Under what conditions is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) able to successfully repatriate and reintegrate refugees to their country of origin? This work aims to evaluate the success of UNHCR's initiative to sponsor the repatriation and reintegration of political refugees who voluntarily chose to return to their homeland. The study of political refugees is essential in International Relations, since it entails the failure of preventing ethnic violence and civil unrest. Overall, the emergence of refugees is the product of the inability of conflict prevention. Voluntary repatriation and reintegration of these refugees provides a message of mending relations, state rebuilding and hope. Successful repatriation is the return of refugees with the expectation of a safe return to society. Successful reintegration however ensures their inclusion in society. Therefore, both terms may be related, but must be discussed separately. This inclusion is essential to reconciliation, and the formation of a peaceful, stable society. Hence, this research will bring a better understanding of victims of conflict, the inability of the state to protect its citizens, and possible patterns of repatriation, reintegration and conflict resolution. To answer the question of the success of UNHCR's policies of repatriation and reintegration, I will use two cross-regional case studies: Guatemala and Afghanistan. I will address the hardship undergone by political refugees, the policies they have encountered from UNHCR, and the scenario of voluntary repatriation patterns. I will then evaluate the conditions on the ground to which refugees are returning. Clearly, if these have a high violence rate, a sustainable life and successful reintegration is very unlikely.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Domenech, Tania N., "Returning Home: Unhcr'S Strategies For Repatriation For And Reintegration" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6110.