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The determinants of departures from DR Congo to Europe have barely been studied. Popular knowledge tends to associate migration with poverty, unemployment, and political and economic troubles in the origin country. Policy documents sometimes refer to such ‘determinants’ as the root causes of migration, or the main pushes factors of migration. For instance, in its global approach to migration, the European commission (CEC, 2006, p.5) considers that a major challenge is “to tackle the main push factors for migration: poverty and the lack of job opportunities”, and that “creating jobs in developing countries could significantly reduce migratory pressure from Africa”. But little empirical evidence exists on the factors that lead people to migrate, from Africa in general, and more from DR Congo. Determinants of return migration are even less well known. Are they more likely among less economically integrated people, do they depend on the migrant’s family situation, are they linked to the economic conditions in the home country? These are some of the questions addressed in this working paper. In summary, the objective of this working paper is to identify important factors underlying the propensity to migrate from DR Congo to Belgium and UK, and to return from these European countries to DR Congo. Among these factors, we aim at distinguishing the role played by individual, household and contextual factors.

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