Effective (Re)integration: How Voluntary Returnees receives support

Post Second World War reconstruction boom created demand for migrant workers in the developed countries and people from other parts of the world made use of all these opportunities and migrated in large numbers to these countries. This trend continued, but now the trend of migration has been accompanied by increased number of Unsafe Migration cases in the recent years.


In search of better living opportunities, people from different part of India migrate to European countries through different means especially illegal and face challenge of survival on foreign land. To help eligible migrants who make informed and voluntary choices about returning to their country of origin, European countries governments started European Reintegration Network (ERIN) programme, funded by the European Union Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

For ERIN India, Caritas India and Caritas International Belgium act as one single focal point, where Caritas India closely works with Caritas International Belgium to provide assistance to returnees from the different ERIN partner countries. Caritas India facilitate their smooth return and provide meet & greet services to give close accompaniment to the returnees from Germany, Austria, France, UK, Denmark and Belgium for successful reintegration. They are also provided business consultancy, administrative and social service support.

Coming home can be straightforward for some, but often they are confused and clueless. The (re)integration process starts at the host country by conducting a ‘Pre-Departure Counselling’ of the returnees, this is followed by ‘Meet & Greet Service’ at the Service Provider at the country of origin to provide assistance at the airport like temporary accommodation, travel arrangements, and ambulance service if required. An Interaction with the Returnee on Arrival was organized to orient about the service provider, reintegration assistance, and utilization of the package. Close Accompaniment is provided to the Field partners and the returnee to handle the reintegration cases with sensitivity. Reintegration need verification was done by physical visits to returnees, followed by processing of payment based on successful verification. The proof of payment is drawn from both returnee and suppliers and at the last processing of service fee is given to the returnee upon submitting the papers.

Caritas India is working to provide amicable environment to the returnees in India. On November 4-5, 2019 Caritas India organized a meeting with its project coordinators, Directors of local partners to improve the close accompaniment services to the returnees, inter-communication between Caritas India, local partners and returnees, and complaint mechanism to uphold the dignity of the returnees. 18 participants represented the service providers at the local level in the meeting.

Fr. Jolly, Assistant Executive Director of Caritas India shared about the principle of Solidarity in the formation of powerful support system to rebuild migrants/returnee’s life from social-economic pressure after their return.

Caritas India team has taken up the brainstorming sessions with the local partners to recall the reintegration procedures at local level, pre & post business verification, maintaining confidentiality of the returnees, complaint mechanism and documentation of compelling case stories.

Local partners coordinators presented their work based on the action points taken in the last ERRIN (European Return Reintegration Network) workshop and their mode of communications with the returnees and Caritas India in reintegration programme. Caritas India team came with a brainstorming session for the local field team on partners mode of communications.

Caritas India insisted partners to develop case studies of (re)integration to share the project impact. They were encouraged to produce regular short videos of returnee and share Bi-Monthly status of the of the integration plan.

In the end, three Action points were taken forward to develop Case Stories from Partners within timeframe, sharing of Bimonthly Excel sheet of expenses against Integration Plan and documentary/ Video Byte making by local partners.