Reception actors

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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.

Preparing for Syrian Resettlement webinar

The number of Syrian refugee admissions will be steadily increasing in the coming year. This webinar, lead by Liyam Eloul, will help your agency become better prepared to serve the particular needs of this population. Topics covered include:
- Background and demographics of Syrian refugees;
- Syrian refugee expectations;
- Potential challenges for Syrian resettlement in the U.S.;
- How to prepare your staff and communities for Syrian resettlement; and
- Who might be helpful partners.

Liyam Eloul is a trauma therapist with a specialization in complex emergencies and urban refugees in the MENA region. Liyam received her postgraduate diploma from the American University in Cairo on Psychosocial Interventions for Refugees and Forced Migrants, and her Master's Degree in International Disaster Psychology from the University of Denver. She has worked with refugees both prior to and following resettlement in the United States. Liyam has worked largely internationally with INGOs over the past decade, including in Egypt, Syria, Oman, Ghana, and Jordan, and has published on the impact of culture on the experience of psychosocial distress, as well as program development. In Syria she worked with UNHCR Damascus, piloting a psychosocial program for the organization as the monitoring and evaluation focal point. Liyam is currently a psychotherapist trainer and clinical supervisor with the Center for Victims of Torture in Amman, Jordan.

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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.

Centralised Reception Centre: sharing facilities with the local community - Portuguese Refugee Council (CPR)

The Portuguese Refugee Council’s receptioncentre can accommodate up to 42 asylum seekers,resettled refugees and unaccompanied minorsfor a maximum of six months. Residents are provided with shared rooms and bathrooms,with separate areas for men, women, families and unaccompanied minors plus one roomadapted for disabled access. For the first five days residents receive their meals in a nearby restaurant. After this they receive a weekly allowance of €40 and are able to buy and cook for themselves in the shared kitchen.

The Emergency Transit Centre in Romania

In May 2008, a unique facility was created in the western Romanian town of Timişoara. The Emergency Transit Centre (ETC), set up pursuant to a Tri-Partite Agreement concluded by the Government of Romania, UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is a residential facility which can host up to 200 refugees. Its raison d’être is to provide a safe place for the short-term stay of refugees who have been identified by UNHCR in other countries as being in urgent need of resettlement, but who cannot remain in those countries for resettlement processing because of acute problems including security considerations, the risk of refoulement, or serious impediments to UNHCR’s activities on their behalf. The ETC can also form a platform of practical cooperation and mutual learning among project participating EU Member States, enabling the development of coordination mechanisms in resettlement.

FA.RE. Feasibility Study for an Italian Resettlement Programme

“FA.RE. – Feasibility Study for an Italian Resettlement Programme” is a project cofinanced by the European Commission and the Ministry of Interior. CIR is the operational implementing partner of the Ministry of Interior. The study’s objective was to verify the feasibility of an Italian Resettlement Programme.
More precisely, FA.RE. has had the following objectives:
a) gaining an in-depth knowledge of the actual functioning of Resettlement programmes;
b) verifying whether other countries’ experiences may be transferred to Italy;
c) providing Italian institutions information and means to decide on the implementation
of an Italian resettlement programme and the participation in a future European
resettlement programme.
This project has been innovative and, in some ways, “revolutionary”. It is the first time, in fact, that Resettlement is treated in Italy as a long-term programme. It appeared necessary for Italy to give a clear political message to show its interest and commitment towards a future-oriented asylum policy, on one hand, and not excluding any necessary mean to facilitate the situation of people asking for protection, on the other.

(Article in Italian, English and Spanish language)

Policies and practices in the health-related reception of quota refugees in Denmark, Danish Medical Journal 59/1

 

INTRODUCTION: Quota refugees coming to Denmark are mandated refugee status offshore and approximately 500 quota refugees are resettled annually. Upon arrival to Denmark, quota refugees are received directly in the municipalities and municipal caseworkers therefore have the practical responsibility for their health-related reception. The aim of this study was to investigate the health-related reception of quota refugees in Denmark by focusing on the presence of municipal policies and practices, and to test for possible associations with these policies and practices.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was based on a survey of all Danish municipalities that had received quota refugees after 1 January 2007. A questionnaire was designed on the background of preliminary research. A total 49 of the 58 includable respondents returned the questionnaire, which yielded a response rate of 84%.

RESULTS: We found that 49% of the municipalities had no policies for health-related reception of quota refugees and 69% had no specific policies regarding general practitioners’general health assessment of quota refugees upon their arrival. Disparities between the municipalities were also found regarding their health-related practices. The presence of health-related policies and certain health-related practices were found to be associated with the number of quota refugees received and the size of municipality.

CONCLUSION: Due to the lack of policies and the large responsibility of case workers who are not health professionals, there is a risk that the health needs of this particularly vulnerable group may not be met satisfactorily.