Type of practice:
The “Migration Volunteer” Project was launched on February 7, 2019 at the initiative of the Chief of the State Migration Service, and on June 28, 2019, the “Migration Volunteer” Public Union was formed. One of the key objectives of this Union is using support of volunteers in order to facilitate migrants' access to services provided by the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as other state institutions. Moreover, one of the priorities of the Public Union is to contribute to Azerbaijan's youth policy by strengthening relations with non-governmental organizations and increasing existing cooperation.
“Migration Volunteers” assists migrants when filling out application forms for the relevant services, provides counselling and guidance to them, as well as helps with collection of relevant documents required for application process. Furthermore, members of the Public Union design and implement various social projects targeting migrants. A series of psychological trainings for volunteers has been implemented within the organization. The ongoing "NLP Diploma" is a psychological project, which is divided into several parts and consists of 8 lessons. At the same time, volunteers are involved in trainings within the Regional Training Center on Migration.
Key beneficiaries of the projects and activities are migrants residing in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Another main mission of the Public Union is to provide young people with new knowledge and experience on migration, to provide them with new opportunities for personal development, to take measures to stimulate and increase their initiative, to involve them in the activities of the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan and to familiarize them with migration field. The Public Union has 24 workers and 7 departments. More than 7.000 young volunteers have been registered with the Migration Volunteers Public Union. The Public Union is financed by NGO’s, state agencies and donations.
Benefit and Impact
The Public Union implemented a number of projects, including delivery of relevant documents like residence permits, certificates, etc. to migrants during the lockdown in 2020-2021 due the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, “Migration Volunteers”, together with the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the IOM Azerbaijan, delivered humanitarian assistance to 276 stranded migrants in the frame of the “Contribution for humanitarian Activities included in IOM Global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan Coronavirus Disease 2019 (IOM COVID GSRP) COVID-19 – South Caucasus” Project, funded by the United State Department of State, the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. It aimed to provide humanitarian assistance to stranded, vulnerable migrants in Azerbaijan between September-December 2020. So, regardless of the restrictions and risks, migration volunteers provided significant assistance to migrants during the pandemic.
In 2019 it started as a project and later became a Public Union, which is currently represented in the Public Council under the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan. During these years the public Union implemented more than 10 projects targeting vulnerable migrants, as well as refugees.
1. Attracting youth to the Union
The relevant support from the State Migration Service (SMS) was provided by announcing this Project in the social media accounts, official webpage of the Service, etc. Later members of the project used social media to promote participation of youth in the project. The specialist of the Service, as well as from the different companies were invited to promote this Project and Union within the migrants, youth and Governmental and Non-governmental organizations.
2. Identify the structural form of the organization
The structure of the Union was drawn up with the help of specialists from the SMS and other government institutions.
3. Finding donors
The Public Union started to design successful projects targeting vulnerable migrants which were funded by the international organizations, charity organizations and state institutions.