Docstoc

ARGO (DOC)

Document Sample
ARGO (DOC) Powered By Docstoc
					     Durable Solutions In Practice




Workshop on Refugee Resettlement
           BRUSSELS, 10-11 April 2008

             Project Number: JLS/2006/ARGO/GC/21
             Title: Durable Solutions in Practice (DSIP)
                          Implemented by:
   Central Agency for the reception of asylum seekers (COA)




           ARGO Project, 2007-2008
                    WORKSHOP ON REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT
                            BRUSSELS, 10-11 APRIL 2008

                  TABLE OF CONTENT
1. Introduction

2. Participants Delegation Visit

   1. Guests of the partner organizations
   2. Project board COA
   3. Participants to the workshop
3. Programme of the Workshop

4. Summary of the workshop

4.1. Introduction to the 2-day workshop: Mr. Joan Ramakers, Director Operational Services of
Fedasil

4.2. Resettlement as Part of a Global Approach to Migration and Asylum Policy: Mr François
Bienfait – Deputy Commissioner for Refugees and Stateless Persons

4.3. Resettlement as a Durable Solution and the UNHCR Resettlement Programme: Ms Judith
Kumin – UNHCR Regional Representative

4.4. The European Resettlement Scheme, Regional Protection Programmes and EC Funding
mechanisms: Mr Gert-Jan Van Holck – DG Justice, Freedom and Security, Unit Asylum and
Migration, European Commission

4.5. Comparative Review of Resettlement in Europe: Lessons Learned: Ms. Petra Hueck –
Programme Manager ICMC Europe

4.6. The Canadian Resettlement System: Ms Holly Edwards – Immigration Counsellor
Canadian Mission to the EU

4.7. The Role of Cultural Orientation Training: Ms Tiina Miskala – Project Development
Officer & Cultural Orientation Programme Coordinator International Organization for
Migration

4.8. Overview and Role of Twinning Programmes: Mr Christophe Jansen – Head
International Relations Unit - Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless
Persons




                                                                                          1
4.9. Introduction to the Project “Durable Solutions in Practice” (DSIP): Ms Nicolien Rengers
– Dutch Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA)

4.10. The DSIP Twinning Experience – Feedback on the Dutch resettlement missions to
Thailand

   I.      Selection Mission, December 2007 (CGRS: Christophe Jansen; FEDASIL:
           Agnieszka Sepiol and Vinciane Masurelle)
   II.     Feedback on cultural orientation mission, February 2008 (FEDASIL: Patrick
           Meers & Marie Huberlant)


5. Summary of the Conclusion of the session held on the Selection, the Reception and the
Integration of resettled refugees.

   THEME 1 : SELECTION
   THEME 2 : CENTRALIZED RECEPTION
   THEME 3: INTEGRATION

APPENDIX I: INTERNATIONAL SPEAKERS INVITED

APPENDIX II: LIST OF PARTICIPANTS




                                                                                          2
1. INTRODUCTION
In the framework of the ARGO project Durable Solutions in Practice, the Belgian Federal
Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (FEDASIL) and the Belgian Office of the
Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS) were pleased to invite
ARGO partners, national and international NGOs and experts to a workshop on Refugee
Resettlement, on 10 and 11 April 2008.

This report describes the programme and content of the workshop held in Brussels at the
International Auditorium. It describes the daily programme, explains the main points
discussed and exposes the conclusions of the guests and speakers. The presentations of the
speakers can be found in the appendix as well as the complete listing of participants and
NGOs represented at the workshop.


Goals of the activity

The objectives of the workshop were threefold:
   - gather ARGO project partners in order to exchange experiences gained through the
       different look-and-learn missions organized under the project;
   - discuss observations with FEDASIL and CGRS staff;
   - develop the knowledge of resettlement in Belgium through the presence and
       contributions of various experts from international organizations, resettlement
       countries, as well as national and international NGOs.

Context

Since March 2007, FEDASIL and the CGRS have been involved in the ARGO project
„Durable Solutions in Practice‟ implemented by the Dutch Agency for the Reception of
Asylum Seekers (COA), in collaboration with two other European partners, namely the
Czech Republic and Romania.

Within this project, five Belgian participants to the ARGO project went on look-and-learn
missions to Thailand with COA. The aim of these two missions held in December 2007
(Selection mission) and in February 2008 (Cultural Orientation Mission) was to introduce the
attending EU member state to the Dutch refugee resettlement programme. The workshop in
Brussels provided the Belgian participants with an opportunity to share their observations on
this mission with various Belgian actors and colleagues.

Furthermore the workshop could be seen as a first real discussion on how to implement a
possible resettlement programme in Belgium. Still no political decision has been taken on
whether and when such a program could be initialized, but the fact that the word resettlement
sneaked into one of the draft governmental agreements in mid 2007 – only to be deleted in the
final version – has sparked some real interest, not only within the governmental bodies that
would per se be implied in a future resettlement programme, but also with NGOs working
with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.

Even though resettlement doesn‟t seem to be a priority for the new government and it is not
foreseeable when a programme would actually start, one may assume that finally Belgium




                                                                                           3
will follow the course of the steadily growing number of European resettlement countries.
Knowing this, we should better be prepared.

The issue of resettlement has up till now remained relatively unexplored in Belgium. That‟s
why it is important to develop expertise on what resettlement really is about and learn from
the experiences of others. In this respect the Brussels workshop certainly came at the right
time. During the plenary sessions highly experienced experts shared their knowledge on
resettlement, each from their particular viewpoint. On the second day in-depth discussions
were held on the essential elements of a resettlement programme: selection, reception and
integration. Questions were raised as to which valid options exist for a future Belgian
resettlement programme.

The workshop in Brussels allowed us to explore the field, and draw first, very preliminary
conclusions on possible options for a resettlement programme given the complexity of the
Belgian context. Even more so, it showed us the issues that will have to be tackled and the
questions that will undoubtedly rise.


2. PARTICIPANTS DELEGATION VISIT
   4. Guests of the partner organizations


CZECH REPUBLIC : OAMP

Stehlikova Katerina – OAMP
Sykorova Katerina – OAMP – Unit for Policy, International Relations and Information on
                           Countries of origin

ROMANIA

Mircea Radu – Romanian Immigration office,Head of Integration and Social Assistance
Bureau
Predescu Octavian – Romanian Immigration Office


BELGIUM : FEDASIL and CGVS

Mr. Joan Ramakers – Director Operational Services, FEDASIL
Mr. Patrick Meers –Director of Federal centre Sint-Truiden, FEDASIL
Ms. Agnieszka Sepiol – Co-Director of Federal centre Pondrôme, FEDASIL
Mr. Nicolas Genin – Director of Federal centre Pondrôme-Sugny, FEDASIL
Ms. Marie Huberlant – European Refugee Fund, FEDASIL
Ms. Vinciane Masurelle – Voluntary Return, FEDASIL
Mr. Christophe Jansen – Head of International Relations Unit, CGRS


   5. Project board COA

Ms. Nicolien Rengers, Project manager DSIP – COA


                                                                                          4
Ms. Robeske Tupan, Secretariat ENARO/International projects – Office of the Director
General COA, Coordinator workshops DSIP


   6. Participants to the workshop

FEDASIL and the CGRS invited about 70 persons to the workshop (maximum capacity of the
conference room). Participation was offered to one representative per organization in order to
diversify the participants. FEDASIL and the CGRS registered about 70 participants over the
two days, what was considered as a success by the Belgian organizational board (see appendix
II: list of participants).




