Resettlement is an international protection tool designed for refugees who cannot return to their countries
Resettlement represents a durable solution for vulnerable forced migrants alongside local integration and voluntary repatriation, a protection tool for people whose lives and liberty are at risk. Since the 1970s, several European countries have established formal resettlement programs in partnership with UNHCR. Since 1999, with the worsening of violence and conflicts in neighbouring areas, the EU has been working to create a Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and improve the current legislative framework to harmonise integration and asylum policy among member states. The European Union is also working to strengthen and develop a Union Resettlement Framework connecting different actors involved in refugee resettlement as stated in the 2015 European Agenda on Migration. Since 2016, however, the need to research and develop complementary pathway for refugees’ admission into Europe, including private sponsorship programs, has been evident.
Traditionally, a humanitarian corridor has been defined as a type of temporary demilitarized zone intended to allow the safe transit of humanitarian aid in, and/or refugees out of a crisis region. In this context, however, Humanitarian Corridors (HC) are a safe and legal tool to facilitate the admission of vulnerable people to another country. Although HC share many features with resettlement, they fall under the umbrella of complementary pathways rather than resettlement schemes. For example, a wider group may be eligible for admission to HC and, whilst participants are issued with a visa which permits entry as part of the programme, they will require to make a formal application for international protection after arrival. The idea of Humanitarian Corridors was born after the tragedies of October 2013 where over 350 migrants lost their lives at sea off the coasts of Italy. The concept was developed by the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy along with the Community of Sant’Egidio, and the scheme was implemented along with the Diaconia Valdese and Waldensian and Methodist Churches. Humanitarian Corridors, as currently implemented, are unprecedented in that they are fully bottom-up, managed and financed by civil society actors, the State’s role being limited to granting visas, and permitting access to healthcare and other services, with civil society taking responsibility for identifying potential participants, pre-departure orientation, facilitating travel, hosting and all necessary support to foster integration and autonomy within the host society
This website was funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund