Return and Reintegration: IOM Releases 2018 Highlights
In 2018, return and reintegration, which are an integral part of human mobility, continued to gain prominence and have been key topics in the national and international political agenda. In particular, with the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (hereinafter Global Compact for Migration), under Objective 21, governments pledged to cooperate “in facilitating safe and dignified return …, as well as sustainable reintegration”. This is an important achievement as host countries, transit countries and countries of origin recognized that they can greatly benefit from well-governed return and reintegration issues. Objective 21 of the Global Compact for Migration calls for the promotion of voluntary return programmes based on the “migrant’s free, prior and informed consent”, as a dignified option for migrants to return to their countries of origin. It also underlines the need to foster sustainable reintegration in countries of origin, including through partnerships. Based on its longstanding experience and reflecting on these developments, IOM published A Framework for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration in 2018. The framework, which is meant to guide assisted voluntary return and reintegration practitioners and policymakers, articulates IOM’s vision that “migrants in need are assisted to return voluntarily, safely and in dignity and are supported in achieving sustainable reintegration, in full respect for human rights and regardless of their status”.
Guided by the vision, principles and objectives encompassed in the framework, IOM assisted 63,316 migrants to return voluntarily to their countries of origin in 2018, representing a 12 per cent decrease as compared to 2017. The 2018 Return and Reintegration Key Highlights showcases some of IOM’s most significant global, regional and national initiatives. The report is structured along three chapters: the first chapter presents an overview of current global trends, which are further elaborated by region in the second chapter. Albeit non-exhaustive, the third chapter features some key IOM global, regional and national initiatives in the area of return and reintegration.