Return in dignity: A neglected refugee protection challenge

The origins, evolution, and content of the principle of a dignified return are examined, as are the implications of using dignity as a guiding principle governing the return of refugees. The emergence of provisions on safe and dignified return are tracked and analyzed in international agreements, UN documents, and speeches by UN High Commissioners for Refugees since 1978. Key theoretical perspectives are examined, and the insights of these theories are considered. At least two key components of a dignified return can be deduced: the principle of refugee choice, and the need to redress the injustices that cause and characterize displacement.

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