IOM releases study on indebtedness and reintegration
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released a new research study: Returning to Debt. Examining the Effects of Indebtedness on Reintegration Outcomes.
The study was undertaken in 2022 by the EU-IOM Knowledge Management Hub (KMH) with the financial support of the European Union (EU), in collaboration with Samuel Hall and the University of Sussex. It builds on previous research on debt and reintegration by analyzing returnees’ and their households’ experiences with debt in five countries (Bangladesh, Cameroon, El Salvador, Ghana and Iraq).
Using IOM’s framework on sustainable reintegration with its focus on a multidimensional and multilevel reintegration process, this study analyses reintegration outcomes according to three dimensions (economic, social and psychosocial) and contextualizes the experiences of returnees within their households and communities.
The report focuses on how debt acts as a barrier to, or at times facilitates, opportunities for returnees’ sustainable reintegration, as well as ways in which it constricts returnees’ ability to cope with reintegration challenges. Additionally, the report examines how debt damages returnees’ households’ capacity to support returnees’ reintegration.
The study reveals that the more coercive debt conditions were, the poorer the reintegration outcomes. Identifying such situations of coercive debt becomes critical in programming and policy making to support returnees’ reintegration, as indebtedness can become a tipping point for further vulnerabilities.
Focusing on mediating the structural reasons why migrants, including returnees, accrue coercive debt; advocating for more positive debts and debt practices; and integrating debt into future reintegration programming are key thematic recommendations emerging from this research.
Do not miss the opportunity to consult previous research studies and other knowledge products developed by the KMH by visiting the dedicated repository!