Armed conflict in Colombia has forcibly displaced more than 3.6 million people. In a post-conflict scenario, the socioeconomic stabilization of displaced households is crucial, as families must decide whether to stay in the reception place, relocate to a new municipality or return to their site of origin. In this paper we identify the determinants of the desire to return of internally displaced households in Colombia. We find that i) land tenure in the place of origin provides an incentive to return; ii) vulnerable households, in particular female-headed households and those from ethnic minorities seek to establish themselves at the reception site and exhibit a lower desire to return; iii) those who displaced as a consequence of a direct attack are less willing to return; iv) economic opportunities in the place of origin encourage return while economic opportunities at the reception site decrease the willingness to return; and v) social networks, as exemplified by membership in peasant organizations and collective land ownership, increase the desire to return. To be successful, the design of stabilization programs for the displaced population must consider these particularities of the households that are willing to return and those who prefer to stay in the reception site.
We want to thank the Episcopal Conference for providing the data from the RUT information system. We also thank the editor, two anonymous referees, Jairo Arboleda, Fernando Calado, Klaus Deininger, Diana Grusczynski, Myriam Hernández, Isabel Lavadenz and Fabio Lozano.
http://www.unhcr.org/ retrieved on April 5th 2013.
The two other sources on the internally displaced population in Colombia are Red de Solidaridad Social –RSS (the government agency in charge of providing support to the displaced population) and CODHES (an NGO).
Similarly, the RUT dataset exhibits a smaller fraction of ethnic minorities which is also the result of the church’s weaker presence in areas where ethnic minorities are more numerous.
Wage employment corresponds to individuals who report one of the following occupations: teacher, construction worker, domestic worker, public official, miner, professional or technician.
Self-employment corresponds to individuals who report one of the following occupations: trader, cattle rancher, fisherman, street vendor, and miscellaneous jobs (oficios varios).
However, some of these employment figures must be interpreted with caution, due to some possible problems with RUT’s employment information. The employment status is self-reported by surveyed individuals. As such, RUT’s employment categories might not coincide with standard employment definitions. Another important issue is that RUT’s questionnaire does not give any information with respect to the quality of employment.
Moya, A., (2013), Violence, Psychological Trauma, and Induced Changes in Risk Aversion in Colombia, Unpublished work.
Azam, J. P., Hoeffler, A., (2002), Violence Against Civilians in Civil Wars: Looting or Terror? Journal of Peace Research, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 461–485.Search in Google Scholar
Bascom, (2005), The Long, ‘Last Step’? Reintegration of Repatriates in Eritrea, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 165–180.Search in Google Scholar
Cairns, E., (1997), A Safer Future: Reducing the Human Cost of War, Oxfam Publications, Oxford.10.3362/9780855988470Search in Google Scholar
Cordero, I.C., (2002), Displacement, insertion and return in Ayacucho (1993-1997), Migration dan les Andes, Chili et Pérou No. 5.Search in Google Scholar
Davies, A., (2004). Restitution of Land and Property Rights, Forced Migration Review No. 21Search in Google Scholar
Econometría (2008) Evaluación de los procesos de retorno para la generación de recomendaciones que permitan identificar variables de éxito y retos para una respuesta más efectiva. Bogotá.Search in Google Scholar
Engel, S., Ibáñez, A.M., (2007), Displacement Due to Violence in Colombia: A Household Level Analysis, Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 335–365.Search in Google Scholar
Ghanem, T., (2003), When forced Migrants Return ‘Home’: The Psychosocial Difficulties Returnees Encounter in the Reintegration Process, Oxford RSC Working Paper.Search in Google Scholar
Hegre, H., Ellingsen, T., Gates, S., Gleditsch, N.P. (2001), Toward a Democratic Civil Peace? Democracy, Political Change, and Civil, 1816 – 1992, American Political Science Review, vol. 95, no. 1, pp. 33–48.Search in Google Scholar
Henao, H., Osorio, A., López, O. (1998), Desarraigo y Futuro: Vida Cotidiana de Familias Desplazadas en Urabá, Editorial Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.Search in Google Scholar
Ibáñez, A.M., Querubin, P., (2004), Acceso a tierras y desplazamiento, Documento CEDE 2004 – 23.Search in Google Scholar
IDMC, (2007), Perú: Compensation Pending for Victims of Forced Displacement, www.internal-displacement.orgSearch in Google Scholar
Jaramillo, P., Kayi, C., Klijn, F., (2012), Assymetrically Fair Rules for and Indivisible Good Problem with a Budget Constraint. Documento CEDE 9425. Department of Economics, Universidad de los Andes.10.2139/ssrn.2104277Search in Google Scholar
Merkx, J., (2004), Estrategias de reintegración rápida en procesos de restablecimiento, en Desplazamiento y políticas públicas de restablecimiento en Colombia, Bogotá.Search in Google Scholar
Omata, N., (2013), Repatriation and Integration of Liberian Refugees from Ghana: the Importance of Personal Networks in the Country of Origin, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 265–282.Search in Google Scholar
Reyes, A., Bejarano, A.M., (1998), Conflictos agrarios y luchas armadas en la Colombia contemporánea, Análisis Político, vol. 5, pp. 6–27.Search in Google Scholar
Rogge, J., Lippman, B., (2004), Making Return and Reintegration Sustainable, Transparent and Participatory, Forced Migration Review No. 21.Search in Google Scholar
Stefansson, A., (2004), Refugee return to Sarajevo and their Challenge to Contemporary Narratives of Mobility, in Long, L.D., Oxfeld, E., (eds.), Coming Home: Refugees, Migrants and Those Who Stayed Behind, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA, pp. 170–186.Search in Google Scholar
Venancio, M., Pavelic, S., Zunic, S., Vukmir, G., Diana, M., (2004) From emergency to development: assessing UNDP’s role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Forced Migration Review No. 21.Search in Google Scholar
©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston