International Online Symposium

Return Migration and Implications for Policy and Practice: Global, Regional and National Multi-stakeholder Perspectives

15 September 2020

Convenors: Dr Zana Vathi (Edge Hill University/EHU), Prof Russell King (Sussex), Dr Barak Kalir (Amsterdam)
Meeting link:
Meeting number: 120 411 0254
Password: 1234

The symbolic and instrumental positioning of return migration within public discourse and migration agendas is changing significantly in recent years. Evidence suggests that return can be leveraged to serve nationalistic political projects as well as international geopolitical goals. In many contexts, different forms of forced return are appearing as assaults to human rights (e.g., the deportation of the Windrush immigrants and EU citizens in the UK, the recent forced return from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia). Countries of origin that become home of, or rather new (temporary) settlements for, the returning migrants are often in a precarious bargaining position when it comes to negotiating return or managing re-settlement. In the Global South return is little researched, while there is growing evidence on the interconnectedness between migration patterns in these contexts and those in high-income countries. At the same time, different countries in the Global South as well as in the Middle East are emerging as gravity points for regional migration and return patterns. This symposium brings together academics, policy makers and practitioners to tackle key developments and implications for research, policy and practice – in general, and in the framework of the major world changes and restructuring in the aftermath of COVID-19. The event is sponsored by IMISCOE as part of one of its Research Initiatives ‘Revisiting Return Migration in Shifting Geopolitics’. 


11.00 Opening and introductions:

Dr Zana Vathi (EHU), Prof Russell King (Sussex), Dr Barak Kalir (Amsterdam)

11.10-11.40 Opening Keynote: Return migration: Two words, too many meanings

Prof Jean-Pierre Cassarino, College of Europe

Chair: Prof Russell King

11.45 – 12.30 Panel 1: Global and Regional approaches

Chair: Dr Zana Vathi

  • The impact of informalization of agreements linked to readmission on refugees’ rights, Dr MariaGiulia Giuffree Edge Hill University/EHU
  • Returns to internal displacement around the world Chloe Sydney, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
  • South-South return migration Dr Nassim Majidi, Samuel Hall/Wits

12.30-13.00 LUNCH BREAK

13.00-13.45 Panel 2: Key issues in the EU

Chair: Dr Barak Kalir

  • Roma mobility in the Covid 19. Policy and practice in the field of return migration Gabriela Petre, National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Romania
  • Scenarios of Return Mobility in the EU and the Pandemic Prof Izabela Grabowska, Warsaw 
  • A new Pact on Migration and Asylum: addressing return and repatriation at EU level Mr Dan Rotenberg, EU Commission DG HOME

13.45-14.00 COFFEE BREAK

14.00-15.00 Panel 3: Return and Deportation from the UK

Chair: Dr Zana Vathi

  • The impact of Windrush on Community Cohesion Anthony Brown, Windrush Defenders Legal C.I.C.
  • EU citizens and new dimensions of deportability in Post-Brexit Britain, Dr Agnieszcka Martynowicz, Edge Hill University/EHU
  • Brexodus has not yet come: mobility among EU citizens in the UK and Britons in the EU, Dr Djordje Sredanovic, Université Libre de Bruxelles

15.00 – 15.30 Closing Keynote: Global perspectives on return and reintegration

Nicola Graviano Head of AVVR, IOM Geneva.

Chair: Dr Barak Kalir

15.30 – 16.00 Closing and legacy planning: What’s next for return migration?

Dr Zana Vathi (EHU), Prof Russell King (Sussex), Dr Barak Kalir (Amsterdam)