Belgium resettles 75 Syrian refugees
In November 2014, Belgium will welcome 75 Syrian refugees who have fled violence and war in their country. The refugees concerned are particularly vulnerable, including families and minors.
Over the last months, UNHCR has made a first selection of Syrian refugees in Turkey for resettlement in Belgium. A team of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS) travelled to Ankara on 31 August 2014 and interviewed the pre-selected refugees during a week. Interviews were allowed to further investigate identity issues, to examine thier well founded fear of persecution and to verify the concerned refugees hadn't been involved in war crimes. The IOM also undertook medical checks.
Resettlement and Integration
Once the list of refugees proposed by the CGRS is approved by the responsible Minister, the Immigration Office will issue travel documents. In the meantime Fedasil will undertake a cultural orientation mission to Turkey to provide refugees with additional information on Belgium.
Upon arrival in Belgium, the resettled refugees will be granted the refugee status and provided with residence permits. During the first six weeks, they will stay in open reception centers and benefit from language and integration courses. They will then be referred to municipalities and be supported during twelve months by Caritas and Convivial to further adapt to thei new life and seek employment.
Resettlement plans for the future
In 2013, Maggie De Block set up a structural resettlement project. Based on this, Belgium will each year resettle a number of refugees under the EU Resettlement Programme and in close collaboration with the UNHCR. The goal is to achieve by 2020 the number of 250 refugees resettled annually in Belgium.
Please find additional information in the attached press release (only in French) and on the website: http://www.resettlement.be/