Welcoming engagement: How private sponsorship can strengthen refugee resettlement in the EU (MPI Europe)

This report examines private sponsorship programmes to permit private individuals, groups, corporations and other entities to sponsor individual refugees for resettlement and accept financial responsibility for them for a period of time.

The report shows that refugee resettlement, typically thought as a state-led activity, can also be sponsored by private actors, such as in private sponsorship programmes implemented in Canada, Australia and a handful of other countries as well as 15 of the 16 German länder. Ideally such programmes operate in parallel to government-led resettlement efforts and thus expand the number of places available to refugees.

However to be effective, private sponsorship programmes have to be well structured. Guidelines are necessary to clarify who would be eligible to sponsor refugees, what would sponsors’ responsibilities entail, who could be sponsored and how would applicants be chosen, and what entitlements and status might sponsored refugees get.

The report encourages the European Commission, European Asylum Support Office, EU Member States and NGOs to examine such programmes and a number of key questions that policymakers would have to consider in this matter

The report is the latest in a joint project between MPI Europe and the International Migration Initiative of the Open Society Foundations. The project, EU Asylum: Towards 2020, aims to contribute to development of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) consistent with the European Union’s interests, values and obligations, through research on challenges and options on asylum to inform the development of evidence-based policies and laws.

The report can be read at: www.migrationpolicy.org/research/welcoming-engagement-how-private-spons….

Author: Judith Kumin

Publication Date:
Tue 08 Dec 2015
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