The IO is responsible for the forced return of foreign nationals and, with other organisations such as Fedasil and IOM, participates in the voluntary return of foreign nationals.
In this context, the IO produces statistics on:
- the foreigners who are in an irregular stay and have left the territory (both forced and voluntary);
- the people who were refused entry to the Belgian territory and who were expulsed;
- the transfer of detainees between states.
The IO produces two types of statistics on this topic:
- National statistics are produced to meet national needs and follow national definitions;
- European statistics are produced to meet the demands of the European institutions under the supervision of Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Union) following the definitions harmonised at European level (for this theme, the definitions are based on Articles 5 and 7 of Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 on Community statistics on migration and international protection and the related Eurostat technical instructions).
Currently, the difference between the two types of definitions can be explained mainly by the following elements:
- Citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are not included in European statistics;
- The transfers under the Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 (« Dublin III ») are not included in the European statistics on removals. They are included in a separate statistic available via "Dublin" statistics";
- As the numbers are low in certain countries and for certain categories, European statistics on removals are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5;
- At European level, two separate statistics are compiled on expulsions and returns (forced or voluntary). At national level, they are merged into a single statistic ( in which the distinction between the subcategories of ‘expulsions’ and ‘returns’ is made).