A diverse audience of around 100 participants from 27 European and African countries attended the Rabat Process meeting on voluntary return and reintegration that took place on 25-26 April 2023 in Yaoundé, co-chaired by Cameroon and Belgium. The discussions resulted in an outcome document that identifies recommendations and areas for improvement to enhance the success of voluntary return and reintegration projects.

Cameroon, as the host of the meeting, serves as reference country for Area 5 of the Cadiz Action Plan 2023-2027 which focuses on return, reintegration and readmission. The meeting specifically addressed Objective 10 of the plan, which calls for Dialogue partners to work together to “encourage programmes aimed at ensuring safe return, including from transit countries, and the sustainable reintegration of migrants, with respect for their human rights and dignity.” The thematic meeting followed up on a webinar on return and reintegration led by Cameroon and France in 2021.

Four thematic panels over two days

During the opening ceremony, speakers emphasised the necessity of adopting comprehensive migration governance in the framework of a solidary partnership, with return being an essential pillar. They also highlighted the importance of coordinated actions to safeguard the rights and protection of migrants within the context of voluntary return and reintegration policies and programs.

Representatives from ministries, development agencies, international organisations, think tanks and non-governmental organisations shared their expertise and perspectives in four panel discussions. These panels provided a platform for exchanging good practices, experiences and recommendations and allowed stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the main operational actors in this field.

The panel discussions focused on the following topics:

  • National and regional approaches: the importance of ownership of voluntary return and reintegration processes by partner countries
  • Lessons learned for successful voluntary return and reintegration
  • Strengthening links between reintegration and local and national development programmes in West and Central Africa
  • Strengthening the links between voluntary return and the protection of migrants

Conclusions and recommendations

The outcome document provides an overview of the main findings of the meeting, as well as good practices, challenges and recommendations related to voluntary return and reintegration. Ten policy and strategic recommendations as well as eleven operational recommendations summarise the essence of the fruitful discussions and valuable information shared during the meeting and aim to contribute to improving the success of voluntary return and reintegration projects.





Outcome Document