember that migration is not just about policies and theory. We are dealing with the fate of people,” said Ghazaryan. “It is important not only to help migrants return home but also support their reintegration into society.”