Back to basics: The conditions of just refugee returns.

 This article argues that the questions of justice surrounding repatriation processes merit greater scholarly and political attention, and sketches a minimum account of the conditions of ‘just return’. This account is developed on the basis of an analysis of international legal principles, as well as moral arguments on rights, dignity and state responsibility. While there is no standard mould for just return, broadly speaking the goal of a just return process must be to put returnees back on equal footing with their non-displaced co-nationals by restoring a normal relationship of rights and duties between the state and its returning citizens. The conditions of just return match the core duties a legitimate state must provide for its citizens: equal, effective protection for their security and basic human rights, including accountability for any violations of these rights. This discussion underlines the importance of upholding the principle of refugee choice, and points to the central role of reparations in the just return process.

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