3. PROGRAMME OF THE WORKSHOP ( See next page)




                                                                                            5
                                     Durable Solutions In Practice



                                            PROGRAM
                                   WORKSHOP IN BRUSSELS
                                      10-11 APRIL 2008
                                          Organized by:
            FEDASIL – Belgian Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers
       CGRS – Belgian Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons
                                      In collaboration with:
               COA – Dutch Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers

                                      The International Auditorium
                                    International Trade Union House
                                   Boulevard du Roi Albert II, No. 5 / 2
                                             B-1210 Brussels



Wednesday 9th of April 2008

Arrival at Brussels Airport & Transfer to hotel

Day one: Thursday 10th of April 2008


MORNING: GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO RESETTLEMENT AND INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

9:00                      Welcome & Registration of Participants

9:30 – 9:45 am            Introduction to the 2-day Workshop: Mr Joan Ramakers – Director Operational
                          Services of FEDASIL

9:45 – 10:15 am           Resettlement as Part of a Global Approach to Migration and Asylum Policy: Mr
                          François Bienfait – Deputy Commissioner for Refugees and Stateless Persons

10:15 – 10:30 am          Questions & discussion

10:30 – 11:15 am          Resettlement as a Durable Solution and the UNHCR Resettlement Programme: Ms
                          Judith Kumin – UNHCR Regional Representative

Questions & discussion

11:15 – 11:30 am          Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:00 am          The European Resettlement Scheme, Regional Protection Programmes and EC
                          Funding mechanisms: Mr Gert-Jan Van Holk – European Commission, DG Justice,
                          Freedom and Security, Unit Asylum and Migration

                          Questions & discussion

12:00 – 1:00 pm           Lunch




                                                                                                    6
AFTERNOON – PART I: SETTING UP A RESETTLEMENT PROGRAMME – LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCES


1:00 – 1:40 pm          Comparative Review of Resettlement in Europe: Lessons Learned: Ms. Petra Hueck –
                        Programme Manager ICMC Europe

                        Questions & discussion

1:40 – 2:20 pm          The Canadian Resettlement System: Ms Holly Edwards – Immigration Advisor
                        Canadian Mission to the EU

                        Questions & discussion

2:20 – 3:00 pm          The Role of Cultural Orientation Training: Ms Tiina Miskala – Project Development
                        Officer & Cultural Orientation Programme, coordinator International Organization for
                        Migration

                        Questions & discussion

3:00 – 3:15             Coffee Break

AFTERNOON – PART II: TWINNING ACTIVITIES – OVERVIEW AND KEY FINDINGS DSIP PROJECT


3:15 – 4:00 pm          Overview and Role of Twinning Programmes: Mr. Christophe Jansen – Head
                        International Relations Unit - Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and
                        Stateless Persons

                        Introduction to the Project “Durable Solutions in Practice” (DSIP): Ms. Nicolien
                        Rengers – Dutch Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA)

4:00 – 4:40 pm          The DSIP Twinning Experience – Observations of the Dutch resettlement missions to
                        Thailand: Agnieszka Sepiol, Vinciane Masurelle, Patrick Meers, Marie Huberlant,
                        Christophe Jansen – Staff Members from FEDASIL and the Office of the
                        Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons

                        Questions & discussion

4:40 pm                 Closure of the day



Day two: Friday 11th of April 2008


9:00 – 9:10am           Opening of the day

9:10 – 11:00am         First round of workshops:

                       Theme 1: Selection Process

                       Introduction:
                             Mr. Gert Westerveen – UNHCR Brussels, Head of Protection Unit
                             Ms. Sophie Daubian-Delisle – Judicial expert – Office of the Commissioner
                                General for Refugees and Stateless Persons

                       Facilitator:
                             Mr. Christophe Jansen – Head International Relations Unit – Office of the
                                 Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons




                                                                                                          7
                  Theme 2 : Centralized Reception

                  Introduction:
                        Ms. Nicolien Rengers – Coordinator Pre-Arrival Activities COA
                        Ms. Astrid Ogelo – Case manager COA
                        Ms. Agnieszka Sepiol, Mr. Nicolas Genin (FEDASIL Centres Coordinators
                            in Sint-Truiden, Pondrôme and Sugny)
                  Facilitators:
                        Mr Nicolas Genin – FEDASIL Centre Coordinator in Pondrôme and Sugny


                  Theme 3: Integration

                  Introduction:
                        Ms Rachael Hardiman – British Refugee Council – Yorkshire and
                            Humberside, Operations Manager (Resettlement)
                        Ariane Den Uyl – Dutch Council for Refugees
                        Belgian organizations active in integration support activities
                  Facilitators:
                        Ms Petra Hueck –Programme Manager ICMC Europe


11:00 – 11:20am   Coffee break

11:20 – 01:00pm   Second round of workshops

01:00 – 02:30pm   Lunch

02:30 – 04:00pm   Results of Workshops, Final Conclusions and Closure of Conference

Evening           Transfer to the airport and departure




                                                                                            8
4. SUMMARY OF THE WORKSHOP


THURSDAY MORNING, 10 APRIL :

The first morning of the workshop was dedicated to an introduction to the resettlement
operations in the international context. We had the pleasure to welcome key international
actors involved in resettlement activities: UNHCR and the European Commission but also
IOM, ICMC and a representative from the Canadian resettlement system.

Introduction to the 2-day Workshop: Mr. Joan Ramakers, Director Operational
Services of FEDASIL

After the greetings to COA as project board of the ARGO project, Joan Ramakers highlighted
the fact that the ARGO project had resulted in a fruitful collaboration between CGRS and
Fedasil.

Resettlement as Part of a Global Approach to Migration and Asylum Policy: Mr.
François Bienfait – Deputy Commissioner for Refugees and Stateless Persons

As Deputy Commissioner for Refugees and Stateless Persons, Mr François Bienfait took the
floor recalling that the CGRS is, and has been for quite a while, a strong advocator for
resettlement. Regretting the fact that resettlement is not on the political agenda of the Leterme
I government at the moment, Mr. François Bienfait also expressed the wish that focus in
Belgium would shift away from procedural changes to remedy abuse to a more global
approach to asylum and migration, which would include resettlement, this in the national
context of the need for additional migration.

Whilst observing that Belgium has taken up a leading role in the international debate for a
global approach to asylum and migration and that the appointment of a separate Minister for
Asylum and Migration looks promising, the Deputy Commissioner for Refugees and Stateless
Persons regretted that the actual Belgian asylum and migration policy remains somewhat
limited.

