4,585 voluntary returns in 2013

In 2013, 4,585 people voluntarily returned to their country of origin with the help of the Belgian voluntary return programme.

Of the 4,585 people who voluntarily returned in 2013, 51% were applicants who had been turned down, 9.5% were asylum seekers in the middle of the procedure and the rest were immigrants who had never applied for asylum or whose order to leave the territory had expired.The number of returns recorded in 2013 was 19% lower than in 2012, which was a record year for voluntary returns. This decrease can be partly explained by the reduction in returns to Brazil and also by the general decrease in asylum applications over the last few months (26% fewer asylum seekers in 2013 compared with 2012).People who choose to return do not necessarily submit their return application in a reception centre or through Fedasil advisers. In fact, Fedasil works with a wide network of NGOs authorised to processes return applications. These partners carried out 55% of voluntary returns in 2013.50% fewer returns to BrazilAs regards destination countries, voluntary returns to Russia, Ukraine and Brazil were the most common. However, if we compare them with 2012 figures, returns to Brazil halved in 2013, as a result of the measures taken by Fedasil in early 2013 to verify the definitive nature of these returns and thus prevent abuses. Other countries with a high number of returns include Balkan countries (particularly Kosovo, Serbia, Albania and Macedonia), as well as certain Caucasian (Armenia and Georgia) and Middle Eastern (Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan) countries.Additional assistance in the country of originFinally, 1,978 voluntarily returned people were able to receive aid to reintegration in 2013. This aid was provided by the local partners of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Caritas International. Most aid to reintegration was financed by the European Return Fund.