ERIN is a program that provides return and reintegration assistance to third-country migrants who return voluntarily or non-voluntarily to their country of origin. The program is funded by the European Commission through the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). ERIN’s partner countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The partnership between the Organization of Ibero-American States and ERIN begins at the end of 2016, when it was awarded three service contracts to provide reintegration assistance to migrants in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
The returnees who wish to return to their country of origin from any ERIN member country may be eligible for different forms of support to facilitate their reintegration process.
These services include providing information, guidance, counseling, and referral to country-specific resources upon return. The ultimate goal is to facilitate “homecoming” and reintegration from a multidimensional perspective.
The three contract terms have been extended until May 30, 2018, as a result of the successful outcomes achieved. Likewise, the OEI has recently been selected as an ERIN service provider in Honduras. To that end, a kick-off meeting for the implementation of the program in Honduras was held in The Hague with the technical team of the Ministry of Justice and Interior of the Netherlands, responsible for network coordination and the international implementation of these projects.
The OEI has long promoted voluntary sustainable return processes for Latin American migrants in Europe by providing assistance in their reintegration.
One of the projects was the ‘Euro-Latin American System for Professional Training, Return and Sustainable Reinsertion’ (PTRSI), a program for undocumented migrants in Spain, Portugal, Italy and the United Kingdom, who wish to return to their countries of origin. Courses were offered to facilitate the employment and professional retraining once the beneficiaries –required to have at least eight years of schooling and basic computer skills– were back in their countries of origin. The initiative that was launched 2011 covered the return to six Latin American countries: Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay and Bolivia.
Another of the OEI’s own projects was ‘Ventanillas Únicas (Single Windows)’, a program that seeks to consolidate sustainable reintegration processes for migrants returning from Europe. There have been two editions of the project (2012-2014, 2014-2016). These windows provide assistance to migrants from Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay.
When the project launched, Latin American migrants in the European Union in 2012 accounted for an extremely significant 14.2% of the continent’s immigrant population.
The projects provide assistance to any migrant who wishes to return, regardless of their legal status, and offer the help needed to relocate the migrant to his/her country of origin, as well as initiatives that help safeguard wellbeing upon return.