He concluded his intervention with two thoughts. First, the Durable Solutions in Practice
project managed to have both the CGRS and Fedasil engaged in a common project, setting up
common goals, looking for common solutions and encountering common problems. This
project is a clear statement that a whole of government approach is not only extremely useful,
but even possible in such a complex country as Belgium. Secondly, he reiterated the strong
advocacy of the CGRS for a policy of resettlement:
     that, in the longer term, will mean the establishment of an actual resettlement
        programme, both at national and EU level, from the perspective of a global approach
        to migration and the need for additional migration and with possibilities for vocational
        training in the regions of origin
     that, in the short term, will lead to the setting up of several smaller resettlement
        operations, as some kind of a laboratory for the establishment of an actual resettlement
        programme.



                                                                                               9
Resettlement as a Durable Solution and the UNHCR Resettlement Programme: Ms.
Judith Kumin – UNHCR Regional Representative

Ms. Judith Kumin commended Fedasil, CGRA and COA for the invitation to the workshop
and the initiative of the ARGO project. She also thanked the European Commission for their
support in funding this project. She mentioned that UNHCR was especially pleased that
Belgium, the Czech Republic and Romania – countries which do not yet have resettlement
programmes – have been such active project partners.

The UNHCR Regional Representative recalled the history of resettlement since the fifties and
the fact that from 1951 through the 1980s, there had been a very extensive use of resettlement.
Resettlement is thus not new in Europe but it did diminish during the 1990s, as the number of
spontaneously arriving asylum seekers rose, and with the resolution of the Vietnamese boat
people crisis and the repatriation from Thailand of the remaining Cambodian refugees.

Ms Kumin continued her presentation with an overview of the present-day situation of the
resettlement operations in the world. UNHCR has engaged in an effort to revive interest in
resettlement and to involve more countries in resettling refugees. Based on UNHCR‟s
priorities for resettlement and on the hierarchy of resettlement criteria, UNHCR believes that
at least 154,700 refugees under mandate are in need of resettlement. At the same time,
assuming resettlement countries continue to require detailed preparation of submissions from
UNHCR, UNHCR does not have the capacity to prepare individual submissions for all those
who have been identified as being in need. UNHCR faces a significant gap between estimated
resettlement needs, UNHCR‟s capacity to make resettlement submissions, and the places
available in resettlement countries.

Finding enough resettlement places is not the only challenge. There are four others
challenges: matching resettlement countries‟ interests with resettlement needs; managing pull
factors and refugees‟ expectations; managing camps where large scale resettlement is taking
place; and mobilizing public support for resettlement and promoting integration of resettled
refugees. In this regard Ms. Kumin pointed to the striking imbalance between priorities in the
global resettlement needs and the priorities in resettlement countries‟ interests, with a clear
overhaul to states‟ interests.

The understanding in the EU of what resettlement is has improved over the past year. It is
more widely accepted that resettlement is a tool of protection, a durable solution, and a sign of
international solidarity. To conclude her presentation, Ms. Judith Kumin recalled that
UNHCR considers resettlement as a complement to asylum systems, and not a substitute for
them. UNHCR hopes that resettlement will be presented as part of each country‟s refugee
policy. With this in mind, the UNHCR was disappointed to see that the creation of a
resettlement programme was not included in the programme of the new Belgian government,
even though a new Ministerial position responsible solely for asylum and migration was
established. Ms. Judith Kumin called upon everyone to redouble efforts for the establishment
of a resettlement programme in Belgium.




                                                                                              10
The European Resettlement Scheme, Regional Protection Programmes and EC Funding
mechanisms: Mr Gert-Jan Van Holk – DG Justice, Freedom and Security, Unit Asylum
and Migration, European Commission


The European Commission recognizes the instrument of resettlement as a useful and essential
part of a comprehensive policy on asylum. During the first part of his presentation, Mr.Van
Holk gave an overview of the EU policy framework on resettlement. It is firstly considered as
a durable solution which contributes to solve refugee situations, thus focusing on
humanitarian reasons. Secondly, resettlement is seen as part of the EU external policy on
asylum. This is reflected in various policy documents : The Hague Programme (2004),
Communications on improving access to durable solutions (2004), RPPs (2005), the Green
Paper (2007) and the Policy Plan (2008.) The Commission has put resettlement on the agenda
and will continue to do so. Generally speaking, it is essential for the EC to show solidarity
with third countries and to provide for protection in these countries. Resettlement can be a
component of Regional Protection Programmes (RPPs).


The objectives of the European Commission in the field of resettlement are threefold:
Continuing to promote resettlement in general, having more Member States participating in
resettlement (political significance) and improving the cooperation among Member States
which have resettlement policies. After a word on the Regional Protection Programmes
(RPPs), the presentation focused on the financial underpinning (706.3 million €) of
resettlement offered by the European refugee Fund III (2008-2013). On top of a wide variety
of resettlement activities which will be funded under ERF III, in the future ERF community
actions will address „practical cooperation needs‟ (joint missions, logistical arrangements , …)
with the aim of setting up a flexible joint EU scheme. The EU intends to support UNHCR‟s
activities and looks forward to further developing the cooperation on resettlement with the
Member States, UNHCR and NGOs.



THURSDAY AFTERNOON, 10 APRIL :


The afternoon was dedicated to operational aspects of resettlement programmes, through the
contributions of ICMC, Canada and IOM and Fedasil‟s and CGRS‟ observations based on
participation to the ARGO project activities, especially the selection mission and CO training
in Thailand.


Comparative Review of Resettlement in Europe, Lessons Learned: Ms. Petra Hueck –
Programme Manager ICMC Europe

ICMC and Resettlement
ICMC has been involved in resettlement since its creation. At present, ICMC is implementing
refugee processing activities and CO training through its office in Turkey, and identification
of vulnerable cases activities in Jordan. ICMC is also implementing the ICMC-UNHCR
Deployment Scheme, and is conducting advocacy work through different offices. ICMC has
been leading a 12-month project co-funded by the ERF Community Actions (“Practical
Cooperation for a European Resettlement Network”). Main outputs are: a first European

                                                                                             11
Resettlement Training, the “Welcome to Europe Resettlement Guide” and 8 deployments of
Europeans to the field. The project‟s main goal is to foster an extended resettlement network
to promote continuous gathering and exchange of information, reflection between experienced
and emerging resettlement countries, between the various international and national
stakeholders involved at all levels.

Main considerations when establishing resettlement programmes
ICMC presented the European quota update (total European quota from 5.610 in 2007 to
5.890 in 2008). New developments on the European scene include: the definition of a 100-
cases quota in France, the positive engagement of UK to extend its quota, and the discussions
in Germany around a large scale ad-hoc resettlement of Iraqis.

The selection process varies depending on the resettlement country. Most cases are selected
on missions but some countries use dossier selection as well. Dossier selection is crucial for
the treatment of emergency or urgent cases, guaranteeing processing flexibility and meeting
protection needs worldwide (ICMC cited the Swedish quota as an example of good practice).
Special treatment exists for specific vulnerable groups such as medical cases and
unaccompanied minors. Most governments only follow the UNHCR Resettlement criteria.
Some countries added an assessment of the reception conditions and integration potential
(Denmark).

