Partnership in Resettlement
In order to accomplish the enormous task of resettling refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people around the world, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees must work together with governments, a wide range of humanitarian organisations, the private sector, and even the military.
Resettlement is a coordinated activity undertaken by in partnership with resettlement countries, UNHCR, NGOs and other actors. It includes a variety of specific actions, from the identification of refugees in need of resettlement in the field to screening, processing and reception and integration of the refugees in the country offering resettlement as the durable solution to their plight.
Representing a specific element of this partnership, the Working Group on Resettlement was established in the mid-90's to foster and enhance the common efforts on resettlement. It is a consultative body composed by the resettlement countries and UNHCR which meets 3 times a year to discuss policy directions on resettlement and steer the partners' efforts to enhance the use of resettlement as a tool of international protection, a durable solution and a responsibility and burden-sharing mechanism. The June session of the Working Group is expanded to include NGO partners and it is denominated the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement.
The Annual Tripartite Consultations have become an important vehicle for this cooperation. Resettlement training and regional workshops are a key element in reinforcing partnership among relief workers in the field. Publication of The Resettlement Handbook, a key reference book on the subject, is one result of the workshops.
The closer working relationship between UNHCR, governments and other organisations led to the creation of the International Conference on the Reception and Integration of Resettled Refugees to address issues in the current resettlement environment.
UNHCR has strengthened and consolidated resettlement programmes in new host countries* through exchanges with the traditional resettlement countries. While contributing their fresh insights to resettlement, emerging countries benefit from the experience of the traditional resettlement countries. The process will result in an expansion of resettlement opportunities for refugees.
*Brazil, Chile, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ireland, Iceland, the United Kingdom.