The return of irregular migrants is seen as an important factor in the attempt to reduce irregular migration and as essential to the common EU migration and asylum policy, as well as the credibility of national policies. Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) is particularly prevalent in policy and increasing research is being conducted on the impacts of AVR on returnees and their countries of return. As data and information are available on both return migration through IOM AVR programmes in Austria, this PhD research project will focus on Austria as the destination country and Nigeria as the origin country. As a conceptual framework, the research will look at embeddedness as a multidimensional concept that refers to an individual finding his or her own position in society and feeling a sense of belonging to, and participating in, that society. The main question is: Which factors influence the process of re-embeddedness of involuntary returning former refugees, rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants and what is the role of assistance in the short and in the long term? The returnee´s individual characteristic will be discussed together with an elaboration of the migration cycle, giving special attention for the reasons why Nigerians migrate and the experiences and conditions they encounter both abroad and when returning. In addition, the influence of assistance will be assessed in order to see if this stimulates embeddedness and if reintegration back home can be viewed as successful.


Duration 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2022
Funding Bundesländer (inkl. deren Stiftungen und Einrichtungen)

Department for Migration and Globalisation

Center for Migration, Integration and Security

Principle investigator for the project (Danube University Krems) Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mathias Czaika
Project members Simona Schreier, MLAW


How have assisted voluntary return programmes developed and evolved over time in Europe?

Migration research in Austria – current trends and challenges, 10/12/2020

The evolution and diffusion of assisted return programmes in Europe since the 1970s

Crossing Borders – Perspectives in Migration Research, 6th Biennial Conference on Migration and Integration in Austria, 17/09/2020

World Café on Return Migration

11. DialogForum - Dialog zwischen Politik, Wissenschaft und Praxis, Donau-Universität Krems, Österreich, 28/08/2019

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