Continuous consideration of reception and integration needs and capacities is essential in the
selection process. The selection process is also a key moment to prepare reception and collect
and share information with other stakeholders on special needs. Various instruments are used:
the UNHCR Resettlement Referral Form, interviews during selection missions (COA),
assessment of reception and integration conditions (Finland and UK), CO training (managing
expectations).

Two models of reception exist in Europe: centralized reception (The Netherlands, Ireland) and
direct placement in municipalities by mainstreaming resettled refugees into integration
services (Denmark, Finland, Sweden) or developing specialized services (United Kingdom)1.

Cross-cutting issues in integration are: independence of resettled refugees, benchmarks of
integration (subjective by nature), engagement of host communities, engagement of
volunteers, mobilization of public opinion, involvement of refugees as agents of integration
(services development and provision), promotion of community development. The need for a
“bottom-up” approach has been highlighted: development of local initiatives to receive
resettled refugees, development of sponsorship programmes: multi-stakeholder coordination
and exchange, use of ERF to introduce local programmes, media involvement to build
support.




1
  See Workshop on Reception for a description of the Dutch centralized system and Workshop on Integration for
the UK system (day 2).



                                                                                                          12
The Canadian Resettlement System: Ms. Holly Edwards – Immigration Counselor
Canadian Mission to the EU

Canada has engaged in refugee resettlement for over 50 years and welcomed close to 800,000
refugees since WWII (almost 600,000 with government assistance and close to 200,000
privately sponsored by the voluntary sector). Canada grants permanent residence status to
resettled refugees. Each year, between 10,000 and 11,000 resettled refugees are given
permanent residence status. After roughly 3 years in Canada, they may apply for full
citizenship.

Ms. Holly Edwards highlighted the benefits of the use of resettlement both for the
international community and for the country of resettlement (for example in terms of
awareness raising and understanding of other cultures in the local population and orderly
selection, arrival and settlement).

There are two Resettlement Streams in Canada: Government-assisted refugees (GARs),
mainly referred by UNHCR and supported by the Government of Canada and the Government
of Quebec (7,300 to 7,500 refugees annually) and Privately sponsored refugees (PSRs) mainly
referred by private sponsorship groups and supported by civil society organizations and
groups of individuals (3,000 to 4,500 refugees annually).

The refugee selection is based on fixed annual selection targets and geographic distribution.
Cases may be refused based on eligibility and admissibility criteria. Refugees must undergo
medical, security and criminality screening. Emphasis is on protection needs, yet “ability to
establish” can still be a factor.

The refugee resettlement categories are:
 Convention Refugees Abroad Class: Refugees who meet the Geneva Convention
   definition;
 Country of Asylum Class (1997): Persons in refugee-like situations who do not meet the
   Geneva Convention criteria;
 Source Country Class: Persons who would otherwise meet the Convention definition but
   are still located in their country of origin.

Several programmes exist:
   1. Joint Assistance Sponsorships (JAS) (private sponsor and income support from the
       Canadian government for up to 24 or even 36 months in exceptional cases).
   2. Women at Risk Programme (WAR) (may be processed as a GAR, PSR or JAS case)
   3. Urgent Protection Programme (UPP) (most are identified as GARs, some as JAS
       cases).

Then Ms. Holly Edwards explained the resettlement process applied to Government-assisted
refugees (GARs) and the role of UNHCR (referral), the Canadian Visa Office (application
assessment and travel arrangements), the Destination Matching Centre (selection of a
destination in Canada), IOM (travel), the Resettlement Assistance Program (funding of local
services organizations and funding of income support for up to 12 months). The content of
settlement programs has then been described (language instructions for newcomers,
Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, and host programme), as well as entitlements
for resettled refugees to foster integration (right to work and study after arrival ,etc.).


                                                                                          13
Ms. Holly Edwards then compared systems applied to GARs and PSRs (see table below).




The Role of Cultural Orientation Training: Ms. Tiina Miskala – Project Development
Officer & Cultural Orientation Programme Coordinator, International Organization
for Migration

Ms. Tiina Miskala first presented IOM migrant training activities worldwide: pre-employment
orientation, pre-departure orientation, language training, cultural orientation (CO), literacy &
innumeracy training, vocational/technical training.

CO training in the framework of resettlement must be seen in a wider range of IOM
comprehensive services: logistical support for selection missions, pre-departure medical
checks, cultural orientation, language training, travel arrangements including departure, transit
and arrival assistance, and information to recipient municipalities about the refugees.

IOM has been involved in 5 national CO training programmes. These programmes are
country specific: the content is adapted to the various resettlement countries‟ realities and
approaches, for example towards work and education. Specific CO programmes are also
developed for children. Curriculum development is based on feedback from community
consultations, home visits to refugee families, CO development group and feedback from
donor, development seminar and IOM HQ2.



2
 IOM headquarters in Geneva also supports training of trainers, migrant training experts meetings, and program
monitoring.



                                                                                                           14
CO objectives are to provide accurate information, help to develop realistic expectations,
develop attitudes and skills necessary for successful adaptation, lower the culture shock, and
address migrant‟s concerns and questions.

CO teaching methods are interactive and include Socratic method, group work, individual
assignments and theatre for development. IOM Oslo is recruiting skilled CO trainers. Criteria
include multicultural understanding, residence in Norway, work experience in Norway,
teaching experience, refugee background, knowledge of Norwegian and of the refugee‟s own
language.

In Norway, CO topics include: class introduction, Norway in a nutshell, introduction
programme, education, employment, cost of living, Norwegian life and society, family
structure, law and order, culture shock, cultural differences, health, housing, social
interaction, Norwegian municipality, public institutions, travel awareness.

Logistics and coordination varies between different IOM CO programmes. In the case of
Norway, a CO team from Norway travels to the first country of asylum to deliver the CO
sessions in collaboration with IOM field office.

IOM Oslo also organizes information to Norwegian municipalities (information sessions and
written country profiles).

During the presentation, Ms Tiina Miskala also showed a video on IOM CO activities.

Overview and Role of Twinning Programmes: Mr Christophe Jansen – Head
International Relations Unit - Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and
Stateless Persons

Mr. Christophe Jansen opened his presentation with a terminological analysis of the word
“Twinning”. Moving on to the definition given in the feasibility study commissioned by the
European Commission on the setting up of resettlement schemes in EU Member States or at
EU level, the following features were highlighted: Twinning arrangements allow – in a spirit
of solidarity – for the sharing of experiences and the exchange of good practices, thereby
sparing the receiving country the difficulty of having to reinvent the wheel and urging the
donor country to evaluate its own programme. Given the disparity in politics and culture
between the different EU member states a simple copy-paste of any given resettlement
programme to any other country is neither possible nor wise. Therefore, when setting up a
resettlement programme it is advisable to engage in different Twinning arrangements or take
part in a multi-partner Twinning arrangement.

Mr. Christophe Jansen pointed to the lack of coherent information on the different Twinning
arrangements, both at governmental and non-governmental level and advocated for a better
exchange of information on all resettlement-oriented projects sponsored by the European
Commission or otherwise.

