Return migration and psychosocial wellbeing

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The links between return migration and psychosocial wellbeing are multifaceted, exposing a macro-level understanding and regulation of migration management, welfare and human rights, as well as changing attitudes during the life course at the individual level in terms of mobility, belonging, living well and relationality. In this chapter, key writings that explore the challenges and psychosocial outcomes for returnees are reviewed and analysed. A structural focus on the sustainability of return has long obscured the very wide range of psychosocial issues and mental ill-health symptoms that returnees experience, based on intersectional features such as age, gender, ethnicity and class. A shift towards the sustainability of reintegration and a stronger academic focus on reintegration as a topic worth exploring in its own right shed light on the importance of psychosocial wellbeing at all stages of the migration and return process. The chapter concludes that migrant-centred approaches underpinned by human-rights considerations are best positioned to enable the integration of psychosocial wellbeing in policy-making and service provision, considering this aspect of return as key to enhancing migrants’ agency and to the deployment of their resourcefulness in the countries of origin post-return.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Return Migration
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781839100055
ISBN (Print)978 1 83910 004 8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2022


  • migration


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