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Position Paper: Ensuring Safe and Dignified Return and Sustainable Reintegration

Knowledge Platform

Position Paper: Ensuring Safe and Dignified Return and Sustainable Reintegration

At a glance

This paper identifies key principles, and the UN Migration Network's common position, on migrant return and reintegration. It seeks to assist Member States and stakeholders to facilitate the safe and dignified return and readmission, and sustainable reintegration, along with the other relevant GCM objectives.

What it offers

The position paper sets out how the GCM provides a unique opportunity to strengthen cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination – based on key principles, safeguards and positive practices – for:

  • Ensuring that returns are safe, dignified and uphold human rights
  • Reducing the precariousness and related vulnerabilities of returnees
  • Promoting child-sensitive and gender-responsive sustainable reintegration in countries of origin.

The paper ends with a note on return and reintegration in the context of COVID-19 that can also be drawn on for policy or programmatic responses.

Further information

This paper was drafted by Return and Reintegration Working Group Co-leads (IOM, OHCHR, UNICEF), reviewed by Return and Reintegration Working Group Members (FAO, ILO, UN-Habitat, UNDP, UNHCR, UNU, WFP, Alianza Americas, APRRN, Catalyze Change, GANHRI, Global Detention Project, ICRC, Initiative for Child Rights in the  Global Compacts, IOE, ISS, Jill Alpes (researcher), MPI, NRC, PICUM, Post Deportation Monitoring Network, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants). 

While distinct products, the position paper, mapping and checklist are meant to provide a 'package' to assist States and other stakeholders to operationalize GCM objectives related to return, readmission and reintegration.

Date of Publication
Type of Resource
Target Audience
Source / Publisher
UN Network on Migration
Geographic Scope
Workstream Output
Dignified return, readmission and reintegration 
Regional Review Process
GCM Objectives
Cross Cutting Theme
International cooperation
Sustainable development
Human rights
Whole-of-society approach

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).