What Next for Global Refugee Policy? Opportunities and Limits of Resettlement at Global, European and National Levels

This Policy Brief discusses the interaction between resettlement and territorial asylum, resettlement’s role as a protection tool providing durable solutions and its contribution to international responsibility-sharing, as well as the principles and direction of future resettlement policy. It also briefly explores the potential for complementary forms of admission such as humanitarian admission programmes and the use of private sponsorship.

The brief concludes that a mix of instruments is needed for dealing with complex displacement situations. Thus, (1) asylum will in most cases remain the key pathway to protection. Nevertheless, (2) resettlement quotas should be increased in order to effectively disburden first countries of asylum and offer protection to groups of people who cannot access other pathways. (3) Alternative admission pathways are creative and promising additions to the mix which may help increase quotas. A combination of the above could (4) ensure that standards of protection are maintained and at the same time provide flexible solutions to different situations. (5) The prospect of rapid integration, regardless of the mode and length of admission, benefits both the refugees and the receiving society. That includes (6) viewing resettlement and admission procedures from the refugees’ perspective and ensuring greater refugee participation when designing those procedures. (7) When it comes to properly communicating the purpose of resettlement programmes to the public, systematically evaluating programmes and developing a coherent resettlement policy, it is essential that the various expectations regarding resettlement are clarified and reconciled.

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2018