Germany’s return policies and rejected African asylum seekers. Why don’t failed Ghanaian and Nigerian asylum applicants return home?

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Gomez Mensah, Kobby
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Studies on return migration often hypothesise how success or failure of the migration experiment facilitate or hinder return. This has resulted in various migration theories providing grounded basis for return migration. Some theories assume that return becomes the logical choice once the migrant has gained enough knowledge, invested in the country of origin and mobilised sufficient assets. In an attempt to explain why failed asylum seekers from Ghana and Nigerian in Germany do not return to their countries of origin, this case study found that human security concerns rank topmost among the reasons failed asylum seekers of the case studies refuse to return home. This qualitative study interviewed nineteen (19) migrants with varied statuses in Hamburg and also found that due to absence of freedom from fear and want in their home countries, migrants flee reception facilities after receiving negative response on their asylum requests. Their disappearance into existing migrants networks in Germany is to avoid the implementation of return policies, thereby remaining in Germany as irregular migrants. Migrants cite the investment in their trips; non-payment of assured cash sums upon return home; unachieved travel goals; poor economic conditions of other returned migrants and fear of embarrassments in their home countries among others as their reasons for refusing to return home despite failing to secure asylum in Germany.
Second semester University: University of Hamburg
asylum, Germany, return migration, Nigeria, Ghana, irregular migrations