Sustainable reintegration of voluntary returnees requires efforts beyond individual assistance, new IOM report shows

Report, Survey Results, Assisted Voluntary Return, Voluntary Return, Monitoring

12.11.2019 Helsinki

The reintegration of voluntary returnees from Finland to their countries of origin has been moderately sustainable, according to a survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Finland. While slightly more sustainable outcomes were observed concerning social and psychosocial aspects of returnees’ reintegration, livelihood was a concern for a majority. Some particular reintegration challenges were noted for those who returned to places other than their community of origin.

The aim of the survey was to learn to which extent migrants who returned voluntarily from Finland reintegrated in a sustainable manner in their communities. Survey respondents had been assisted in their voluntary return by the Finnish Immigration Service Migri and IOM. For the study, IOM interviewed 200 persons who had returned in 2017-2018 to their countries of origin. The returnees were mainly 18-34-year-old men, and most of them returned to Baghdad, Iraq.

The study results show that reintegration assistance may help to start a new life in the country of origin. However, it does not resolve major social or structural problems, such as unemployment or insufficient health care services. Supporting individuals is often not enough – rather, joint and coordinated efforts by ministries, public administration and other actors would be needed to address these issues.

The reintegration sustainability monitoring survey was conducted by IOM as part of the AUDA project, which is implemented by Migri in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Crisis Management Center Finland with funding by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. You can read the whole report here.