At the time of the workshop in July 2008, the global financial crisis had not yet reached its peak. As the world economy contracts, migrants may decide to return home in greater numbers if opportunities to work are fading in host countries. Partially in response to public pressure, host countries may likewise encourage migrant workers to return voluntarily. Today, as many migrants return home to countries whose economies are further weakened by the financial crisis, it is even more important for governments to harmonize their migration and development policies. Policymakers can create additional incentives for countries of origin, transit and destination to safely and humanely manage return migration and to harness return migration’s potential to foster development.

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