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Building a Resettlement Network of European Cities and Regions- Experiences of the SHARE Network 2012-2015

“Either we enable migrants to become part of the community, or we will witness tensions and a further growth of xenophobic movements. SHARE brought together cities, towns, communities, churches and migrant associations to promote and coordinate a real response to the needs of integration.  I am proud of it.”

Peter Sutherland, UN Special Representative for Migration and President of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)

ICMC published its report “Building a Resettlement Network of European Cities and Regions- Experiences of the SHARE Network 2012-2015”, being the culmination of 4 years of the SHARE Network learning.

Since 2012, the SHARE project has built a European resettlement network of regions, cities and their civil society partners with the objectives of 1) promoting refugee protection and resettlement and a culture of welcome and 2) improving planning and coordination for refugee reception and integration in Europe.

SHARE has expanded the EU Resettlement Network (ERN), engaging over 1,200 regional and local contacts already active in resettlement, contemplating resettlement projects or planning advocacy for resettlement in their respective countries. The project spanned Europe, engaging stakeholders in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Romania and the United Kingdom. SHARE has sought to develop a network of actors to share best practices in resettlement between experienced actors and actors in emerging resettlement countries or countries considering resettlement, facilitate refugee integration locally, exchange information and learning in a formalized fashion, advocate for resettlement and share creative and contextualized local resettlement solutions.

With continued loss of life in attempts to cross the Mediterranean, developing adequate channels for the orderly admission of refugees to Europe must be at the core of strategies to address asylum and migration challenges in the European Union. Resettlement is a significant tool in this respect and the SHARE project sought to promote resettlement and improve resettlement outcomes.

Resettlement allows for ahead planning and coordination leading to better reception and integration of refugees. SHARE learning suggests that all countries can develop successful resettlement programmes when properly planned and coordinated among stakeholders and that a European-wide response, involving all countries and regions and municipalities (from large cities to small villages), is essential. 

The SHARE  network position is that the same kind of planning and integration services as are applied in resettlement should be applied in cases of  relocation or any other mechanism to distribute refugees across countries or territories.

A number of key policy recommendations emerged from the SHARE project that have the potential to improve and strengthen resettlement, relocation and refugee reception and integration in Europe which include 1) Non-discrimination among refugees of the same country in granting of status and service provision; 2)  Recognizing the need to strengthen reception and integration services in those regions and municipalities receiving larger number or specific (vulnerable) profiles of refugee; 3) The need for increased attention to refugee placement decisions in a manner sensitive to refugees’ special needs and potential, particularly with respect to integration into the labor market; 4) Strengthening multi-stakeholder cooperation between regions, municipalities and civil society in providing reception, welcome and integration services; 5) Including regional and local actors in financial decision-making (AMIF) and programming; 6) Promoting grassroots initiatives and volunteerism in providing welcome and integration services; 7) Prioritizing the use of Personalized Integration Programs (PIPs) and including employment as an important benchmark in such integration plans.

We hope that this summary of policy reflections, tools and resources and recommendations produced by the SHARE network will support and offer guidance to regional and local actors implementing reception programmes in Europe and be a useful policy tool for a broad range of actors working in the field of asylum and migration in Europe.

Higher Education for Migrants and Refugees - Website

This website provides an overview of the initiatives promoted by the European Commission to facilitate the exchange of good practices on migrants’ and refugees’ education and the projects the Commission funds across the different levels of education.

Congolese Refugees in the United States

This 33-minute video includes interviews with refugees and community leaders from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and refugee service providers, speaking about the resettlement experiences of newly-arrived and previously resettled refugees from the DRC. Topics addressed include employment opportunities, experience learning English in the United States, education for children and adults, inter-ethnic co-existence, family adjustment, emotional health, and other matters that affect the refugees’ daily lives. 

PolicESOL Language course - South Wales Police and Cardiff Council ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) Services

Working together, South Wales’ Police and Cardiff Council ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) service developed the PolicESOL language course. The course aims to develop English language skills and provide participants with an understanding of their respective rights and responsibilities. It also aims to build a relationship of trust with the police. The course consists of a number of training sessions, each designed specifically to provide knowledge and understanding of how to live safely in the UK and abide by the law.

Welcome to Europe! A comprehensive guide to resettlement

 

This publication is an outcome of the joint IOM, UNHCR and ICMC project ‘Linking In EU resettlement – Linking the resettlement phases and connecting (local) resettlement practitioners’, co-funded by the European Commission via the European Refugee Fund.

This new edition of Welcome to Europe covers all aspects of global resettlement needs, processes, policy and partnerships, focusing on the ongoing growth and development of resettlement in Europe, as follows:

Chapter 1 – Resettlement and international protection

Chapter 2 – Global resettlement

Chapter 3 – Refugee situations in focus

Chapter 4 – The resettlement process: from identification to departure

Chapter 5 – Resettlement in Europe – rising slowly but surely

Chapter 7 – European resettlement programmes

Chapter 8 – Building a new life in the community: approaches to reception and integration in Europe

‘Welcome to Europe!’ underscores the life-saving role of resettlement, and contributes to the promotion of resettlement in Europe as one component of a comprehensive and durable approach to protecting refugees. To submit your contributions and reflections on the publication, please contact Sophie Ngo-Diep at communications.europe@icmc.net or start a discussion in the Community of Practice.

The World at Our Doorstep

The Onondaga Citizens League published its first study report in 1979, the same year that the first refugees from Vietnam were resettled in Syracuse. It is somehow fitting then, that as OCL celebrates the 35th anniversary of its founding, we release our latest report, The World at Our Doorstep, which explores – and celebrates – our community’s continuing commitment to welcoming and resettling refugees from all over the world.

This year’s study on refugee resettlement grew out of an awareness that while Syracuse has a long history of welcoming new populations, the increasing numbers of refugees resettled here in recent years have brought concerns about the community’s ability to absorb these new residents and help them adjust. Many recent refugees come from areas of the world where they suffered years of civil strife, warfare and deprivation. They arrive with fewer resources and higher needs than past refugees. The Citizens League study sought to determine what might be done to strengthen the existing human services system that helps refugees thrive and become part of our community.

Teaching Tolerance in Secondary Schools - Medenék Association

Medenék led this project to educate secondary school children about accepting differences in society and promoting tolerance, towards refugees. Medenék teachers delivered classes with refugees, making presentations on the background of refugees, what happens to refugees in Hungary and some of the difficulties they face. Then, the refugee would present his or her personal experience, their journey to Hungary, what they expected and the reality of how it has been for them.