The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said a toolkit it published today closes a gap in monitoring the sustainable reintegration of child returnees.
The development of the toolkit and the identification of good practices were coordinated by the EU-IOM Knowledge Management Hub (KMH) with the financial support of the European Union (EU), in collaboration with Samuel Hall, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships and Save the Children.
Despite major efforts to address the unique challenges children face in their return and reintegration, until now monitoring of key indicators and frameworks had mostly focused on the adult or household level, rather than on children themselves.
According to data provided by IOM in its Return and Reintegration Key Highlights 2020, 15 per cent of the 42,181 migrants the Organization helped through Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, Voluntary Humanitarian Return, or in conjunction with the COVID-19 Return Task Force, were children. During the past year, return assistance was also provided to 2,386 migrants in vulnerable situations, and 16 per cent of them were unaccompanied or separated children.
The Monitoring Toolkit and Good Practices for the Sustainable Reintegration of Child Returnees – developed and field-tested by Samuel Hall in Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Iraq and Nigeria – offers a set of practical tools, including quantitative surveys, case studies, focus group discussions and key informant interviews, that consider the diverse experiences faced by child returnees in their reintegration process.
“The research results in standards and tools for effective and appropriate child reintegration monitoring,” said Nassim Majidi, co-director of Samuel Hall. “This includes understanding the full ecosystem of stakeholders involved in children’s reintegration and increasing their participation in the process.”
Monica Goracci, IOM Migration Management Department Director, said the toolkit will contribute to improving child-sensitive programmes and policies, especially from a protection perspective. “It provides all reintegration practitioners with a unique tool to monitor children’s reintegration sustainability, strengthen protection and ensure that the best interest of the child is at the core of all interventions.”
This research study integrates the extensive work by IOM and partners on the return and reintegration of child returnees, comprising, among others, the Reintegration Handbook’s Module 6 jointly developed by IOM and UNICEF, A Child Rights Approach to The Sustainable Reintegration of Migrant Children and Families, and the Cross-regional Seminar on the same topic organized by the KMH earlier this year. It builds on Save the Children’s Durable Solutions for Children Toolkit and IOM’s Reintegration Sustainability Survey.
The study was undertaken under the KMH’s Research Fund set up to address knowledge gaps in the field of migrant return and reintegration. Beyond this research, two other studies will be published shortly with a focus on reintegration outcomes following forced and voluntary return, and the gender dimension of reintegration.