What refugee return initiatives have occurred in Africa? What lessons have been learnt from successful/sustainable return processes across the world, especially in relation to protracted refugee situations?
Voluntary repatriation/return is seen as one of the durable solutions to protracted refugee situations and is the ‘preferred’ solution of the international community. Successful or sustainable return processes require the reintegration of refugees, which can be complicated by their protracted refugee experience and conditions in the country of origin.
Evidence from case studies indicates that return is often protracted or cyclical; it can be spontaneous or assisted; returns can happen rapidly or at a slower pace; and resolving protracted refugee caseloads often involves resettlement and local integration, as well as return to country of origin. Security, access to adequate services, housing, and livelihood opportunities are key to return.
Rohwerder, B. Refugee return in protracted refugee situations (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1282). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 26 pp.