State of affairs of voluntary returns in 2014
1,769 persons have opted to return voluntarily to their country of origin during the first six months of 2014. That is 28% fewer than during the first half of 2013 and 17% fewer than during the second half of 2013. We thus notice a decline of voluntary returns, principally due to the context of asylum in Belgium and the reduction of asylum requests since 2012.The number of asylum seekers, either refused or still during the procedure, that decide to return is significantly lower than in the last two years, while the voluntary return of migrants that are residing in the country illegally remains high. With approximately as many returnees each year for more than six years (an average of 1,700), migrants without legal permission nevertheless represent a constant in the figures for voluntary return.DestinationsIn 2014, the three most frequent return countries, together representing a third of voluntary returns, are Russia, Romania and Ukraine. Returns to the Balkans were equally numerous (15% of all voluntary returns). An important finding: a large number of persons contacted the Fedasil return desk in Brussels. From January to June 2014, 517 persons requested voluntary return and have effectively left.