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Types of Migration
Internal Migration
Global Labour Mobility
Child Migration
Skilled Migration
Forced Migration
Return Migration

Key Themes
Modelling Causes and Consequences
Links between Migrations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods
Social Protection
Gender and Generations
Health and Education

UK / international
Albania / Eastern Europe
Ghana / Africa
Egypt / the Middle East
Bangladesh / South Asia




Return Migration

Return MigrationReturn occupies a central place in much policy discussion on migration – whether in terms of the return of refugees after the end of conflict, or skilled professionals who might contribute to a country’s development, or in terms of the return of rejected asylum-seekers and irregular migrants. Return of refugees and migrants is something that can hold great promise for developing countries, especially when it is done with the willing participation of the migrants or refugees themselves. Yet a number of different policy objectives drive different policy agendas on return, making both analysis of the process of return, and the generation of simple policy conclusions somewhat elusive.

Something that most policy-makers can agree on is the need for return migration to be sustainable – it makes little point facilitating the return of a refugee or migrant if they are likely to be forced to flee again as soon as they get home. Yet understanding of what constitutes a ‘sustainable’ return remains contested – indeed ‘sustainability’ is likely to be conceptually different for individuals on the one hand, and for host societies on the other. The Centre’s work on return so far has concentrated on bringing together the findings of existing empirical work on return at Sussex and elsewhere, to explore the concept of ‘sustainable return’, transcending the simple conception of sustainability as involving the absence of re-emigration. In addition, interviews with voluntary returnees have been carried out in four villages in SE Albania.

In the next year, new work is to be carried with returnees in Bangladesh who consider their return to beone of ‘failure’. In addition, an edited volume focused on post-conflict return in the Balkans is being revised for publication, whilst a new programme of empirical research is also under development, dealing with the impact of return on a series of local institutions in post-conflict countries.


  Key Projects
  9a: International Comparisons of Return to Poor Countries

9b: Experiences and Coping Strategies of Failed Migrants


Defining, Measuring and Influencing Sustainable Return: The Case of the Balkans, Dec 04 (WP-T7)

Defining, Measuring and Influencing Sustainable Return (BP-3)

  To date, three workshops have been held on sustainable return, one in Tirana focused on return to the Balkans (September 2004), a second in Dhaka on the return of skilled professionals (March 2005) and the third a panel at the biannual conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) in Sao Paolo (January 2005) on ‘Transnationalism and the Sustainability in Refugee Return’
  © University of Sussex 2003 Text-Only
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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs