Making returns more effective has been on the Member States’ agenda for many years and the Danish Refugee Council has published a policy brief, Return Counselling: Supporting informed decision-making through impartial, independent and non-directive counselling, on best practices for return counselling to encourage a dignified return procedure that takes into consideration the individual needs of the rejected asylum seekers.

“Return Counselling” focuses on five main areas, which are important to ensure a dignified return process: impartial and non-directive counselling, sufficient time for building trust to the counsellors, access to legal counselling, dignified stay and prevention of detention, Holistic reintegration support.

Based on decades of experience providing counselling to asylum seekers through all levels of the asylum procedure the Asylum Department of the Danish Refugee Council finds that rejected asylum seekers are more capable of relating to their own situation, if they are actively included in the return process and experience it as being dignified. On that basis the Danish Refugee Council thus calls for the EU co-legislators to incorporate return counselling in all return procedures.

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