ABSTRACT

This chapter turns attention to the return and reintegration phase of the migration cycle. It first explores the legal and institutional frameworks governing returnees in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, contending that programmes for returnees are fixated on creating entrepreneurs and maximising the developmental potential of migrant remittances to the detriment of welfare services. The chapter then examines how deficient information dissemination pre- and post-return, particularly with regard to the legal mechanisms for bringing complaints about violations of their rights, prevents returnees from accessing reintegration services and challenging abusive actions. It extends this analysis by considering how the absence of data on returnee migrant workers, and lack of coordination between government agencies on matters relating to return, hampers the effective formulation and implementation of reintegration interventions to meet individual needs and circumstances. Finally, the chapter reflects on the impact of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic on returnees, emphasising the opportunity it provides the Philippines and Sri Lanka to reform their largely ineffective reintegration policies and programmes, particularly for low-wage and exploited women migrant domestic workers.