19 March: Migration Seminar “Rejected asylum seekers and voluntary return migration” by March Arjen Leerkes (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

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Date(s) - 19/03/14
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

UNU-Merit Conference Room (Keizer Karelplein 19)


Rejected asylum seekers and voluntary return migration

by March Arjen Leerkes

(Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Maastricht Graduate School of Governance / UNU-MERIT with MACIMIDE migration seminar


In the Netherlands and elsewhere, a substantial percentage of asylum requests are rejected, and rejected asylum seekers are legally required leave the country. To what extent, and under what conditions, do rejected asylum seekers return voluntarily to their country of origin? How – via what mechanisms – and to what extent can the government in the country of the asylum application influence return rates?

In this talk, which is based on recent research on the Netherlands, I will go into the impact of both home country-related determinants of voluntary return (political safety, respect for human rights, standard of living) as well as on determinants that vary on the individual level (sex, age, household composition, length of the asylum procedure until a first decision has been reached). I will also go into the question of whether various policy measures to encourage voluntary return, such as financial assistance, actually increase the probability of return.  The analysis is based on individual-level data by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) on all rejected asylum seekers in the period 2005-2011, which were linked to IOM-data on rejected asylum seekers who opted for assisted voluntary return during this period.

About the Speaker:

Arjen Leerkes is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (0.8 fte) and researcher at the Documentation and Research Centre of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice (0.2 fte). His research focuses on the societal operation and consequences of the governmental regulation of international migration in Europe and the United States. Recent publications include ‘When the Border is “Everywhere”: State-level Variation in Migration Control and Changing Settlement Patterns of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population in the United States’ (International Migration Review), and ‘Local Limits to Migration Control: Practices of Selective Migration Policing in a Restrictive National Policy’ (Police Quarterly). In 2009 Amsterdam University published his dissertation Illegal Residence and Public Safety in the Netherlands.