IOM increasingly assists families with minor children on their return to their countries of origin.
As an effort to recognize the right of children to be informed about the return procedure and the role that IOM plays, IOM in the Netherlands has developed a comic story about voluntary return and reintegration. The comic targets 10- to 17-year-olds of diverse ethnic backgrounds from different countries of origin. The comic story explains IOM’s role in the return procedure and takes into account the steps from pre-departure to departure as well as post-arrival.
The comic strip features the life of Ulyana (10 years old) and her three friends, namely, Nelson (17 years old), Fazia (15 years old) and Huan (13 years old), in an asylum-seekers centre in the Netherlands, and their thoughts about their current situation. As Ulyana and her friends reflect on their life at the centre and their future, and share good memories about their countries of origin, she realizes that returning to one’s home country is not a bad thing at all, especially if that means reuniting with relatives and getting to know them more.
The comic story can be used by parents as a tool to explain to their children their decision to return to their countries of origin and make children understand the steps of the return procedure. It is also one way of instilling in children the value of appreciating return to one’s home country. The comic strip is available in print and electronic versions.