UN World Youth Report


Week 3: E-consultation on return/no return migration with a focus on youth

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NOTE: The Week 3 e-consultation is now CLOSED. It is no longer possible to add new comments. For those of you who have not had time to read all of the comments from the week 3 e-consultation, please click here to download the summary of the discussion.



Congratulations to all the young people who have provided comments to the discussions so far!!! For those who are joining us for the first time, welcome to the third week of our e-discussion on youth migration. You have the chance to respond to the questions for today and other previous ones. During the past weeks, young people have shared their ideas, stories and experience on the pre-migration process, staying in transit and their experiences in destination countries.

From 7-13 February 2013, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities that migration presents for those young migrants who have returned to the country of origin or are deciding not to return (Please scroll down this page for today's questions and comment below).

Your ideas and comments on the questions below will contribute directly to the forthcoming UN World Youth Report 2013. Usually 2-3 questions relating to the issue at hand will be posted each day for this consultation. This e-discussion is moderated by Michael Boampong and our guest moderators, Miriam Finseth and Arpitha Upendra. Our moderators will be online to keep the discussion active. Please note that in responding to the questions below we encourage you to share your personal experiences, especially if you are a young migrant, return migrant or a child/relative of a migrant.

Meet the Moderators:

Michael Boampong, Lead moderator

Michael Boampong has been actively engaged in youth development and migration issues since 2005. He has worked with a range of civil society organizations, youth networks and international agencies such as UNDP and UNICEF in the design and implementation of policy and field oriented initiatives that promote rights based approaches to migration, poverty reduction, social inclusion and justice.


Miriam Finseth, Guest moderator

Miriam Finseth has completed a BA in Development Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. She takes a special interest in the field of migration and has done research on the contribution of diaspora and return migrants to development in the country of origin. She does volunteer work to support young asylum seekers in their application period. Next fall she will be undertaking a MSc in International Migration and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Arpitha Upendra, Guest moderator

Arpitha Upendra is an environmental lawyer and consultant with Natural Justice where her work focuses on recognition of biocultural rights and the formulation of biocultural community protocols (BCPs) with a focus on internal tribal migration. Her interest has always been to bring in interdisciplinary perspectives into the implementation and understanding of environmental law. As a research intern at Yale University Center of Interdisciplinary Bioethics she worked on a paper critiquing the international legal framework on genetically modified foods through the perspective of environmental ethics and industrial ecology. She was also awarded the World Bank Essay Prize in 2011 for her essay 'Alien Lands, New Opportunities' which focuses on the ecological, cultural and social factors to internal youth migration.


The e-consultations is coordinated by the UN Focal Point on Youth and is opened to all young people (15-35 years) interested in migration and development issues.

Please introduce yourself when you post a comment by indicating your Name (first name & initial of last name if preferred), Age, Sex, Country and Youth Organisation (if any).

We welcome comments in Spanish and French and have installed a Google translate for translation purposes (see above).

For technical issues, please write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

After a period of time living in a host country some young migrants choose to return to their country of origin whereas others remain in the destination country.

To understand the dynamics of return migration, it is important to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary return. Voluntary return is often seen as a potential for development, as evidence suggests that young migrants who return to their home countries are often equipped with new skills, qualifications and economic resources that may generate positive impacts on their families and local communities. Realizing the benefits of return migration, some countries have started undertaking policies that promote sustainable return of migrants. On the other hand, young migrants facing involuntary return will more often find themselves in a difficult and vulnerable position upon returning, and may not have much to return to at all.

The decision to return is only the first step in the direction of going home to build or rebuild a life in ones country of origin. For some young migrants, the process of getting reintegrated in their home community can be challenging especially when there are no support services to facilitate return and reintegration.

Among migrants that are not returning one must also make a distinction between staying voluntarily or involuntarily. A lot of young migrants will experience different or better opportunities in a host country; some will create new relationships, make new friends and families. These migrants may voluntarily decide to settle down for good instead of returning home. There are also some migrants who find themselves in a situation where they want to return, but are unable to do so for various reasons such as lack of legal documents.

We are interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences about return/no return,if you are currently a migrant, a return migrant or are in other ways affected by migration. In your experience, what are/have been the most important concerns, challenges and successes?

Thanks a lot for sharing your stories based on the questions below!



Day/theme Questions
7 February 2013 (Motivation and influence)
  1. What are your reasons for returning or not returning to your country of origin and who has influenced this decision? Or Why do some young migrants choose to return home while others choose to stay?
  2. What are your plans for the future in the host country (if staying) or in your country of origin (if returning)?
  3. If you have returned to your country of origin, or are planning to do so, do you think that your return will be permanent or temporary? Why / why not?
8 February 2013 (Return and reintegration)
  1. What challenges have you or other migrants faced when returning to the country of origin? How can these challenges can be overcome?
  2. If you have returned to your country of origin, how is the fact that you are a return migrant affecting your life at home? For example, how do new skills and knowledge that you or other young migrants have acquired while living in another country facilitate or inhibit reintegration? And have there been any changes in your social and cultural practices or in your consumption patterns after migrating and / or after returning?
  3. In your opinion, would you say that migration has in any way improved your social and economic status? And how does this affect the process of getting reintegrated in your home community?
9 February 2013 (Involuntary return)
  1. If your return was not voluntary, how has the experience been of being returned to your country of origin against your own will? And how does this affect your situation in your home community after your return?
11 February 2013 (Social integration)
  1. Under what conditions do you think return of young migrants can be successful? What kinds of policies and programs should be developed to facilitate return of young migrants to their countries of origin? And, if you are a return migrant, what kinds of services have you been met with from governmental and/or non-governmental organizations upon returning?
  2. What measures has your community/country or organizations (including youth organizations) put in place to facilitate the social and professional reintegration of migrants?
  3. How can young people within civil society work to promote the return of young migrants for sustainable development in their country of origin? For instance can the initiation of short term projects – such as volunteering to teach or work in a hospital - with diaspora youth groups help in this respect?
12-13 February 2013 (No return)
  1. If you have decided to not return to your country of origin, how has this decision affected your life in your host country? For example, has this decision made it easier to get integrated in the society you are living in? Why / why not?
  2. For example, has this decision made it easier to get integrated in the society you are living in? Why / why not? How do you keep in touch with your home community or country? For example, do you have contact with friends and family in your country of origin? Do you participate in diaspora organizations or activities that connect you to your country of origin?
  3. If you are not able to return to your country of origin, or know someone in this situation, please share your story. Why are you “stuck” in a host country? What do you think should be done to help young migrants in this situation to be able to return home?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 06:37

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The UN Focal Point on Youth aims to build awareness of the global situation of young people, as well as promote their rights and aspirations, working toward greater participation of young people in decision-making as a means for achieving peace and development.

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