Executive summary

The question of how to ensure the safe and dignified return to their origin countries of migrants who do not have grounds to remain is a key question for many OECD countries. Alongside removal, return and reintegration assistance have become an integral part of migration management in many OECD countries. Offering opportunities to take assisted return is seen as a means of increasing returns at a lower cost. Providing reintegration assistance after return is both an incentive to use this channel and a means of reducing the risk of illegal remigration. Supporting return for all migrants who wish to do so – including legally resident migrants – can reinforce migration management. At the same time, development cooperation includes increasing activity to support the capacity of countries of origin to reintegrate returning migrants.

This report examines factors which contribute to improve sustainability of reintegration at the individual level and at the programme level. It situates reintegration assistance as an incentive in the understanding of the drivers of return migration. While assistance is not alone a sufficient incentive to return, a return and reintegration programme which builds a perspective on return can make a difference in the decision process and help build a more sustainable individual outcome, whether it involves a revenue-generating activity or social reintegration into the home community. It identifies some of the key elements of an effective individual reintegration programme, including outreach and counselling, case management and referral, and partnerships.

The sustainability of reintegration goes beyond the individual. Programmes must respond to a number of objectives, including increasing and accelerating returns of persons subject to removal, preventing the creation of pull factors, protecting relations with origin countries, coherence with development objectives, and meeting national and international obligations. The individual case work approach, with better targeting of key categories, can help improve sustainability of programmes. The current monitoring framework is focused on project indicators and beneficiary outcomes, and is inadequate to assess the broader impact of initiatives. The report proposes a number of points to reinforce in programme design and in evaluation and monitoring, indicating areas for mutualisation of efforts among countries in implementation and coordination with origin countries.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2020

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at http://www.oecd.org/termsandconditions.