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Tuesday, 28th October 2014

From Europe to Africa: Return Migration to Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Source: Institut national d'études démographiques (INED)

In Europe, it is often assumed that African immigrants intend to settle permanently in the host country. Is this really the case? Do migrants only return home when they are encouraged or forced to do so by the authorities?...

Very few countries, either of origin or destination, record international return migrations in their national statistics. When information is available, it indicates that – depending on the receiving country and the period concerned – between 20% and 50% of immigrants leave the country within five years of their arrival, either to return home or to move elsewhere. As these flows are rarely measured, many people are unaware that they exist. In France, for example, entries into French territory are tracked via the residence permits issued by the administration, but exits, and more especially return migrations, are estimated very crudely. The lack of available data means that the factors associated with return migration are also poorly understood. In contrast to “managed” returns, i.e. expulsions or departures encouraged by governments through cash allowances, “spontaneous” return migrations, freely decided and undertaken by the migrants themselves, receive very little attention. The MAFE research programme (Migrations between Africa and Europe) enables us to study return migrations to Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), two countries with contrasting economic and political situations.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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