RT 2.2 Fostering the development impact of return migrants
The objective of this roundtable is to have a clearer understanding of the multifaceted role of return migration within the migration cycle and a coherent use of policy tools for its potential development impact on the countries of origin and destination as well as for the migrants.
As the number of international migrants has increased globally, so has the number of potential return migrants. While return can simply be defined as the situation where a migrant goes back to his home country after having lived in another country for some time, return migration brushes over more complex situations: voluntary or forced return, secondary or repeated migration, temporary or permanent return, etc.
Return migration can imply many challenges such as conflicts with (re-)receiving societies as well as the lack of employment and education opportunities for returning migrants. Individual factors for successful reintegration are inherent in their personal situation, e.g. voluntariness of their return, personal networks, levels of education and motivation, chances of successful labour market integration.
Returning migrants and diaspora communities have the potential of being agents for development in the receiving state as well as their countries of origin. As many migrants are skilled and ambitious, receiving societies have a vital interest in supporting them as intermediaries between societies. To foster their development impact, it is crucial to create a perspective for building a future and using the skills acquired, since the real challenges start after return. Structural factors in the countries of residence and return support successful (re-)integration, e.g. coherent immigration / emigration policies, readmission agreements, access to labour market and education, openness of society to accept migrants, support to and by migrant organisations.
- Which challenges do different groups of return migrants face? How can migration policy address return migrants pre-departure as well as post-departure with regard to their specific situation?
- To what extent do existing return programmes impact development positively? How can countries of origin and destination set up joint and efficient reintegration policies fostering the development potential of migrants?
- What are innovative examples of a framework of genuine partnership between host and origin countries? How can international partnerships such as the mobility partnership or the EU migration partnerships enhance the development contribution of return migrants?
- How can employers and the private sector contribute to the process of reintegration?
- How can development cooperation support reintegration, without favouring returning migrants over receiving communities?