Economic development and employment

Opportunities for a fresh start back home: future prospects for returnees

Advisory services and reintegration scouts support refugees and migrants who are returning home.

Opportunities for a fresh start back home: future prospects for returnees

After a while, several people who fled to Germany want to return to their homeland. Others have to leave Germany because they aren’t granted asylum. But it’s not always simple to start anew in your country of origin. Individual counselling services and training in Germany and other countries of origin provide support.

Over a million people applied for asylum in Germany for the first time in 2015 and 2016. Many were fleeing from war or persecution. Others left their home country because they could not see any economic prospects there. However, not all have the option of staying in Germany.

For these people, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is creating better opportunities for a fresh start in selected countries of origin. For now, these include Albania, Kosovo and Serbia, Tunisia, Morocco and Nigeria, with other countries to follow. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is assisting with their return and reintegration.

Well advised: assistance available in Germany

The initiative focuses on individual advice – from preparation in Germany to a new start in the country of origin. To provide relevant information to interested individuals while they are still in Germany, GIZ works closely with cities and municipalities. It supports existing services by charities and social agencies in providing advice on returning, or training and coaching.

In selected local authorities and with church and social agencies such as Caritas or AWO, reintegration scouts act as a link between returnee advice in Germany and existing services in the respective countries of origin. The scouts assist the advisory bodies by creating contacts in the relevant countries. They also provide information on employment prospects and local services – such as advice on start-ups or vocational education and training.

This is supplemented by information on the website on possibilities of voluntary return and a fresh start in the countries of origin. There is also a telephone hotline as well as the website operated by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Here, people interested in returning can learn which advisory bodies they can contact.

A successful fresh start back home

A successful return begins in Germany and is supported with services in the country of origin. For example, specific qualifications, job placement or help with starting a business all improve the chances of making a fresh start locally. Services aren’t limited to returnees, but also extend to people living the countries involved. For decades, GIZ has been working to boost prospects for creating a secure and economically stable life. Its contribution resulted in employment for almost 900,000 people worldwide between 2010-2015 alone – and over a million people received vocational education and training with GIZ assistance.

This work is supported by the migration advisory centres in Tunisia, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Morocco, operated by the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) – which is jointly run by GIZ and the International Placement Services of the German Federal Employment Agency – in cooperation with the local employment agencies. These offer individual advice to people looking for prospects in their own country. They also provide information for job and training opportunities in Germany.

The centre in Kosovo was founded in April 2015, followed by advisory centres in Albania (October 2016), Serbia (November 2016) and Morocco (September 2017). In addition, the German-Tunisian Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration started work in Tunis in March 2017. Almost 30,000 people have already taken advantage of the advisory services of the migration advisory centres, and around 1,200 have attended training courses on job applications.


Last update: September 2017