An essential part of the regulated migration policy is that people who have received a rejection of application or an order of expulsion shall return to their country of origin. A common goal within the EU is for the return to take place in humane, legally secure, and effective forms. Return is moreover an essential part of the New Pact on Asylum and Migration that was proposed by the Commission which also aims to create more efficient and fair migration processes. Delmi's forthcoming study fills a knowledge gap about how it works in practice based on the asylum seekers subjective experiences. The research is built on a rich material that provides a unique insight into people's lives - before, during and after the migration journey.

I was ready to go anyway, because I was dead no matter what, so if I died in the sea, nothing would have changed, at least I would have tried…

Quote from an Iraqi respondent about risking his life at sea.

Many of the respondents in the study had heard about how Sweden respects human rights and democracy, while others received advice on the final destination along the way. During the refugee crisis, a record number of people sought refuge in Sweden. They talk about the long processing time at the Swedish Migration Agency and how the uncertainty affected their mental health. In the end, they received a decision: rejection.

If they didn’t want to accept us, then why would they have teased and bothered me for five years. We lived there for five years. They should have cleared our case within one year, not five, because it really hurt us.

Quote from an Afghani respondent about the long processing time.

Return migration is linked to stigma and where returnees are considered to be failures in a migration journey where the family has usually been involved. Not only are they returning to an already difficult context, but for many Afghans it is to a country that they often have little or negligible connection to, after growing up in Iran. Many are therefore planning for re-migration when the borders open again after the Covid-19 pandemic.

”Those who were sent back: Return and Reintegration of Rejected Asylum Seekers” will be published on Delmi's website in June. The purpose of the project is to improve the migration processes within the return area for the target group of third-country nationals. Are you curious to know more about the benefits of EU financial support for the project? Then click on our project page for more information and subscribe to our mailings to not to miss the report launch webinar.

Picture by AMIF.