Resettlement, Complementary Pathways and Relocation

There were more than 70 million people forcibly displaced in the world due to persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations in 2019. Among them, 1.44 million refugees were in need of resettlement in 2020.

Resettlement is an essential tool to meet the international protection needs of particularly vulnerable refugees. But the magnitude of forced displacement has exposed a widening gap between the number of those in need of a third‑country solution and the few resettlement and humanitarian admission places made available globally.

In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the Global Compact on Refugees, which explicitly recognizes the pressing need for more cooperation in distributing the responsibility of hosting and supporting the world’s refugees. One of its four key objectives is to expand refugees’ access to third‑country solutions through new or enlarged resettlement efforts and complementary pathways.

The Global Compact on Refugees is a framework for more predictable and equitable responsibility‑sharing, recognizing that a sustainable solution to refugee situations cannot be achieved without international cooperation.

It provides a blueprint for governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure that host communities get the support they need and that refugees can lead productive lives.

It constitutes a unique opportunity to transform the way the world responds to refugee situations, benefiting both refugees and the communities that host them.

Its four key objectives are to:

  • Ease the pressures on host countries;
  • Enhance refugee self‑reliance;
  • Expand access to third‑solutions;
  • Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.

IOM supports its Member States in implementing resettlement, complementary pathway and relocation programmes.

We believe the most successful resettlement and admission programmes provide not only much needed protection for the most vulnerable but also a path to successful integration into their new societies.

IOM is also supporting European relocation efforts. These programmes can be implemented both on a European‑wide and on a bilateral basis and are an expression of internal EU solidarity with Member States facing increased pressure on their asylum systems. They involve the relocation of persons in need of international protection from European countries of first arrival to another EU Member or Associated State where their asylum application will be further processed.

We directly contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals: