Assisting migrants in return
While ensuring that they
maintain their impartiality, neutrality and independence, several European Red
Cross Societies work to help migrants return to their country of origin in
dignity and security.
Return activities of European Red Cross Societies include providing information about the situation in countries of origin, assisting migrants in the practical and financial set up of personal projects in their home country and providing social and psychological counseling. They also facilitate contact with National Red Cross Societies in countries of return, as well as with local Civil Society Organisations that can ease reintegration into the community upon arrival.
Some European National Red Cross Societies also
monitor return procedures to make sure that migrants are treated with dignity
and that their fundamental rights are respected at all stages of the procedure.
|IFRC Migration Policy, 2009
Principle 8: Assist migrants in return
Return to the place of origin is not the necessary end or solution to migration. Migrants may prefer to stay where they are, for an extended period or permanently. While providing counselling and informing migrants about their options, National Societies cannot and shall not decide what solution is the best, and must at all times maintain their impartiality, neutrality and independence. When migrants do return they face particular challenges; to assist and protect them, cooperation and agreement between National Societies in countries of destination and return is essential.
European National Societies activities
The Swedish Red Cross: Ensuring voluntary return in safety and dignity
The Swedish Red Cross has extensive experience in providing assistance to migrants returning to their country of origin. Such activities are conducted in accordance with the principles of the 2009 Policy on Migration of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and its Advisory Note on ”actions to assist migrants in return”. In this regard, the Swedish Red Cross has adopted a strictly humanitarian approach and only focuses on migrants’ individual needs and interests, without promoting or encouraging return as a preferred solution, but rather helping them to explore all available options and their consequences, thereby empowering them to make informed decisions about their own future. Read More.
Related Red Cross Red Crescent news and resources
- Shifting Borders - Externalising migrant vulnerabilities and rights, 2013
National Red Cross Societies and the IFRC respond to the European Ombudsman’s
public consultation on FRONTEX and Fundamental Rights, September 2012.
- IFRC Supplementary Guidance on the Policy on Migration - Advisory note on Action to assist migrants in return. Also available in French, Spanish and Arabic.
- PERCO guide for European National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - Return: Policy and Practice, May 2008
- European Red Cross Return Initiative: A study on how to support sustainable return in safety and dignity, 2006
- PERCO paper - Detention of returnees: Considerations for National Societies to take into account prior to undertaking a role in this field, October 2005
- PERCO Repatriation Guidelines for National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, December 1999
- European Commission Directorate for Home Affairs – Return and readmission
- International Organization for Migration
Other areas of work