Assessing refugees’ eligibility for resettlement – a crucial step in the resettlement process

For many refugees, returning home or integrating locally are not possible, making resettlement the only durable solution to ensure their protection. With only around 80,000 resettlement places available worldwide and over 960,000 persons in need of resettlement, the identification and assessment of refugees must be done efficiently and transparently – consequently, maximizing protection benefits and ensuring refugees are provided fair access to resettlement processing.

Properly identifying and assessing refugees in need of resettlement is a crucial and challenging aspect of the resettlement process. It requires detailed knowledge of the refugee population, their profiles, as well as their individual protection risks and specific needs. Factors leading to an ascertainment of increased protection risks can range from health factors and age- or gender- related vulnerabilities, to specific needs resulting from violence endured by individuals.

When a refugee is identified as potentially eligible for resettlement, UNHCR staff (and, when applicable, the affiliate NGO workforce) conduct a resettlement assessment interview. If a resettlement need is confirmed, a Resettlement Registration Form (RRF) is prepared. The RRF serves as a primary tool at UNHCR’s disposal to represent the needs of individual refugees to a resettlement country. The resettlement interview is conducted by UNHCR or by affiliate NGO staff deployed to support UNHCR operations.

The largest partnership of this type is the UNHCR-ICMC Deployment Scheme, within which ICMC maintains a roster of approximately 300 professionals to support resettlement activities in UNHCR field offices. Below, two ICMC-deployees in the field provide a glimpse into their roles as a Resettlement Expert and a Best Interest Determination (BID) Specialist. :

It was during my time as a resettlement expert that I first heard of the challenges faced by albino refugees in Nyarugusu Camp, Tanzania. Believed to have magic powers, albinos in this region are often attacked and sometimes killed, despite efforts by the Government to end such violent practices. Read more...


Identifying children in need and helping children build new futures in third countries

Although I have been working at the Mai Aini camp in Ethiopia for the past year, I never ceased to be amazed by the sight of hundreds of children running around, playing games, washing clothes and cooking meals with hardly any adults in sight. Read more...