Thereafter he went more into detail on the major resettlement-Twinnings of the past few
years. The first to be mentioned was the MORE project (Modeling of national resettlement
process and implementation of emergency measures) that was organized jointly by Finland,
Ireland, UNHCR, IOM and ECRE from 2003 to 2005. This project resulted in a very
interesting handbook “Shaping our future: a practical guide to the selection of, reception and


                                                                                           15
integration of resettled refugees”. As a follow-up to this, Finland, Ireland, Spain and Sweden
engaged in the MOST project (Modeling of Orientation Services and training related to the
resettlement and reception of refugees), which took place in 2006-2007. More information
can be found on the official website of the MOST project www.mostproject.fi.

The Twinning arrangements between on the one hand Slovenia and Portugal – both emerging
resettlement countries – and on the other hand Denmark and Canada were only briefly
touched upon. Mr. Christophe Jansen also mentioned the recent selection mission to Thailand,
where the Dutch State Secretary, Ms. Nebahat Albayrak, invited the Belgian Commissioner
General for Refugees and Stateless Persons, Mr. Dirk Van den Bulck and the Luxembourg
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Albert Schmitt to take part in this selection mission.

Since both the comparative overview of resettlement in Europe undertaken by ICMC and the
Durable solutions in practice project were covered by other speakers the first day, no more
details are given here. More information is to be found in the relevant parts of this report and
on the relevant websites www.icmc.net and www.enaro.eu/dsip.

Outside the European context Mr. Christophe Jansen drew attention to the regional
resettlement programme of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay, aided by Norway and the
UNHCR, the so-called “Mexico Plan of Action”. This is a continent-wide framework for the
protection of displaced persons aimed at strengthening refugee protection and implementing
an integrated approach to durable solutions.

Rounding up his presentation with a view to the future, he summed up the expressions of
interest from different EU resettlement countries. It became clear from this overview that the
existing EU resettlement countries really want to put in an effort to prepare other European
and non-European (Japan, Uruguay, …) for the setting up of a national resettlement scheme.
With the resettlement Twinning arrangement between the United Kingdom and Ireland on the
one hand and Belgium and Slovenia on the other, to be started in the second half of 2008
Belgium is clearly expanding its experience in the resettlement field. This is a momentum not
to be missed…



Introduction to the Project “Durable Solutions in Practice” (DSIP): Ms. Nicolien
Rengers – Dutch Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA)

Nicolien Rengers from COA (Centraal Orgaan opvang asielzoekers) is the project leader of
the project Durable Solution in Practice (DSIP). She introduced the audience to the goals of
the DSIP project and presented the project leader and partners: COA for The Netherlands,
OAMP for the Czech Republic and FEDASIL and CGRS for Belgium. She also welcomed the
Ministry of Administration and Interior of Romania as guests of the project.

The DSIP project aims to introduce OAMP, FEDASIL and CGRS to the Dutch approach on
the selection process and the pre- and post-arrival activities for quota refugees. With this
purpose, various activities were organized by COA. In June, there were three introduction
days to the Dutch resettlement programme, with a focus on the role of the Dutch
organizations.




                                                                                            16
In October 2007 and January 2008, two look and learn missions were organized for the Czech
guests, one selection mission and one CO-training to Kenya. A study visit to the Netherlands
for three Czech guests was organized in order to give a debriefing of the missions and to
organize the workshop in Prague. This workshop brought together 40 participants both from
the international and the national field. As a result of these activities, the Czech guests were
given a full picture of the Dutch approach. Their findings were shared on a national level in
the Czech Republic during the workshop in Prague. The project contributed to the building of
a mindset for the Czech approach of resettlement and to interesting feedback on the Dutch
approach.
From December 2007 to March 2008, various activities were organized for the Belgian
partners (Fedasil and CGRS). At first a selection mission to Thailand took place in December
with three Belgian guests; it was followed by a CO training mission in the same area with two
Belgian guests. A debriefing session was organized in the Netherlands for the five Belgian
guests and it emerged from this last study visit to the Nederland that Belgium had gained a
full picture of the Dutch approach and was given enough input to organize this workshop in
Brussels.

In March 2008, two Romanian guests went on selection mission to Jordan and also got a full
picture of the Dutch approach to a selection mission. This was also a mindset for the
Romanian approach of resettlement.

Ms. Nicolien Rengers finished her presentation with a short overview of the upcoming
activities of the DSIP project. She announced the Closing conference in Bucharest in May
2008 which will give opportunity to all states members participant to share project findings at
a European level. Further exploration of opportunities and threats of resettlement as a durable
solution, possibilities for a European Approach and eventual further cooperation or Twinning
projects between EU countries will be discussed.




The DSIP Twinning Experience – Feedback on the Dutch resettlement missions to
Thailand


   III.    Selection Mission, December 2007 (CGRS: Christophe Jansen; FEDASIL:
           Agnieszka Sepiol and Vinciane Masurelle)

Refugee Situation in Thailand
During the last three decades, Thailand provided asylum to some 1.2 million refugees. Major
groups include:
 some 120,000 refugees from Myanmar residing in 9 camps managed by the Thai
   authorities along the border: submitted to ad hoc administrative arrangements;
 non-Myanmar urban refugees (25-30 nationalities): they are illegal migrants under Thai
   law and as such subject to detention and deportation;
 some 8,000 Lao Hmong asylum seekers in the Petchabun Province (discussions ongoing).

Thailand is a priority country for resettlement. Since the start of the UNHCR resettlement
programme in 2005, 20,000 refugees have departed (mainly to the US). In 2006, Burmese



                                                                                             17
refugees were the main beneficiaries of the UNHCR programme 3. In 2007, some 10,000
departures were projected. In 2008, Thailand remains a priority country (cf. „Global Needs‟).

Selection Mission
The mission mandate defined the mission specific quota (80 persons out of the Dutch 3-year
quota of 1500 resettled refugees), sub-quotas (7 medical cases, 7 single men, 3
unaccompanied minors) based on reception/integration capacities, identified target groups
(Burmese and urban cases). The mandate referred to the Dutch asylum policy, the „integration
potential‟ of selected refugees and determined the mission duration (14 days) and the output
(establishment of a definitive list of selected refugees).

Four stakeholders are involved in the Dutch selection missions. The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA) is responsible for official contacts with the UNHCR, practical mission
arrangements, issuance of exit permits and travel documents via the embassy. The Dutch
Immigration Service (IND) is responsible for mission coordination, decision on selection, and
advice on medical cases and medical check-up. COA is responsible for the provision of
information to the refugees (resettlement to the Netherlands and reception/integration
conditions, managing expectations), preparation of reception through needs assessment,
sharing of information with reception actors such as centre, minors association, schools,
medical staff, and NGOs, and the presence of a reference person who can personalize the link
between the different phases of the resettlement process (case manager).

During the mission, interviews were organized in 2 different locations (Tham Hin Temporary
Shelter for Burmese refugees and Bangkok for urban refugees). Refugees had 4 interviews a
day (rotational system in a varying order: refugee claim assessment by IND, medical
examination by IND, registration of personal data by MFA, information and social intake by
COA). The team generally interviewed 6 cases a day and held daily debriefing sessions. A
final debriefing was held at the Embassy with UNHCR & IOM field offices, during which
COA discussed the « framework of arrangements » (defining activities and responsibilities
from selection to arrival in the Netherlands) with the other stakeholders.

FEDASIL and CGRS’ Observations on the Selection Mission
 The Dutch selection system is a good combination between selection on mission and on
  dossier basis (detention cases).
 The selection process is a continuous balancing process between selection criteria and
  quotas and reception and integration capacities. In this way, the coordination between the
  4 Dutch stakeholders is essential and was also very good.
 The selection timing looks satisfactory (referral files sent by UNHCR in November 2008,
  mission in December and arrival of first group of refugees in March 2009).
 The selection rate is high (more than 90%) (managing expectations).
 An overlap of tasks and competences was noted (especially between IND and MFA),
  which could be avoided and managed by extended daily debriefing sessions.
 The sequencing of activities (4 consecutive interviews) may be a problem (different nature
  of interviews confusing for refugees: reinforced introduction and conclusion protocol
  needed; specific information methodology for unselected cases needed for COA).
 A structural feedback on past reception and integration experiences should be given by
  COA – as organization having a holistic view of the process – during the final debriefing
  with the international actors.

3
    Source: ICMC Handbook: all European operational resettlement countries selected Burmese refugees.



                                                                                                        18
   More exchange of information with UNHCR should be arranged on unselected cases by
    IND.
   Competencies management: the issue of geographic specialization of IND staff could be
    re-examined in a context of diversity of nationalities (urban caseload).
   The „integration potential‟ is more a „counter-indication‟ than a real criterion (rarely
    applied)
   Coordination between resettlement countries is highly and urgently needed (especially
    against the background of an increasing number of resettlement countries).




    IV.    Feedback on cultural orientation mission, February 2008 (FEDASIL: Patrick
           Meers & Marie Huberlant)

Ms. Marie Huberlant started the presentation with a UNHCR video showing a young Burmese
woman called Paw Wah living in Tham Hin refugee camp and having been resettled to the
Netherlands. Ms. Paw Wah had followed the Cultural Orientation training (CO training)
organised by COA from 4 to 8 February 2008, to which Ms. Marie Huberlant and Mr. Patrick
Meers assisted to.

Tham Hin temporary shelter is one of the nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border hosting
together more than 130,000 refugees. Since 10 years (1997), 8.000 refugees from Myanmar –
Karen (98%) and ethnic Burmese (2%) – are living in Tham Hin. They are in a protracted
situation and endure poor living conditions: unsanitary living conditions, overcrowding, no
access to public education facilities nor to employment. This refugee group is entirely
dependent of NGO‟s and UNHCR‟s presence in the camp. They suffer a lack of local
integration prospects as they do not enjoy freedom of movement (the refugees are held in a
closed camp) and they have no perspective of protection since Thailand is not a signatory to
the Geneva Convention.

The presentation went on with an explanation on the four days CO training given by COA to
the Burmese and Karen refugee groups. Ms. Marie Huberlant exposed the aims of the Dutch
CO training missions for resettled refugees and the aims pursued by the Netherlands via these
missions. During these four days, future resettled refugees get to know the Dutch society and
Dutch language. Refugees learn what will be expected from them in the Netherlands and are
prepared for their departure and their temporary stay in the AZC (Asielzoekerscentrum)
Amersfoort, a specialized reception centre for resettled refugees. They learn from each other
and take the occasion to build a social network among participants. At the same time, COA
will get to know individuals and groups, who will be resettled in order to facilitate the
reception work in AZC Amersfoort. During the mission COA will manage and rationalize the
expectations by providing a balanced and objective view of Dutch society and initiate the
integration process a soon as possible.

The four principles of the Dutch CO training were presented by Ms. Huberlant. Firstly, the
CO training is a real training, not an ex-cathedra course: there are numerous interactions
between the participants and the trainers. They make people feel at ease and grow confident.
This encourages spontaneity and brings people in a learning position. Secondly, variety and


                                                                                         19
repetition in the learning method (videos, games, discussions, using pedagogic material) is
used. Thirdly, behaviour of trainers and the content of the CO training is always adapted to
the specificities of the group to be resettled: to enhance knowledge, the training always builds
upon the experience of the invited refugees. Fourthly, the CO training forms part of a unique
process: the resettlement continuum. This means that there is continuity in the information
given during the selection mission, the CO training, the first reception in AZC Amersfoort, up
to the transfer to the municipalities.


The last part of the presentation focused on the challenges which will have to be addressed by
Belgium in case CO training missions would be organized. As a first challenge, the CO
training should be designed with regards to the whole integration process, taking due account
of the complexity of the Belgian institutions and differing integration policies in the different
communities. The creation of specific pedagogic materials and the allocation of adequate staff
with appropriate skills to the programme should be assumed.

To conclude this feedback on the CO training mission in Thailand, Belgian participants gave
their impressions on the Dutch resettlement programme, highlighting the high degree of
professionalism and qualification of the trainers, the constant attention on the Plan-Do-Check-
Act cycles (an evaluation cycle) towards both trainers and participants, and the quality of the
information given to future resettled refugees. Many of these Dutch good practices could
certainly be taken over by Belgium.




FRIDAY 11 APRIL: SUMMARY OF THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE BREAK-OUT                       SESSIONS ON
SELECTION, RECEPTION AND INTEGRATION OF RESETTLED REFUGEES.

During day 2, participants were divided into 3 subgroups of about 20 persons discussing more
into detail 3 different aspects of resettlement: selection, reception and integration. Although it
is acknowledged that these phases are interrelated and must be integrated in a comprehensive
policy, the division in 3 sessions made it possible to deepen some specific aspects. The
debates were given wider perspective through the presence of resettlement experts from
various countries and organizations.


THEME 1 : SELECTION

On Friday afternoon between 9:00 and 13:00 a group of 18 people attended the workshop on
Selection Process. Participants came from Belgian governmental organizations (mostly
CGRS, but also the Center for Equality of Chances), regional, national and international
NGOs (Belgian Committee for Aid to Refugees, Flemish Refugee Council, Churches‟
Commission for Migrants in Europe), international organizations (UNHCR, IOM), the Dutch
Agency for Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization
Service (IND), the Dutch Immigration and Policy Department, the Romanian Ministry of
Interior and Administrative Reform and the Czech Department for Asylum and Migration



                                                                                              20
Policy (OAMP). Chairman of the workshop was Christophe Jansen, head of the International
Relations Unit of the CGRS.

The workshop kicked off with two short presentations. Gert Westerveen of UNHCR gave an
overview of personal resettlement experiences. He described the importance of resettlement
both as a tool of protection and as a way of putting an end to protracted refugee situations, and
highlighted some specific UNHCR concerns regarding resettlement. Afterwards Sylvie
Daubian-Delisle, an ex-UNHCR protection officer in Kenya now working at the CGRS, gave
a critical view on resettlement based on her personal experiences in the field. As she worked
in Kenya for the project “Women, victims of violence” during the Somalia crisis, she
witnessed some very negative side effects of resettlement on local camp life due to badly
managed expectations of refugees. She commented further on the reluctance of resettlement
countries to take certain categories of vulnerable people and the high level of fraud during the
selection process. Resettlement, she concluded, can be a very good tool to offer relief and
protection, but it is far from perfect and one has to be very aware of all the dangers and
consequences.

