Ending refugees’ exile
17 June 2012
We all tend to assume that refugees want to go home. But often refugees cannot just return to their home country when conflict ends. Many have spent decades in exile; many second and third-generation refugees have never seen the place which they are now expected to call home. Research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that for many refugees a quick return isn't the right answer.
Dr Katy Long at the London School of Economics says: "There is usually political pressure to start organising refugee returns as soon as there's a possibility of peace. But in places such as Somalia or Afghanistan, poor security, poverty and a lack of infrastructure persist long after the acute crisis has eased, so it's often hard for refugees to feed and support their families after they return."