Last week I was attended an expert meeting on return migration at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Key topics discussed included the lawlessness, voluntariness and sustainability of returns. I was invited to speak on the sustainability of returns. In this talk I focused on three points. First, the need to separate sustainable return definitions from remigration. Second, how to conceptualize a sustainable reintegration? Sustainable reintegration is a multidimensional process that recognizes reintegration as a two way process between the individual and community of return. Third, in terms of measurement of sustainable reintegration a multidimensional index is useful as demonstrated in my work on the Comparative Research on Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Migrants Project. However, more research is needed to understand reintegration post-return such as longitudinal research studies and post-return monitoring that enables further understandings of returnees cope with reintegration challenges over time.
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