Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN35_01b: The Many Faces of Return Migration: From Life Project to Deportability
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Meltem Yilmaz Sener, Norwegian Center for Human Rights, University of Oslo
Location: BS.G.27
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road

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Bridging Overseas Filipino Workers Through The Reintegration Program

Karen Frando So


Filipinos are widely known as global workers. They provide knowledge, skills and manpower to different countries. Working abroad has become very popular among Filipinos as a way to attain economic stability. Some prefer to migrate permanently while some prefer temporary migration and perceive working abroad as a step towards brighter future which promises economic security to the family. However, this economic security is slowly becoming a myth to a growing number of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) due to lack of financial literacy and other factors. Thus, interventions from various organizations are put in place to address this.

This led me to examine the role of government organization (GO) and non-government organization (NGO) in the reintegration of OFW to their home country and/or abroad. It focused on the reintegration program and processes, as well as their impact to the lives of OFW who wish to start a new life after working several years abroad. It examined the different forms and impacts of reintegration programs offered to OFW such as capacity training, skills development and capital assistance offered to OFW who wants to start a sustainable life in the Philippines and to OFW who desires to stay abroad.

The paper found out the following: 1) program offered by the government are still in infancy thus limiting the positive impacts of the program, 2) collaboration between NGOs and GO is highly important in the success of the reintegration program, and 3) revisiting policy on OFW is necessary to ensure proper implementation.

The Deportation of Foreigners on Social Assistance from Switzerland: Be Useful or Go Away

Ibrahim Soysüren

University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

In public debates, migrants’ access to aids and rights related to welfare State is much discussed and they have been accused of taking advantage of social benefits. However, the deportation of foreigners on social assistance has not been analysed in detail yet.

Some authors, such as Walters (2002) and Ceastecker (1998), relate the deportation of foreigners to the development of welfare States. Measures strengthening the social protection of nationals have pushed European states to exclude foreigners and deport them. On the other hand, scholars have argued that the possibility of being deported, called deportability, has been instrumental in the creation of a disposable labour force which would not have easy access to social protection or social benefits.

This paper is based on three qualitative research; two of which were funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. I will firstly explore the relationship between welfare, social assistance and the deportation of foreigners. Secondly, I will detail my theoretical framework based on governmentality (Foucault, 2004), utility, deportability (De Genova, 2002) as well as “duty of politeness” (Sayad, 1998). Then, I will show how foreigners are deported from Switzerland because of being on social assistance.

Foreigners can be deported when they are considered as “useless” for the host society. They break their “duty of politeness” as they did not behave well in “someone else’s house”. Therefore, (mis)use of welfare or social assistance shows that a foreigner does not deserve to be tolerated in the country. This State government of poor foreigners aims to push them to become economically active again or leave Switzerland. In its conclusion, the paper will point out the limits of this governmentally.

Youth Return Migration in Latvia: (Be)Longing and Challenges of Adapting Back

Baiba Bela

University of Latvia, Latvia

“When I lived abroad, I always had a feeling that I live for myself and from my work there is only personal gains. But here I have the feeling that it would be something more.”

Since the financial crisis in 2008, more than 250,000 inhabitants have left Latvia. In recent years, emigration rates still exceed return migration rates, although the latter are rising. Analysis of return migration carried out so far has mostly provided general information. Therefore, the Centre for Diaspora and Migration Studies at the University of Latvia carried out a study on the return migration of young people, to identify the current situation and potential problems for integration of return migrants. This paper explores the experiences of mobility. At first, attention is paid to the search of opportunities for self-development abroad and the feeling that “you are a stranger and you are not accepted as one of your own kind”. Secondly, attention is paid to the factors facilitating the decision to return, especially to the embededness in the home cultural environment, attachment to friends and family. In the same time, all young people needed time to adapt back, regardless of how long they lived abroad.

Brexodus, Breturn, Brexmobility: Return and Onward Migration in the Brexit Context

Djordje Sredanovic

University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Brexit menaces to introduce important barriers to the intra-EU freedom of movement by depriving Britons of EU citizenship and EU27 citizens in the UK of at least part of the rights deriving from EU norms. In this presentation, based on in-depth interviews with EU27 citizens in the UK and Britons in Belgium, I show how the Brexit process simultaneously pushes the two groups to consider a return or onward migration, and introduces barriers that make such migration more difficult.

Both groups of interviewees fear a loss of rights in their country of residence, and EU27 citizens further fear that the UK might see an economic crisis and a rise of xenophobia. For some of the EU27 interviewees a return or onward migration is a last option, for others it is something they have always considered, and in both cases there is worry that they might not have the right to settle back in the UK after a few years. Britons in Belgium see return migration as an always possible but not unproblematic option, and fear to lose the right to migrate to other EU countries. Both groups of interviewees further fear that Brexit will make short-term mobility more difficult.

Both groups have relied on EU freedom of movement in order to have access to an EU-wide job market, maintain transnational family relations, or plan a retirement migration, and naturalisation is the most common tactic among the interviewees to safeguard at least in part their freedom of movement.

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