In an effort to deal with the refugee crisis Norway has started offering to pay refugees to go back to their home country. Refugee seekers are being offered thousands of dollars plus free flights back home if they voluntary leave the country.
Voluntary repatriation is the best solution for the majority of refugees according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. Most refugees prefer to go home once it safe for them to return.
A family with two children is eligible for $9,300 plus free flights home, around 900 refugees have already accepted Norway’s offer.
Many refugees have left their war torn countries in search of safety and economic opportunity. Yet long processing wait times, limited job and education opportunities, and long family reunification lines have left many refugees looking for a way out.
“They thought they would have the opportunity to work or take an education – and maybe even to get their family to Norway,” said Katinka Hartmann, head of Norway’s immigration department’s return unit (UDI). “Many cannot wait. They have family at home who expect them to be able to help.”
In Norway the refugee process can take years to complete during which the refugee is not allowed to work. Once allowed to stay many are moved to remote parts of the country where jobs and education opportunities are limited.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which processes the Voluntary Assisted Return Programme requests and offers advice and counselling, described the return program as “safe and dignified”.
The number of refugee applications has increased dramatically since the refugee crisis began limiting housing and resources available for the refugees. “Earlier this year, the number [of applications] was an average of 100 per month. In October, there were 150 and in November there were 230 applications,” noted IOM spokesman Joost van der Aalst.
Even refugees who have been can apply for financial assistance to return to their home country.
Read more on this story at Fox News.
Updated: Tue, Dec 22nd 2015 @ 3:25pm EST