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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

Understanding the Policy Context for Migrant Return and Reintegration

Posted by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2018

In December 2018 in Marrakech, UN Member States are scheduled to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. Among the compact’s many groundbreaking ambitions is a commitment to facilitate the return, readmission, and reintegration of migrants that recognizes the priorities of both origin and destination countries. Implementing this commitment may, however, prove extremely challenging.

Migrant returns take place along a spectrum ranging from wholly voluntary—at times even solicited by countries of origin—to compulsory or, at the extreme, physically forced. The ways in which returns are carried out vary widely, from individualized legal proceedings with due process and reintegration support, to coercive mass returns with no legal or humanitarian safeguards.

This webinar examines the policies, practices, and contextual factors that make compulsory returns such a difficult issue for international cooperation, and the programs that are being implemented to make reintegration of returnees sustainable. Speakers explore the competing perspectives migration policymakers must attempt to reconcile when considering returns—from the rule of law to humanitarian, development, security, and stability concerns. With all eyes turning towards the challenges of compact implementation, speakers discuss the possibility for international cooperation on returns and how reintegration assistance and development cooperation can mitigate shocks to often-fragile communities of origin, add positive incentives for return, and ameliorate the conditions at origin that motivate people to migrate.

The discussion draws on an MPI policy brief that explores the policy frameworks of return and the role of reintegration and development assistance in international cooperation on safe and sustainable returns. The brief forms part of a collaboration between MPI and GIZ supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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