The ICMPD/ERRIN implemented CADRE project organised its last training session on Return Counselling with a special focus on counselling vulnerable people, namely victims of trafficking. The face-to-face training took place on 3-5 May in Brussels, Belgium.
The EU Return Directive 2008/115/EC encourages Member States to enhance the counselling activities and boost the quality of pre-departure assistance to promote the process of voluntary return, as the preferred option over forced return. The EU Strategy on voluntary return and reintegration promotes voluntary return and reintegration as an integral part of a common EU system for returns, a key objective under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum.
Capacity building and training are one of the key elements to prepare return counsellors for their job and enable them to assist people in the pre-departure phase in the best way possible. With this in mind, the CADRE training aimed at equipping return counsellors with a thorough understanding of the competencies needed for return counsellors. During the first two days of the training, they received guidelines on working with interpreters, learned about the different categories of vulnerable people and their needs, how to cope with role stress, and to cooperate and share information with reintegration partners in the countries of return. The third and last day of the training was devoted to return counselling for victims of trafficking and people vulnerable to exploitation. This part of the training was implemented in cooperation with the ERRIN funded PROSPECT project.
The training brought together return counsellors from different ERRIN Member Countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Malta, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands. In order to enhance the cooperation and coordination between the return counsellors in countries of return on the one hand and the reintegration partners in the countries of origin on the other hand, the training also included participants from the Immigration Services of Ghana and Armenia. Last but not least, two officers from Frontex also attended the training, as the agency’s role in return counselling and the reintegration field is being gradually increased. The trainers were chosen among those practitioners who have already been trained within the CADRE curriculum in the past Train-the-Trainers sessions in Berlin and Vienna.