If an applicant is considered vulnerable, this must be taken into account at all stages of the return process. It might be needed to arrange the counselling of the person in a certain way and to take a number of things into consideration when planning the reintegration and travel. A vulnerable person may not be able to travel and reintegrate her/himself in the same way as other persons, so the planning of the return needs a lot of coordination between all involved parties.
Returnees with special needs can be as for example:
- Persons with serious medical and/or mental conditions
- Disabled persons
- Minors returning without their parents (unaccompanied minors)
- Victims of Trafficking
- Elderly persons
- One-parent families with minor children
However, the list is not exhaustive and an individual can be vulnerable for very personal reasons, depending on the country of return etc. Often an identified vulnerability means that the person also needs special attention during the flight.
In many cases a person with special needs should be escorted during the entire flight, as for example by a doctor (medical escort) or a support person (social escort). When IOM arranges flight escorts, the preferred option is to have an escort that speaks the returnee's language or knows her/him from before.
If you consider that an applicant might be in need of special attention, please indicate this in the application or contact IOM.