Gender, Return Migration and Reintegration in the Gambia, Guinea and Senegal

How does gender shape the reintegration process of migrants and how do patterns of return mobilities and reintegration impact upon gender in the Gambia, Guinea and Senegal?

Project Summary

Since the peak of the ‘refugee crisis’ in 2015, migration policies have become more restrictive in Europe, including measures of increased deportation and repatriation. As a result, IOs, European state development agencies, and NGOs have expanded their engagement in return-led schemes, such as in ‘assisted voluntary return programmes’. Moreover, return migration has become a prominent subject of the global development agenda, where it is considered a priority area of migration–development policies.

In our research we intend to deconstruct the international return policy discourse by introducing the migrants’ subjective experiences on their return and reintegration processes. While gendered analysis has become more integral in migration studies, it is by far less existent in post-return reintegration. Thus, the overall aim of this project is to understand:

 

  • How does gender shape the reintegration process of migrants?
  • How patterns of return mobilities and reintegration impact upon gender in the Gambia, Guinea and Senegal?
  • What do subjective experiences of refugee returnees reveal of the international return policy discourse?

 

Thereby, we focus on three groups of returnees: 1) migrants seeking institutional support before returning to Gambia, Guinea or Senegal, 2) returnees only seeking support after arrival, and 3) returnees seeking no support.

The study is based on a multi-sited ethnography, using a variety of fieldwork methods. Given that both gender and return are subject to complex temporal dynamics, the project is partly designed as a longitudinal study. In order to investigate the full scope of the interlinkages between reintegration and gender as well as the support mechanisms addressed to returnees, we opt for a pluri-disciplinary approach that involves social anthropology, development studies, human geography, sociology, and social work.

The expected project results will enable a wide range of users – governments, IOs/NGOs, among others – to obtain knowledge on gender aspects inherent to return and reintegration processes in the countries under study, so as to optimise their return infrastructure.

Research Team

Eveline Odermatt
Coordinator
University of Fribourg

Luzia Jurt
Co-Coordinator
School of Social Work, University of Northwestern Switzerland

Abdoulaye Wotem Sompare
Principal Member
University Julius Nyerere, Kankan (Guinea Conakry)

Ester Botta
Principal Member
University Julius Nyerere, Kankan (Guinea Conakry)

 

Cheikh Mbacke Sene
Principal Member
International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

Doudou Gueye
Principal Member
University Assane Seck, Ziguinchor (Senegal)

Eduard B. Diouf
Principal Member
University Assane Seck, Ziguinchor (Senegal)

Aminata Beye
Principal Member
University Assane Seck, Ziguinchor (Senegal)

Status

ongoing

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Regions

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Coordinator

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