1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Promoting a Holistic and Multidisciplinary Approach to Social Development

Social and Economic Aspects of the Mass Return Refugees

Date: 12 - 14 Mar 1991



During the 1980s, there was increasing recognition that refugees should be assisted in their efforts to return home, if they were not to become "internally displaced" persons, and that there was an urgent need to explore how ad hoc relief programmes for returnees could be linked to long-term local reconstruction and development programmes. These concerns were at the heart of the Harare symposium, the first ever international meeting on the social and economic aspects of the mass voluntary return of African refugees to their country of origin. The papers and discussions at the symposium generated new insights into the process of repatriation and national integration and its links both with historical patterns of migration and with the continuing problems of poverty and underdevelopment in the countryside.