On Thursday 12 April 2018, IOM - the UN Migration Agency, UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) presented the outcomes of a project that developed innovative models to provide more opportunities for protection of refugees in the European Union (EU).
Recognising the need for new approaches to address global displacement and the few opportunities available for refugee resettlement, the European Resettlement Network has broadened its scope of activities to include research on complementary pathways of admission for refugees to Europe.
The ERN+ Scoping Paper on Student Scholarships for refugees explores the existing higher education opportunities for refugees to arrive safely in the EU from first countries of asylum in the framework of a study programme and how these represent one way to complement the efforts made by States to welcome refugees through resettlement and other complementary pathways of admission.
On September 18th and 19th 2017, within the framework of the European Resettlement Network (ERN+), ICMC Europe welcomed around 80 representatives from faith-based organisations, churches, international organisations, the European Commission and civil society networks for a 1.5 days conference in Brussels on “The Role of Churches and Christian Organisations in Community-based Sponsorship Programmes of Refugees in Europe: challenges, opportunities and next steps”.
The ERN+ Scoping Paper on Private Sponsorship consists of a mapping of current existing initiatives that have emerged in Europe since 2015. The research seeks to learn from the case studies presented, to identify common ground and best practices, but also contrasts and challenges within these experiences, assessing opportunities for private sponsorship programmes to become a more permanent feature of international protection in Europe.
Within the framework of the EU-funded ERN+ Project “Developing Innovative European Models for the Protection of Refugees and Providing Support to New Resettlement Countries”, the European Resettlement Network has organised three preparatory thematic webinars in early 2017 focusing on innovative forms of admission (private sponsorship, student scholarship schemes, and humanitarian admission). The webinars have served as input for the ERN+ research which aims at fostering dialogue and the scope the potential of innovative forms of refugee admission, identifying best practices as well as possible.