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The Effectiveness of Norway's Readmission Agreements with Iraq and Ethiopia

International Migration

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This article offers an analysis of the effectiveness of Norway's readmission agreements with Iraq and Ethiopia. Through the use of readmission agreements, Norway aims to reduce irregular presence by increasing the number of both voluntary and forced returns, as well as discourage future irregular migration by sending a “clear signal” to individuals without protection needs that they will be returned when their asylum applications are rejected. The effectiveness of these agreements thus lies in the extent to which they fulfill these objectives. While Norway's agreements with Iraq and Ethiopia have been explicitly highlighted as effective by Norwegian authorities, this article argues that readmission agreements may be expected to limit, but not to eliminate, return problems. Readmission agreements, however streamlined, will have different effects on different groups. It finds that Norway's readmission agreements have been only partially successful with Iraq, and wholly unsuccessful with Ethiopia.