Resettlement is a vital protection tool and a durable solution for those in need of international protection who are unable to return to their country of origin for fear of continued persecution and are not able to stay in the first country of asylum due to a lack of local integration opportunities. Resettlement is a key symbol of international solidarity and responsibility sharing with those developing regions hosting 84% of refugees.

UNHCR defines resettlement as “the selection and transfer of refugees from a State in which they have sought protection to a third State another State which has agreed to admit them - as refugees - with permanent residence status”. To prepare refugees for resettlement and to prepare States to receive them, IOM works closely with governments, UNHCR, non-government organisations and other partners.

In 2017, a record 26,673 refugees were resettled and admitted to 23 European states, constituting a 49% increase compared to the previous year.  

As part of its principled and people-centred programming and upon request of the receiving states, IOM supports the resettlement and admission of vulnerable refugees by:

  • Facilitating selection missions and visa processing
  • Providing pre-departure health assessments, orientation and information
  • Providing post-arrival integration support
  • Implementing movement management and travel operations

With growing resettlement needs and few resettlement places available, States have committed in the New York Declaration to further expand and increase the size of their resettlement programmes. These States also committed to establish resettlement programmes at the earliest opportunity if they do not exist yet. In this way, States aim to provide resettlement places on a scale that would enable to meet the annual resettlement needs as identified by UNHCR.

IOM produced a video to highlight the plight of refugees and IOM’s role in essential aspects of resettlement, from health and integration, to ensuring safe and dignified movements.