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Resettlement Deployment Scheme

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The UNHCR-ICMC Resettlement Deployment Scheme

Resettlement to a third country can serve as a durable solution or a protection tool for refugees who have fled their countries of origin and are temporarily living in a country of asylum.

UNHCR initiated its Resettlement Deployment Scheme in 1997 to respond to the resettlement needs of refugees. In 1998, ICMC became the administrating partner for the Scheme. The UNHCR-ICMC Resettlement Deployment Scheme is a program to support all activities, including interviewing and making assessments, related to the resettlement of refugees (often in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, or the Nordic countries).

The Deployment Scheme offers an opportunity to bring skilled people into a UNHCR 'field' setting. Their temporary placement provides an opportunity to understand the nature of the challenges that come from the current global refugee situation and the role of UNHCR in meeting those challenges.

The Deployment Scheme also gives people a broader perspective on how the UNHCR resettlement program functions within the context of finite resources and the local and international partnerships into which UNHCR enters.

Initially, the Deployment Scheme deployed a small number of NGO staff to assist UNHCR offices around the world. In response to increasing resettlement needs, the number of deployees has substantially grown in the past several years. In 2006, the Scheme deployed a total of 69 people to 32 UNHCR offices in 29 countries. Deployees have referred over 13,000 refugee refugees for resettlement. These referrals represent a crucial resource in meeting identified global resettlement needs.

Although the majority of deployees are involved in the identification and referral of refugees who will be considered for resettlement to a third country, some are involved in very specific types of resettlement work, requiring particular expertise. For example, deployees can be specialists in interviewing unaccompanied refugee children, women at risk, or elderly refugees. Or they can be specialists in profiling refugees for group resettlement.

At the end of their assignments, deployees normally return to their home organizations. Deployees from NGOs can use their new experiences and insights to increase awareness of UNHCR's resettlement work and of the prominent role that NGOs play in giving effect to resettlement as a durable solution and protection tool.

The Deployment Scheme is managed through a partnership agreement between UNHCR and ICMC. The Resettlement Section within UNHCR's Division of International Protection in Geneva oversees funding and manages donor relations for the Scheme. ICMC is responsible for the operation of the Scheme, including the maintenance of a roster of deployees, from which UNHCR selects candidates for deployment to field posts.

Deployees are normally under an ICMC contract or are seconded by their organizations. They are not considered to be UNHCR staff or consultants. The Coordinator for the Resettlement Deployment Scheme, on behalf of UNHCR and ICMC, is Linda Besharaty: E-mail Linda Besharaty




UNHCR-ICMC Resettlement Deployment Scheme Background Information

Background Information on the Scheme, Application Process for the Roster and the Roster Application Form

International Catholic Migration Commission

ICMC serves and protects the needs of uprooted people. See also: Welcome to Europe: A Guide to Resettlement. (external link)