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16 Sep 2020

Migration in West and North Africa and across the Mediterranean - Chapter 28

Returning migrants: from disillusion to integration initiatives in the South-East, North and Central regions of Senegal
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This chapter examines the impact of various forms of return on migrants, their families and communities in Senegal, in particular in terms of resilience and/or development. It focuses on spontaneous and independent return, on voluntary return (taking place with IOM support), and on forced return (expulsion). It draws on data collected through individual and group interviews with returning migrants. Results show that migrants who return voluntarily tend to evoke an idyllic image of migration, whereas migrants who were forced to return tend to experience disillusion. Some migrants use money and experience gained abroad to become entrepreneurs; they promote the image of returnees as an asset. However, given Senegal’s migratory tradition, migration journeys are considered positive even when returnees come home “empty-handed”.