International Comparisons of Return
to Poor Countries
There is growing interest in northern countries in promoting
the return of various types of international migrant. Historically,
this has involved the provision of incentives for voluntary return
of economic migrants by various European countries as European economies
have contracted, as well as limited schemes for post-conflict return
of refugees. However, recent years have seen a new emphasis in Europe
and the United States on promoting the return of refugees to countries
such as Kosovo, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and now Iraq, whilst several
countries have set in place measures to remove failed asylum-seekers
to a range of other states considered to be ‘safe’.
In the post 9-11 period, there have also been moves to deport individuals
considered a threat to public order in the north.
Recent work at Sussex, and by IOM, has considered the ‘sustainability’
of return of at least one of these groups – the voluntary
return of refugees and asylum-seekers to several different Central
and Eastern European countries. However, these studies have identified
competing measures of ‘sustainability’. The purpose
of this initiative will be to take forward these two strands of
research to operationalise an understanding of the sustainability
of return from the perspective of poor countries. This will be done
through a series of workshops designed to bring together researchers
and policy-makers to consider in more depth the sustainability of
return of (1) refugees and failed asylum-seekers in the Balkans
and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe; (2) the return of qualified
professionals to the Asian region, and specifically to Bangladesh,
and (3) the return of refugees and exiles in post-conflict countries,
with a particular focus on Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Key Research Questions
||How do different actors conceptualise the
sustainability of return, and to what extent can a single conceptualisation
be applied across different countries, and in relation to different
kinds of return migration (specifically, return of failed asylum-seekers
and undocumented migrants; return of refugees and exiles in
post-conflict contexts; and the return of skilled professionals)?
||Can cost-effective mechanisms be identified
to monitor the sustainability of return, from a home country
perspective, and with specific attention to impacts on poverty?
||What policy interventions could help to
promote sustainable return in different economic, political
and geographical contexts?
Type(s) of Migration
Concept paper on sustainability of
||Workshops in Korçë (Albania),
Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Colombo (Sri Lanka).
||Cross-national analysis of key issues and discussions
with policy makers.
||A special issue of a
journal or edited collection
|| Policy briefings highlighting
how sustainability can be conceptualised and measured,
with practical examples
|| Production of content
for international and local media on the sustainability
of return, and how this can be enhanced by policy-makers,
returnees, and home communities