Durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers?

Thursday 16 Jan 2020, 12:00 - Friday 17 Jan 2020, 16:00
Spoken Language
Call for abstracts Add to calendar

Rejected asylum seekers risk ending up in limbo: legally, they are obliged to return to their country of origin, but they often try to resist return due to factors of structural inequality - both in living standard, safety and freedom - between origin and host country, as well as individual and social factors. Countries of origin often do not cooperate with forced return. Host countries, on their part, are reluctant to granting rejected asylum seekers a form of regularized stay, as they fear that it will attract new asylum seekers and that may create the impression among voters that the state is not in control of immigration. Very rarely, third countries are willing to grant residence to these people. The result is that many rejected asylum seekers end up as undocumented migrants, which is an undesirable outcome from humanitarian, governance and social cohesion perspectives. Seeking durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers is therefore one of the most pressing migration issues of our time.

Aim of the workshop

A 2-day workshop to bring together academics, policy actors and practitioners in the field of migration and asylum to discuss the current challenges and explore durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers in both EU member states and host states in the global south. Following the three ‘durable solutions’ for refugees, promoted by the UNCHR, we will frame our exploration around the opportunities and challenges for three potential durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers: return, resettlement and local integration, while remaining open for other possible solutions.


On Thursday 16 January 2020 we will have a dialogue meeting between research, policy and practitioners, based on the work of the Research Social Platform on Migration and Asylum (ReSOMA). ReSOMA aims to provide ready-to-use evidence on policy, policy perceptions and policy options on migration, asylum, and integration at the EU level. During this half a day workshop, ReSOMA researchers will present policy option briefs based on data gathered through rounds of consultations with the EU-level and national level stakeholders, on themes related to the  ‘asylum-return nexus’: Return & Safe third countries; Relocation and Secondary Movements; Alternatives for detention; Social inclusion of the undocumented.

On Friday 17 January 2020 there will be an academic workshop for scholars to discuss and problematize the durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers: return, local integration or resettlement in a variety of host states, including host- and transit countries in the EU and the global south. 9 to 12 speakers will be invited to the workshop based on their submission that revolves around one or more of the topics addressed in the call for abstracts (deadline 22 November 2019). We envisage an edited volume (journal or book) that seeks to generate aggregated insights based on the individual contributions, and potential avenues for research collaborations to be the outcome of this workshop.


Day 1: Durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers: Lessons from the ReSOMA project and beyond  

12:00-12:45 Lunch and registration
12:45-13:00Introduction and welcome

ReSOMA Dialogue Session

Resoma speaker(s) on

  • Asylum-return nexus (Lina Vosyliute)
  • Relocation arrangements and Secondary Movements within the EU (Roberto Cortinovis)
  • Increasing use of detention in the EU (Carmine Conte)
  • Social inclusion of the undocumented (Lina Vosyliute)

Reactions / panel discussion by

  • National and local level policy actors (TBA)
  • National / international and local level practitioners (TBA)
  • Independent researcher (TBA)

Q&A with academics and stakeholders

13:00-15:00 Coffee break
15:30- 17:30

ReSOMA Interactive session: how to come up with durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers

Solution-based round table discussions in small groups based on possible (innovative) scenarios for durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers


Day 2: Academic Workshop: Durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers?
9:00- 10:30First session (3-4 speakers plus discussant)
10:30- 11:00Coffee break
11:00- 12:30Second session (3-4 speakers plus discussant)
12:30- 13:30Lunch
13:30- 15:00Third session (3-4 speakers plus discussant)
15:00- 15:15Coffee break
15:15- 16:00Wrap up session


More information

Contact the organizing team to register for this workshop:

Dr. Marieke van Houte (vanhoute@essb.eur.nl) and Dr. Zeynep Kaşlı  (kasli@essb.eur.nl).

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