There is a new willingness in a growing number of European countries to adopt a more innovative approach to returning rejected asylum-seekers and irregular migrants, through trying more explicitly to link return with reintegration and development assistance. Some countries, such as France, the Netherlands and Switzerland, are already piloting such policies; others, such as Denmark, Sweden and the UK, have shown a new willingness at least to contemplate them.
This report compares the experiences of a selection of existing assisted return programmes for rejected asylum-seekers and irregular migrants, and draws lessons from them for future programmes. Specifically, the report focuses on three aspects: programme implementation, the targeting of assistance, and evaluation. In each case it analyses the experiences of existing programmes, and then makes recommendations for best practice in the future.