Impact of Debt on Sustainable Reintegration Outcomes

Debt and migration can be linked in a host of ways. Debt or indebtedness itself may serve as a motivator for a person to migrate, migrants may use loans to finance cross-border travel, and remittances are often sent to repay household debt. A body of research already surrounds indebtedness, namely how it is responsible for causing anxiety and depression, compelling people to migrate, causing migrants to go into exploitative work and making it more difficult for them to leave exploitative work.

Despite available information, little research exists on the links between sustainable reintegration and debt returnees may bring back with them or incur upon their return home. To adequately assist the sustainable reintegration of indebted returnees, more comprehensive profiles of indebted migrants are needed. IOM commissioned Samuel Hall to conduct a research study on the multidimensional impact of debt on sustainable reintegration outcomes. Working with partners at the University of Sussex, Rajith will steer the quantitative data collection using a phone survey of returnees in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Iraq and El Salvador. This will involve expert review of survey tools, and contribution to quantitative analysis and drafting the final report.