Refugees & Resettlement

The world is facing yet another humanitarian crisis in a turbulent six years following the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan and subsequent collapse of the Afghan government.

Globally, discussions of refugee resettlement tend to focus on the responsibilities at the level of nation hosts dealing with issues of borders, visa regimes, and immediate support. Yet refugees, asylum seekers and internationally displaced persons (IDPs) settle in specific places, and those places shoulder the burden at local, not a national level – with local government playing a much more crucial role in providing housing, education, employment, healthcare, language learning and general community integration and wellbeing.

For this bundle, tying into this week’s Global Local Recap, we delve into local government policy focused on resettling migrants and refugees. More information about the free, weekly Global Local Recap is available here.

All resettlement is local: refugee policy developed where it delivers

Despite international discussions of hosting refugees being at national level, the greater burden falls at the local level. While local government ought to have a larger voice in matters of immigration policy, many municipalities globally have found innovative ways to support refugees and create localised immigration policies. Read our new blog here.

Interview: How Toronto's Newcomer Office is helping resettle refugees

Vera Dodic, manager of Toronto’s Newcomer Office, explains how their coordinating role between the City of Toronto and public and private partners is making the transition to a new life in Canada’s largest city easier for people who’ve had their whole lives turned upside down. Read the interview here.

Refugees and Afghanistan: how councils are helping with resettlement

Councils have been asked to help thousands of Afghan refugees resettle in the UK but details of the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme are only emerging slowly with limited government guidance to date. This briefing looks at what councils can offer in the context of wider policy on refugees and immigration. Read our content here.

What lessons can local government learn from Canada’s community-driven immigration programmes?

In recent years, Canada has developed an immigration policy that sees millions arrive, including in rural locations. This is the work of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), a partnership and program between federal and local government incentivising more remote and isolated communities to accept migrants. This briefing outlines the role of Canadian municipalities in immigration and integration. Read our content here.

Fingal Migrant Integration Forum – a vehicle for participatory democracy

Over the past three decades, the level of immigration to Ireland has exceeded the level of emigration almost every year, and there have been concerted efforts in national policy, public service delivery and community-led initiatives to promote the inclusion and integration of migrants. This briefing focuses on the Fingal Migrant Integration Forum, which was established by Fingal County Council.. Read our content here.

The Cork Sanctuary Runners: running alongside asylum seekers and refugees

Cork City Council recently won an award for Health & Wellbeing at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards 2019. Here, they talk about their winning entry – the Cork Sanctuary Runners, a programme enabling Irish residents to run alongside, and in solidarity with, asylum seekers and refugees. Read our blog here.

Clare Library Service’s award-winning project – Connections: Stories by Syrian Families in County Clare

Clare County Library was awarded the Chambers Ireland 2020 Excellence in Local Government Award for Best Library Service for the project, Connections: Stories by Syrian Families in County Clare. Read our blog here.