E.g., 09/19/2021
E.g., 09/19/2021
Refugee Resettlement and Complementary Pathways: Opportunities for Growth

The global refugee protection regime has come under increasing pressure in recent years. The gap between the number of people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes and the solutions available to address their displacement continues to grow. By the end of 2020, there were 20.7 million refugees under the mandate of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

While the number of resettlement places that countries make available each year is consistently below the level needed, there have been some promising developments. As the need for humanitarian protection has grown, states have shown creativity in the design of resettlement programs and in facilitating access to complementary pathways to aid people in need of protection, including through education and employment visa programs.

This report presents the findings of a global mapping of refugee resettlement and complementary pathways, including areas where these programs could potentially be scaled up and the barriers to doing so. The analysis, commissioned by UNHCR, draws in part on more than 120 interviews conducted by MPI Europe and University of Ottawa Refugee Hub researchers with the staff of UNHCR offices, government officials, members of civil society, representatives of higher education institutions, and employers in four regions: Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. The report takes a closer look at five case study countries—Finland, France, Germany, Japan, and the United States—and provides examples from many more.

Table of Contents 

1  Introduction

2  Creating the Conditions for Resettlement to Grow
A. Build Political Will and Public Support
B. Create Avenues for Leadership at the Local Level
C. Address Practical Challenges That May Discourage Engagement by Emerging Resettlement Countries
D. Design Resilient and Responsive Resettlement Programs
E. Invest in Robust Reception and Integration Support

3  Expanding Complementary Pathways
A. Build Coalitions across Sectors within and outside of Government
B. Create Supportive Legal Frameworks through Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Solutions
C. Develop a Pipeline of Eligible Applicants
D. Cultivate a Welcoming Environment
E. Pursue Flexible and Diverse Funding Models

4  Regional State of Play and Opportunities for Growth
A. Asia and the Pacific
B. Europe
C. North America
D. South America

5  Recommendations for Action
A. Resettlement
B. Complementary Pathways
C. Looking Ahead