After the two presentations the persons present were offered some time to comment on the
concerns uttered by the speakers. Some persons in the room had similar experiences with
resettlement operations in Africa and stressed the importance of transparent communication
towards the camp population in order to manage expectations and not to raise false hope. As
regards the cooperation between UNHCR and the resettlement countries, Gert Westerveen
noted that important improvements had been made, which should lead to faster selection
procedures and better referrals, especially of vulnerable persons. For this last category,
dossier-based selection seems the best option, but not all resettlement countries accept this
selection method.

After these comments on the presentations the Chairman redirected the discussion to the core
objective of the Selection workshop, i.e. the basic question of which elements of the selection
process need to be examined in order to set up a resettlement programme? Five discussion
items were presented: the legal framework for resettlement (institutional
approach/quota/status), the selection methods used (mission vs. dossier-based), the selection
criteria (protection – integration potential), the organization of selection missions and the
international cooperation issue.

Regarding the institutions involved, the Dutch representation commented on their system in
which for resettlement operations the same institutions were involved as for the asylum
procedure. In a possible Belgian resettlement system the CGRS, which now already grants
international protection to people in need, would logically be responsible for the selection of
resettlement candidates and the granting of a status to the resettled persons. All persons
present agreed on the importance of a good consultation between all the relevant Belgian
institutions in a future resettlement programme: CGRS, Fedasil, Immigration Department,
Foreign Affairs. On the question whether or not it was desirable for the Reception agency or
even NGOs to play a role during the actual selection process, no unanimity was found.
As for the choice between annual and multi-annual quota, the Dutch representation elaborated
on the advantages of their multi-annual quota, which allows for more flexibility in shifting
numbers and priorities. Besides general quota, specific quota for urgent, medical or
particularly vulnerable people such as unaccompanied minors and women at risk should be
envisaged.



                                                                                             21
Gert Westerveen of the UNHCR stressed that the status granted to a resettled person should at
least be equal to the status granted to a Convention refugee, even when resettlement takes
place on humanitarian or subsidiary protection grounds.

When choosing a selection method for resettlement both selection missions and dossier-based
selection prove to have certain advantages. The selection mission allows for a personal
contact with the resettlement candidate and makes it easy to obtain additional information, not
available in UNHCR‟s Resettlement Referral Form. On the other hand dossier-based selection
is much faster and more appropriate for urgent medical or particularly vulnerable cases. It also
facilitates resettlement from places where no selections missions are organized. The best
option for a future Belgian resettlement programme seems to be a mixed system, in which the
major bulk of the selection takes place through selection missions and additional quota for
urgent, medical and vulnerable cases are filled by dossier referrals.

All the persons present agreed that the traditional international protection criteria (Geneva
Convention, Subsidiary Protection, Humanitarian grounds) should have priority when
selecting resettlement candidates. On additional selection grounds, such as integration
potential, family reunification and language knowledge, opinions varied. In any case the
criteria should be balanced and the need for protection should always be the first concern. In
this aspect the issue of public opinion needs special attention. As had become clear from the
Dutch experience, public opinion does not prove to be a special concern in traditional
resettlement countries, whereas new resettlement countries are very concerned about public
opinion. When setting up a new resettlement programme it might be best not to overlook the
importance of public acceptance. Communication, especially at local level, is very important
in order to familiarize the greater public with the phenomenon of resettlement.

On the question of how to organize a selection mission no real discussion took place. The
Dutch representation explained the advantages of their model. The main questions that will
have to be addressed when setting up a Belgian programme, regard the possible role for
Fedasil during the selection process, the timing of the social intake and the timing of the
decision.

Finally there was a consensus on the importance of international cooperation between
resettlement states. Through information-sharing and joint missions new resettlement
countries can learn from the experiences of traditional resettlement countries. A joint EU
resettlement scheme is highly desirable in order to maximize the strategic use of resettlement.
It should however not be an excuse for countries not to start their own individual resettlement
programmes.

THEME 2 : CENTRALIZED RECEPTION

On Friday afternoon between 9:00 and 13:00 a group of 15 people attended the workshop on
Centralized Reception. Participants came from Belgian public organizations, mostly Fedasil,
(reception centers of Pondrôme, Sint-Truiden and Petit-Chateau as well as Fedasil
Headquarters) and CGRS. Representatives from international organizations (UNHCR, IOM)
and the Dutch Agency for Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) also attended the workshop.
Chairman of the workshop was Nicolas Genin, director of Fedasil‟s reception center in
Pondrôme.




                                                                                            22
During workshop 2, the importance to consider the three workshops as a kind of chain
(resettlement continuum) was highlighted.

                        Selection => Reception => Integration

In this logical chain, the objective of the second workshop on reception was to discuss what
kind of reception we can organize, taking into consideration the specificity of the target
group and what can be done to assure the smooth transition between a centralized
reception and integration in the municipalities?

The objectives of the workshop on reception were:
       1. Analysis of the existing reception system for resettled refugees through the Dutch
           experience
       2. Analysis of the existing reception system in Belgium
       3. Setting up a resettlement programme – reception of resettled refugees in Belgium

The workshop kicked off with two presentations:
    The first presentation dealt with case management in the resettlement process. This
      presentation was given by Astrid Ogelo who is case manager in the reception centre of
      Amersfoort (The Netherlands).
    In the second presentation, the existing reception system in Belgium has been
      analyzed. Agnieszka Sepiol, deputy director of the federal reception centre of
      Pondrôme gave a presentation on the Federal Agency for the reception of asylum
      seekers (Fedasil).

Afterwards, the workshop participants discussed the conditions of reception of resettled
refugees in Belgium. Following issues were touched upon:

      Infrastructure: which kind of infrastructure would be the most adequate for the
       reception of resettled refugees?
            centralized system (centers) versus decentralized system (municipalities)
            specialized centers (Dutch model)
            specific measures: for refugees with special needs (medical, etc.), to preserve
               the refugee‟s autonomy and responsibility…

      Staff: what kind of adaptations would be necessary based on the present staff
       organization?
           specific functions: case manager, trainer (Dutch model)
           organizational challenges with regard to the new target group - different
              mission, different tasks…

      Length of stay in the centre: how long should the reception in the centre last?

