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With the signing of partnership agreements with EU countries for a concerted management of migration flows, circular migration has become a major topic of discussion in Senegal. Despite this interest, little research exists on this topic in the Senegalese context. The following analysis uses data from the household survey conducted in the framework of the MAFE-Senegal project (Migration between Africa and Europe) in 2008. The main objective of this project is to study complex migratory movements, going beyond the first departure. The results indicate that one out of four migrants has returned to Senegal after five years abroad. Returns from African countries are more common and happen at a faster pace than those from developed countries; moreover, young people are less likely to return if they had migrated to a country outside Africa. Among those who returned to Senegal, some decide to migrate again: 17 per cent of migrants who made a first return live abroad at the time of the survey. The occurrence of new departures varies, depending in particular on the duration of the first migration and age at the time of the first return. Return migrants living in Senegal in 2008 are generally better educated and are overrepresented among the self-employed. Furthermore, the management of circular migration and temporary work in Senegal, institutionalized only recently, is prone to many problems. The survey results should help lay the groundwork for a deeper reflection on the role of institutions in charge, with the aim to respond more adequately to the phenomenon of circular migration.

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