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close this bookRefugee Emergencies. A Community-Based Approach (UNHCR, 1996, 142 p.)
close this folderPart Three. Voluntary Repatriation
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe Role of Community Services


Key points

· Involve refugees from the outset in the planning and coordination of repatriation.

· To facilitate the reintegration process, prepare refugees by providing information and counselling. This presupposes that agencies have accurate information about the conditions/services and facilities available in the country of origin, the changes that have taken place, and the impact that these may have on the returnees.

· Ensure community support by encouraging refugee communities/groups to repatriate together and by identifying potential support groups in the country of return.

· Identification of extremely vulnerable individuals should be undertaken at the time of registration to plan the assistance required during the movement and reintegration phases of the repatriation.

· Vulnerability in the camp setting will not necessarily translate into vulnerability in the home country. Upon return, vulnerability may be greater for social than medical cases (e.g. female single-headed households without family support).

· Encourage and support agencies working with vulnerable groups in the refugee setting to develop programmes in the country of origin and continue their work with the same population, thereby ensuring the continuity of services and facilities.

· In providing assistance, avoid making returnees a privileged group. Set goals and time limits for assistance and publicize these widely so as to dispel any unrealistic expectations of endless assistance.