Immigration minister calls for global collaboration on resettlement

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Immigration minister calls for global collaboration on resettlement Immigration minister calls for global collaboration on resettlement

The 25th Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR) starts in Geneva today.

The Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes is expected to call on governments and charities to work together to resettle vulnerable refugees.

Together with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the British Refugee Council, the UK will chair the conference which brings together governments, charities and organisations working with refugees. The minister and Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will open the conference.

The Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR) provides a forum to consult on the resettlement of refugees, to review progress and to test new ideas. With more refugees participating than ever before, the focus this year will be on exploring different ways to expand resettlement. This comes after the UK announced it would continue to resettle thousands of refugees from 2020 under a new global scheme.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:

I am proud of the world-leading work we have done on resettlement. Since 2016, we have resettled more refugees from outside Europe than any other EU state and we recently committed to resettling thousands more refugees from 2020.

It is crucial that we continue work together to help the world’s most vulnerable refugees and the ATCR is the primary vehicle bringing together governments, the UNHCR and charities.

Since the expansion of resettlement in 2015 almost 16,000 people have been resettled under the vulnerable persons resettlement scheme. This is in addition to the thousands resettled through other routes.

At the conference, the UNHCR will present a 3-year strategy on resettlement. The strategy has been developed in collaboration with states, civil society, private sector, academia, refugees and other UN agencies. UNHCR consulted the UK, amongst other countries and those involved in resettlement globally, to collectively develop the strategy.

UNHCR UK representative Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor said:

With more people than ever forced to flee their homes in search of safety, the 25th ATCR comes at a crucial moment.

Working with the UK, other states and partners, UNHCR hopes that the event – and the subsequent Global Refugee Forum – will galvanize support for the strategy through commitments to increase the number of resettlement spaces, expand the number of resettlement countries and improve the availability of alternative pathways to safety, allowing more refugees to rebuild their lives.

This would also be a strong demonstration of solidarity with those host countries bearing the largest burden of displacement.

Maurice Wren, Chief Executive at the Refugee Council, said:

The Refugee Council is delighted to be co-hosting this important event alongside the UK government and UNHCR. By bringing together such a wealth of knowledge from around the world, we can all learn from each other about the best ways to support the resettlement and integration of refugees so that they can rebuild their lives in safety.

We are particularly pleased that this year’s ATCR has more refugees participating in the planning and delivery of the event than ever before. It is paramount that refugees themselves are kept front and centre of decision-making. It is by supporting refugees to make their vital contribution that we will reach our ATCR goals, for the benefit of refugees, states and communities alike.

This year’s theme will be ‘25 Years of the ATCR: Celebrating the positive impact of resettlement and providing inspiration for the future’. Participants will be invited to reflect on the success of resettlement since the ATCR was first established in 1995.

In response to record levels of displacement, states have renewed their commitments to share responsibility, including through expanding resettlement and exploring new methods of support.

A growing number of governments have expanded existing programmes and further states and partners have demonstrated readiness to launch new programmes. This will all be explored at the ATCR where resettled refugees will be invited to participate and offer a meaningful voice in the future of resettlement.

The expected outcomes of the 2019 ATCR include:

  • greater global awareness of the ATCR community and the positive impacts of resettlement
  • support for the 3-year strategy to expand resettlement and improve support for refugees
  • renewed momentum to expand the global resettlement programme

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Fraz Wahlah - CEO Citizen Lawyer

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Fraz Wahlah

Fraz Wahlah is a leading British human rights lawyer and founder of Citizen Lawyer in London and Birmingham. Read more about Wahlah here