Many countries in the SADC region have experienced serious problems concerning immigrants and refugees. The problems troubled and escalated in the region during the 1990s up to date. In the main, this has been due to the nature of the conflicts and violence experienced by the citizens of the countries involved. The purpose of this study is to highlight the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in its attempt to solve the immigrant and refugee problem in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region with special reference to South Africa. For this study, both qualitative and quantitative research methods were adopted. As previously stated, the focus on the study will be on South Africa as one of the SADC countries. However, it should be noted that although the focus is on South Africa, lessons learnt from other countries proved useful for this study. Furthermore, the study examines and critiques the various challenges as experienced by the UNHCR. A narrative approach was chosen to discuss the findings of the study. The findings show that most immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers felt unsafe in their countries of origin; therefore, they headed to neighbouring countries which in this case included South Africa. In this study, the researcher is mindful of the fact that the refugee status determination is conducted not by governments but by the UNHCR.

Research on European Union (EU)–Russia cooperation in migration issues often neglects important actors involved in these seemingly bilateral arrangements. This paper questions the role that the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has been playing in the EU–Russia cooperation in migration management. The analysis is situated in the theoretical framework describing international organisations (IOs) as bureaucracies and within the discussions about international migration governance and migration management. The paper describes the context of the EU–Russia migration management cooperation and identifies the major activities of IOM in Russia. Treating IOs as bureaucracies that pursue their own interests, the paper argues that, far from being a mere implementing body, IOM is an actor that, to a significant extent, has shaped the outcome of EU–Russia migration dialogue. At the same time, it is the context of this bilateral cooperation that has allowed IOM to strengthen its position vis-à-vis both Russia and the EU and to be successful in the competition with other IOs.
Assisted voluntary return (AVR) is a new approach to return of irregular immigrants aiming at combating unlawful migration, and thus strengthening national immigration systems. AVR lowers risks of the violation of human rights and preserves migrants’ dignity and safety. In addition, it carries fewer political and financial costs. AVR of irregular immigrants is an integral part of migration management in some European countries, including the Slovak Republic. This paper provides a general understanding of the issue of irregular migration and an analysis of policies and practices in assisted voluntary return of irregular migrants in the Slovak Republic. The paper concludes with a discussion of the major issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve sustainable and effective AVR management.
Situating data from a pilot study conducted in the Philippines within the research literature, we examine the impact of the recent global economic crisis on the experiences of Filipino migrant workers and their families in the context of previous economic upheavals. In so doing, we highlight the gendered effects of shifts in the global economy and detail government response to the premature return of migrant workers to the Philippines primarily due to retrenchment impelled by the global economic crisis. While the current conditions of migration and return are significant, we argue that these are not the result of a new global economic crisis, but are instead the ongoing effects of neoliberal globalization that have resulted in sustained multiple crises with which residents of the Global South have had to contend. Moreover, the reputed solutions offered to returned migrants are rooted in the same faulty paradigm that will be destined to produce only further hardship.
Based on ethnographic fieldwork among undocumented migrants (including asylum seekers) in Stockholm between 2004 and 2006, additional interviews with police officers, deportation escorts and staff at Swedish detention centres and some fieldwork in Tehran in June 2005 and August 2007, this article examines the impact of Sweden’s more restrictive asylum policy since the beginning of the decade. From a condition of ‘deportability’ to incarceration in detention centres and then removal from Sweden, asylum seekers have been increasingly criminalised – their confinement and removal being seen as mechanisms for preserving national security. Focusing, in particular, on the techniques used by the detention apparatus to ‘humanise’ and ‘rationalise’ the confinement and expulsion of asylum seekers, it is argued that a discourse of ‘caring’ and ‘saving’ works, in effect, as a disciplinary mechanism that presents asylum seekers as responsible for their own detention and deportation.
This article proposes that there is added value in moving beyond isolated studies of return-related migration policies in order to consider both deportations and so-called assisted voluntary returns under the common heading of ‘state-induced returns’. Based on official documents and interviews with staff members of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration, it argues that international actors working in the field of migrant return engage in a type of tasksharing that goes beyond functional complementariness. With regard to the return of rejected asylum seekers, for instance, they legitimise each other’s engagement as well as the overarching return objectives of governments, and are, therefore, involved in normbuilding regarding the acceptability of state-induced returns. In addition to setting certain minimum standards regarding states’ treatment of their immigrant population, international actors assist states in upholding control over them. Rather than merely replacing state-led regulation, international actors thus support domestic governments in reaching their migration control objectives, and thereby contribute to a stabilisation of state sovereignty in the governance of migration.
Tags: Return
This EMN Country Factsheet provides a factual overview of the main policy developments in migration and international protection in Cyprus during 2012, including latest statistics. It has been prepared in conjunction with the European Commission’s 4th Annual Report on Migration and Asylum (2012).
‘Voluntary returns’ for rejected asylum seekers, foreign national prisoners, illegal entrants and overstayers are increasingly being promoted by European governments without due regard for the safety and preparedness of the returnee. In addition, the voluntariness of such returns has to be questioned. Among the UK schemes examined here are the Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP), Assisted Voluntary Return of Irregular Migrants (AVRIM), Assisted Voluntary Return for Families and Children (AVRFC), the Facilitated Returns Scheme (FRS) and the now discontinued ‘Explore and Prepare’ schemes.
This article, part of a major research project dealing with return migrants, delves into the feeling of loss experienced by female return migrants who migrated in their youth and returned home as older women. Analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data confirms that most of the respondents regretted their decision to migrate mostly because they thought it had harmed their marriage prospects. Many of them also felt that their long absence from home had weakened their roots in the family and community. A substantial number of respondents rued that the professional skills they possessed before migration had become redundant in the country of their origin as they were not able to use these while they were away.
The purpose of this study was to map the different forms of Assisted Return that are in place in the EU Member States, thereby facilitating a comparative analysis and providing a basis to support any further policy development at national and EU level that might be undertaken. It does this by outlining inter alia the various approaches of Assisted Return programmes of the Member States in order to identify lessons learned, best practices and possible synergies to further develop and improve Assisted Return programmes in the EU.
The expulsion of irregular migrants has become a political priority in many (northern) EU member states. In countries such as Germany and the Netherlands this has resulted in a rather puzzling situation in which the capacity for the administrative detention of irregular migrants is increasing, while the number of effective expulsions seems to be decreasing. In this article two theoretical perspectives are used to analyse these developments: a perspective emanating from the criminological framework of the ‘new penology’ and one resulting from the ‘migration control literature’. These perspectives combined offer explanations for this paradoxical situation – by highlighting the importanc of identification and the frustration thereof by irregular migrants and countries of origin – and for the apparent irrationality of the use of, sometimes very lengthy, administrative detention of irregular migrants.
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