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close this bookResettlement of Displaced Population - 1st Edition (DHA/UNDRO - DMTP - UNDP, 1995, 60 p.)
close this folderPart 4: Options of place
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentReturn to residence or area from which displacement occurred
View the documentSpontaneous repatriation
View the documentOrganized repatriation
View the documentIntegration into the host community
View the documentRelocation
View the documentCASE STUDY: Planned Secondary Resettlement (PSR)
View the documentCASE STUDY: Land tenure issues in resettlement: Repatriation to Tigray region of Ethiopia

Return to residence or area from which displacement occurred

Repatriation to the place of origin is stereotypically perceived as the solution of choice. Many displaced persons are indeed able to return home, some within a short time. For example, in some conflict situations people flee their villages when there is an active threat but return home again immediately when it seems safe. The same is true for situations involving natural disasters. Villagers in the Philippines, living in an area persistently affected by armed conflict, built evacuation houses at the foot of the mountain for occasions when they were displaced.

In disaster situations and in many refugee generating emergencies, people may evacuate hurriedly in the face of danger, intending to be gone a short time, but encounter circumstances which prevent their return. Many displaced people are only able to return home after being away months or years. Refugee camps were established for Cambodians fleeing into Thailand on the assumption they would return to Cambodia within 6 months; they remained in the camps for 10 years before they were able to repatriate.