There are certain essential elements of resettlement programming benefit both refugees and the states undertaking to receive them. IOM believes that this holds true regardless of the type of resettlement scheme, the destination country or the profile of the refugees being assisted.
Around the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising it is worth looking back on the efforts to resettle refugees to see that debates about how to help are timeless.
There is clearly political will to engage more on refugee issues through resettlement. A defining feature of this effort is its internationalisation.
There is an imbalance of power – and a resulting lack of agency for refugees – in the structure of the current resettlement regime. The top-down process of selection also poses ethical dilemmas, as recent surges in resettlement operations show.
More than 100,000 Bhutanese refugees have been found homes in third countries. The other side to the story of this successful resettlement programme, however, is the failure to tackle the impact it has had on the remaining camp populations.
There are growing numbers of refugees in the UK who have been through a resettlement programme. New research in four UK cities highlights opportunities to incorporate the refugees’ expertise into programme design.
While resettlement is nowadays considered as a solution to be resorted to only in exceptional circumstances, in Southeast Asia resettlement has always been, and remains, the most important durable solution for refugees.
The evolution of European policy in recent years has shown how policy can be used to actively restrict the movement of people and as a mechanism for choosing what kind of refugee a particular country receives, with the interests of states prevailing over humanitarian needs.
Refugees’ resettlement experiences may be shaped in the stages leading up to their arrival.
More and more refugees are resettled in communities where they have no intention of living and then move on.
At each stage of the resettlement process, the presence of counsel – legal advocates – can help refugees to present their complete cases efficiently and avoid unnecessary rejections. This provides benefits to decision makers as well.
Resettlement programmes for Syrian refugees severely restrict access to resettlement for single Syrian men, despite the conditions of vulnerability, insecurity and danger in which they live.
NGOs have a rich history of involvement in case identification and referral for resettlement, and have helped to increase numbers, improve processes and make resettlement more equitable, and accountable, for refugees.
With global resettlement needs growing and more refugees living outside camps, NGOs are uniquely positioned to identify and interview vulnerable refugees and to play a larger role in refugee resettlement.
There is a need to ensure that new and existing initiatives to resettle refugee children at risk, including unaccompanied children, are better able to serve their unique protection needs in today’s global context.
From 2013 the Doing Our Bit campaign has been calling for New Zealand to double its refugee quota from 750 places to 1,500.
The relationship between government and government-contracted refugee resettlement service providers in Australia needs to be based more on autonomy and trust.
The Irish government makes considerable efforts to resettle Syrian refugees arriving through the UNHCR resettlement process but offers no support to those refugees – some of whom are also from Syria – who individually seek asylum under the international protection system.
The view of integration in US resettlement policy is currently disconnected from the views of integration held by refugees themselves.
Refugee community groups often fill in service gaps after resettlement but remain unrecognised and not fully incorporated in formal resettlement processes.
The issue of ‘material support’ provided to an organisation deemed to be involved in terrorism has been fraught with contention in US immigration law circles, most often over the issue of support provided under duress.
A widely held misconception about the terrorist threat is particularly evident in refugee resettlement practices, where refugees are placed on a security continuum alongside transnational criminals and terrorists.
For more than a decade, the countries in the Southern Cone of South America have had a regional Solidarity Resettlement Programme. The region’s states are also assessing alternative approaches to support refugee mobility within the framework of current migration agreements.
For almost four decades, groups of Canadian private citizens have sponsored refugees for resettlement in addition to federal government resettlement programmes.
Steps for private refugee sponsorship in Canada are not clearly spelled out for those seeking to be sponsors. While the process is rewarding, it is also challenging and sometimes frustrating.
Despite the Canadian Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program being praised for integrating refugees into the job market faster than government-assisted refugees, there may be limited cause for celebration.
The ability of refugees to gain admission to Australia is increasingly based on perceptions of helplessness, suffering and ‘deservingness’. One consequence is that men in particular are marginalised following resettlement.
Findings from a longitudinal study of long-term resettlement experiences of refugee youth living in Melbourne show that refugee experiences – both pre- and post-resettlement – continue to influence opportunities and outcomes many years after arrival.
Palestinian rejection of resettlement was driven by political concerns. This case study shows the importance of engaging directly with refugees when devising durable solutions.
The passing of the Polish Resettlement Act and the creation of the different agencies related to it undoubtedly represented an unprecedented response to the challenge of mass migration in the UK.
Cultural orientation is necessary but needs to be appropriate for the realities of the place where refugees are resettled.
The aims and objectives of resettlement are poorly specified and the outcomes are poorly measured. For resettlement to be effective, it needs a much stronger evidence base and it needs improved coordination at the international level.
Five critical areas require urgent action with the threat of internal displacement as a result of climate change already severe and growing in Bangladesh.
The goods and services purchased by asylum seekers who were given an unconditional cash transfer demonstrate how their consumer behaviour extends beyond the fulfilment of immediate needs to addressing broader desires for community and belonging.
The capacity of child-rights institutions and children’s services in many European countries needs to be strengthened considerably if governments are to meet their commitments to refugee and migrant children.
While a detailed law on statelessness determination is recommended by UNHCR and others, Swiss practice in statelessness determination has evolved without one. Despite this, Swiss practice has been shown to be rather progressive, at least in some areas of statelessness recognition and includes better treatment of the stateless in comparison with refugees.
What happens to people who are deported after their asylum applications have failed? Many who are deported are at risk of harm when they return to their country of origin but there is little monitoring done of deportation outcomes.
New research has documented the outcomes for young asylum seekers forcibly removed from the UK to Afghanistan. Its conclusions highlight both the difficulties facing the returnees and the need for sustained monitoring.
Neither the UK nor Uganda monitors what happens during and after deportation by the UK of failed Ugandan asylum seekers, despite evidence of violence and grave abuses of individuals’ human rights.
People who return to Turkey under the EU-Turkey deal are detained and many risk onward deportation without access to legal aid and international protection.