Welcoming the Stranger: Refugees in Host Countries
Brief summary of presentation of information made
Jesuit Refugee Service
- Jesuits are concentrating on education for refugees.
- 3.5 million refugee children are not in school = half of all child refugees registered with the UNHCR
- Breakdown of data: 61% or refugee children have access to primary school, 15% to secondary school and only 1% to university.
- The average refugee child spends 2-4 years out of school
- Research shows significant benefits to individuals and communities if children are able to access school as soon as possible.
- Only 2% of humanitarian funding goes towards education
- Calling for Re-allocation of resources. “Education cannot wait”
- Need to link with development as most refugees in a long term situation
- Tactical approach – Make education integral part of emergency response
- Integrate into local systems and curriculums
- Invest in teachers, infrastructure and resources
Essential components for integration into the community are:
1.protection. Increased risk factors include
- Low income
- Higher risk of gender based violence
- Both of the above can lead to increased risk of early marriage which further increases the risk of GBV
2. Access to justice. Strengthening of the rule of law and access to justice are crucial. Advocate for direct legal aid in situations for refugees
3. Peace Building. Providing opportunities for refugee and hosts to work together and to discuss rights and responsibilities
Catholic Relief Service
Due to publish a report in October on what impacts community processes, with research done in 4 different countries. Key findings – the positive factors for social integration:
- Overcoming perception of competition for resources
- Increased integration leads to increased willingness to share resources
- Need for more skilled personnel ( eg social worker in Greece can see 200 clients per day compared with 2-3 normally)
- Conditioning of host to receive refugees
- Knowledge of the situation refugees are fleeing from improves their acceptance
- Caring for care-givers of the host community
Law most important in resettlement opportunities. Issues are aggravated by a cap on resettlement numbers.
Norwegian Refugee Council
- New York Declaration on Sharing Responsibility is a breakthrough, it shifts burden from the immediate receiving countries.
- Responsibility needs to include not just immediate response to an emergency but also long term migration
- Where responsibility sharing has worked has been context specific, cannot be implemented in same way all the time
- It is more of a process than a blueprint
- 3 models -mathematical model of who should do what. Relies on quotas. It is appealing, since it is tangible, but it can reinforce bad practice
- Predictability model focuses on predictability of funding with a trigger rather than ad hoc funding
- German model with sponsoring of refugees by individuals or groups.
- Lessons learnt:
1.Essential to consider secondary onward movement in responding to a massive problem
2.Political involvement is needed
3.Preparation for refugees before return to home country (voluntary repatriation)
- Participation of refugees themselves
- Internally displaced persons (IDPs) also need to be included
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
- Refugees and migration are global issues and there is still a long way to go in gaining international collaboration to address the issue.
- Welcoming the stranger is just one way of witnessing to the Christian call to love your neighbour.
Web links for more information
The New York declaration can be found at www.refugeesmigrants.un.org/declarationTags: United Nations, SDG10: Reduced Inequalities, SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, SDG3: Good Health and Well-Being