Voluntary return and reintegration

This information concerns Somali refugees intending to and/or those undergoing voluntary return process.

UNHCR is committed to carrying out voluntary returns for Somali refugees in the principles of voluntariness, safety, and dignity. If you are currently outside of Somalia and wish to know more information on return to Somalia, please contact the UNHCR office in your Country of Asylum.

All returnees through the support of UNHCR, regardless from which country, will receive an enhanced return package. Corresponding information will be provided during a counselling session and throughout the whole voluntary repatriation process.

Below are the steps in the voluntary return (repatriation) process:

All assisted returnees are briefed on the current return and reintegration assistance programs and services provided by UNHCR and its partners both in the Country of Asylum and Country of Origin (Somalia) during voluntary repatriation processing prior to departure and upon arrival in Somalia.

Refugees intending to voluntarily return to Somalia have up to seven days from the date of voluntary repatriation registration to think through their decision before they start their travel to Somalia either using road or air transport.

UNHCR supports four waystations (Mogadishu, Baidoa, Kismayo, Dhobley) and two reception centres (Berbera, Bossaso) in Somalia, and returnees have access to information on the conditions in areas of return, as well as access to emergency medical referrals and services. Every person in a household will be verified using Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS) using either iris or fingerprints scanning device to confirm the identity of the returnee.

Upon arrival home, returnees are followed and supported by UNHCR through various programs (livelihoods, cash assistance to address immediate returnee and community needs) which facilitates returnees to smoothly transition from emergency to medium and longer-term development projects thus ensuring sustainable reintegration.

If you are a Somali refugee who has returned from your country of asylum, in a self-organized manner, without the assistance of UNHCR, you shall:

  • Present yourself to the authorities at the point of entry;
  • Contact the nearest Reception Centres (Berbera and Bossaso) or Waystations (Mogadishu, Baidoa, Kismayo, Afmadow and Dhobley) for more information.

Related information

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