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Europe wants to send migrants home—but what happens when they get there?

A huge experiment is underway in reversing migration and thousands of Nigerians represent the vanguard. But what are "Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration" programmes—and what are the human consequences?

By Daniel Howden   December 2019

A young man looks back after being rescued from a dinghy near the Malaga coast. Photo: ESUS MERIDA/SOPA IMAGES/LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES

Osita Osemene’s voice commands your attention in the same way a subwoofer does. His sermon has a bass line that washes over you in waves of rhetorical questions. Should his audience falter in their attention, he snaps it back into place with a booming “hello” that reverberates off the plastic pillars and tatty golden curtains of the ballroom of the Zafike Hotel.

Osemene is in the business…

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