Refugee resettlement: the essential ingredients of success

Last updated September 7, 2015Press release

The Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement today on a very substantial expansion of the resettlement of refugees to the UK.

This follows the huge groundswell of public opinion over the last week, and demands from across Britain and the political spectrum for a comprehensive response. This must include action in the region and in the UK to support all refugees fleeing war and persecution.

Refugee Action has been the leading charity in Britain supporting the resettlement of refugees for over thirty years. We were established to support refugees fleeing Vietnam in 1979 and supported the resettlement of thousands of refugees from Bosnia and Kosovo in the late 1990’s.

In our extensive experience, there are six essential components of a resettlement programme that will meet the needs of the refugees who will be given the opportunity to rebuild their lives in the UK.

A successful and sustainable resettlement programme must:

  • Fund all essential costs such as health, education, community care and English classes
  • Set up programmes with a focus on fostering independence and not creating dependency, and front loading support that is tailored to refugees’ particular needs
  • Ensure refugees have access to mainstream, community-based housing upon arrival so that they can begin the process of integrating straightaway
  • Provide support in a way that helps refugees access existing mainstream services and enhances these services’ ability to support the refugees, rather than replicating services or putting additional pressures on them
  • Involve long-standing resident communities where refugees settle, through providing information and enabling positive relationships to form
  • Enable local people to play a part in supporting refugees, with appropriate training and support

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