Patterns and motives behind onward, return and circular migration among forced migrants

Andrea Monti, Stockholm University

Contemporary international migration trends show how sequential migration including several destinations, such as onward, return and circular migration is increasing. There are reasons to believe that these sequential migration trajectories are especially important for those initially migrating as refugees. Recent developments on immigration to Europe show a growing need of knowledge on how and why dynamic international migration flows come about, especially among forced migrants. Knowledge on emigration patterns among involuntary migrants is exceedingly important for policy makers who in the light of the so called “refugee crisis” are enforcing immigration restrictions at the same time as they wish to attract highly skilled migrants in order to meet the demands of ageing and shrinking populations. Few previous studies have examined the differences between different types of emigration trajectories and with a focus on forced migrants. This paper therefor aims at mapping and analyzing the extent, patterns and determinants of onward, return and circular migration among former refugees. Using Swedish longitudinal register data from the period 1990-2013, individual emigrant histories are tracked back in time. The results on typical emigration patterns and selectivity of emigrants in relation to integration outcomes will be of great importance to policy makers as well as provide a solid background to future studies.

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Presented in Session 49: New perspectives on emigration and return migration