ICMC’s longstanding expertise in refugee resettlement featured on key Oxford publication

An unaccompanied child in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Photo: N. PerroudA refugee child in a camp in Ethiopia. Photo: N. Perroud

Oxford, 2 March 2017 - A new article showcasing ICMC’s extensive historical involvement in the resettlement of refugees has been recently published in Forced Migration Review, a triannual publication on refugee, internal displacement, and statelessness issues, produced by the Refugee Studies Centre of the Oxford Department of International Development (University of Oxford).

The article, entitled ‘How NGOs have helped shape resettlement’, tells about the crucial role which ICMC held within the United States' Orderly Departure Program in the 1970s and 80s, when it helped Indochinese refugees who had escaped conflict start a new life in North America.

In 1998, the article continues, ICMC started providing more critical support to the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) through the management of the ICMC-UNHCR Resettlement Deployment Scheme, a pool of experts in the resettlement field who are assigned to support UNHCR's offices worldwide.

The partnership of the United Nations agency with ICMC paved the way for further collaborations with NGOs ever since: "NGOs loaning resettlement staff to UNHCR has now become commonplace", the article states. "With ICMC by far the largest provider, these ‘auxiliary workforces’ collectively produce around 60% of all resettlement referrals annually".

The article was written by Amy Slaughter, Chief Strategy Officer of RefugePoint, a humanitarian agency providing durable solutions for the world’s most vulnerable refugees - especially in Africa.

Over the course of more than 50 years, ICMC has continued to protect people and advocate on their behalf for the right to seek international protection beyond their country of origin. In response to the unprecedented refugee crisis in Syria, the organization has urged governments worldwide to admit within their borders, by the end of 2020, 10% of the (then) 4 million Syrian refugees uprooted in neighboring countries and encouraged States to participate more equitably in allocating resettlement places and offering safe and legal channels of migration, including extended family reunification, humanitarian and student visas, and community-based private sponsorships.

Since the 1980s, ICMC has also provided support to the United States government in the resettlement of refugees through the work of its Resettlement Support Center Turkey and Middle East, based in Istanbul and Beirut.