Most return migrants are satisfied to have returned

Most return migrants (85%) were previously residing in Thailand, reflecting Thailand’s predominance as a destination country. A slightly higher share of migrants are returning from Malaysia (14%) than emigrating there (6%), a difference especially marked for women (22% vs 8%). About 33% of return migrants came home because they experienced difficulties integrating in the host country or lacked legal papers, whereas 48% returned because they preferred to be in Cambodia for a range of reasons (family, marriage, health) (Figure 3.10).

Return migrants were also asked about the challenges they faced after returning. Even though more than half of the return migrants report facing labour-related difficulties on their return to Cambodia, 89% of all returnees are satisfied to be back in the country. Among those satisfied, 31% plan to migrate again in the next 12 months. Among return migrants whom are not satisfied to be back in Cambodia, 52% plan to migrate again.

Figure 3.10. Half of return migrants came back for individual preferences

Relative share of reasons return migrants left (%)

Notes: The category “individual preference” includes returning for family, marriage and health reasons.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.


This chapter has presented the three tools - household and community surveys and the qualitative stakeholder interviews - used to collect data to analyse the interrelation between migration, public policies and development. The following chapters take a sector-by-sector approach to presenting the results of the data analysis: for the labour market, agriculture, education, and investment and financial services.

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