For 20 years, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been providing voluntary return and reintegration assistance in Switzerland. Globally, IOM assists the voluntary return of about 30,000 people in more than 160 countries every year.
The Swiss Red Cross (SRC) was one of the pioneering organizations in voluntary return assistance in Switzerland, introducing Switzerland’s first return counselling contact points in 1985 in Lausanne and in 1986 in Geneva. Consequently, the SRC played a significant role in establishing the foundation of the national return assistance programmes that are being implemented today.
This paper shall provide a new impetus to the field of return counselling, as well as return and reintegration assistance in Switzerland in a view to discuss and develop these further with all relevant stakeholders in this field. The paper also aims to provide a common assessment of all currently used instruments, as well as discuss innovative ideas that could help advance the modern mechanisms and general structure of return and reintegration assistance programmes.