Briefing Paper

Returning Migrants: Europe’s Focus, but at what Cost?

Europe’s focus on returning migrants to Africa, despite resistance at continental and country levels, is
growing and is likely to increase in scale and scope. These policies and practices are some of the most
contentious in the migration domain. Prioritising returns irrespective of the costs could be damaging
in multiple ways, including exacerbating the ‘root causes’ of migration and even resulting in higher
migration flows.