      Post-arrival work with refugees: what kind of introduction programmes/training
       could be offered to resettled refugees in the centre?
            link between:
         a) pre-arrival Cultural Orientation Training
         b) introduction programmes in the centre
         c) integration programmes after the centre
            introduction programme in the centre : content development, methodology


                                                                                         23
              language courses: traditional method and/or combine language classes with
               work experience (Swedish experience)
              coordination with other partners - NGOs, municipalities…

      Departure from the centre:
           transfer to municipalities - social housing or looking for individual private
             apartments
           individual departure or group placement in municipalities
           link with other actors


The conclusions of the workshop were the following:

    Points of consensus:
     The group agreed about the continuity of the process (selection – reception –
     integration), the readiness of Belgium to receive quota refugees (with a centralized
     reception system and a post-arrival work as in the Netherlands), the importance of
     generating public support (using media strategy and a political lobbying) and the
     necessity to develop monitoring/research on resettled refugees (impact and evaluation
     of the reception/integration system).
    Questions that are still open :
     One specific question for a Belgian resettlement programme was: is it possible (or not)
     to have mixed populations (quota refugees and asylum seekers) in reception centers ?
     Other issues still open are the length of stay in centers (3 – 6 months or more and
     determining factors), the staff organization and the link with the integration work
     (continuity of the process).


The general conclusion of these second workshop on centralized reception was :

Reception is possible in Belgium (with Fedasil) but the balance and interrelations
between the 3 phases (selection – reception – integration) and the actors involved at
central and local level should be analyzed carefully.




THEME 3: INTEGRATION

A group of about 20 people attended the session on Integration. Participants came from
Belgian public organizations at federal level (mostly Fedasil and CGRS) as well as at regional
level (Flemish Authorities, Brussels Region), regional, national and international NGOs
(Coordination and Initiatives for Refugees and Exiles, Flemish Refugee Council, the
Protestant Centre, British Refugee Council, Dutch Refugee Council), international
organizations (UNHCR, IOM), the Dutch Agency for Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA),
the Czech Department for Asylum and Migration Policy (OAMP). Chairman of the workshop
was Petra Hueck, Programme Manager ICMC Europe in Brussels.




                                                                                           24
THE BRITISH SYSTEM

The workshop kicked off with two presentations on existing integration systems for resettled
refugees in UK and in the Netherlands. Rachael Hardiman of the British Refugee Council
(Resettlement Operations Manager in Yorkshire and Humberside) gave an overview of the
Gateway Protection Programme for resettled refugees in UK and the NGO-led integration
model (based on group placement in municipalities, 50 to 90). In the UK system, pre-arrival
activities (CO training) is provided for by IOM. Migrant Helpline provides centralized
reception and orientation services during 3-4 days upon arrival. The UK government then
provides support for the first 12 months (this includes meeting costs of pre and post arrival
cultural orientation, local health and education authorities, housing benefit and income
support, resettlement advice and support). NGOs are contracted locally to provide specific
services for resettled refugees. Services provided by Refugee Council Resettlement Team
include: facilitation of access to housing, health care, education, welfare benefits,
interpreting, volunteering, community development and cultural support. Special attention is
given to planning for programme end. This support is given through home visits, drops-ins,
and group sessions. The principles behind these services are: creating independence, working
in partnership with refugees, enhancing and developing local services, stable, skilled and
motivated workforce. Continual evaluation and service review is also a key principle. UK
recommendations for a quality resettlement programme are: early involvement of key
stakeholders (local authority, service NGOs, housing associations and Home Office,
responsible for the Gateway Programme), identification of lead agency responsible for
coordination, continued coordination between all partners through regular meetings. In the
UK system, local authorities engage in the Gateway programme on a voluntary basis.


THE DUTCH SYSTEM

After this Ms. Ariane den Uyl, working at the Dutch Refugee Council gave a presentation on
integration of resettled refugees in the Netherlands. In the Dutch system, after the first months
in a specialized centre, resettled refugees are placed in municipalities mostly in small groups
(based on the municipalities’ obligation to host refugees). Integration is conditional to a
permanent stay and is assessed on passing an exam after 3 years. To facilitate the process, an
integration programme for refugees and other migrant categories has been developed. In the
municipalities, the Dutch Refugee Council is active on various levels such as coaching, social
guidance and family reunion. Social guidance includes promotion of independence,
volunteering, integrated approach to mainstream services (education, health, etc.). Special
projects have been developed for language support, job coaching and training, as well as
community development. Ariane den Uyl finished with the results of a study4 about integration
of refugees recently published in the Netherlands.


INTEGRATION POLICY IN BELGIUM : THE INTEGRATION DECREE IN FLANDERS

After these international experiences, the floor was given to some Belgian actors. Inge
Hellemans, working for the Flemish Authorities, gave a presentation on the Flemish
integration policy. With its integration decree, Flanders has a strong legislation (ID) for third

4
 Dutch Council for Refugees, Integration Barometer 2006, A Study into the Integration of Refugees in the
Netherlands.



                                                                                                     25
country nationals, including refugees and asylum seekers who applied for asylum more than 4
months ago and have received no final decision yet on the merits of the asylum application.
Ms. Hellemans presented the relevant legislation, the applied definition of “integration”, and
described the target groups. She explained the differences between the voluntary or
compulsive character of the programme, depending on the cases. She gave an overview of the
content of the primary programme (training programme, thorough elementary Dutch course,
social and career orientation and social guidance) and explained the implications of the
“integration contract”. She also listed the authorities as well as the partners involved in the
programme (municipalities, Welcome offices, VDAB and various providers). She finished her
presentation with major bottlenecks and challenges, as well as a positive note, namely the
satisfaction degree of people having benefited from the programme.




INTEGRATION POLICY IN BELGIUM : SEVEN REGIONAL CENTERS FOR INTEGRATION IN WALLONIA

MR. JEAN-MICHEL HEUSKIN TOOK THE FLOOR TO INTRODUCE THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE SESSION
TO THE REGIONAL INTEGRATION POLICY IN WALLONIA. SINCE 1996, IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE
DECREE ON THE INTEGRATION OF FOREIGN PERSONS OR FROM FOREIGN ORIGIN, 7 INTEGRATION
CENTRES NEAR THE BIGGEST CITIES IN WALLONIA HAVE BEEN CREATED. VARIOUS MISSIONS HAVE
BEEN GIVEN TO THESE CENTERS : ORGANIZING ACTIVITIES TO DEVELOP THE INTEGRATION OF
PEOPLE (HOUSING, ETC.), MAKING THE LINK BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ORGANISATIONS IN THE
FIELD OF INTEGRATION, FINDING FUNDING, PROPOSING TRAINING FOR THE SOCIAL WORKERS OR
INTERPRETING SERVICES, ETC.




INTEGRATION POLICY IN BELGIUM : IN BRUSSELS, APPLICATION OF THE SOCIAL COHESION DECREE OF THE
COCOF (COMMISSION COMMUNAUTAIRE FRANÇAISE) AND THE FLEMISH INTEGRATION DECREE

In the region of Brussels, two policies are enforced : the Flemish policy with the Integration
Decree and the Wallonian policy, called Social Cohesion Decree characterized by diverse
service providers. The French speaking associations working in Brussels are supported by
this decree. It is specifically designed for populations in state of precariousness living in the
19 municipalities in Brussels, without distinguishing on the basis of the status of residence.
The decree aimed at the development of policy in the field of the social integration, the
interculturality, the socio-cultural diversity and the co-habitation of multiple communities in
Brussels.

According to the language spoken in the Brussels NGOs or municipalities they go to, refugees
and asylum seekers will be supported by one of these two integration policies offering a
totally different approach. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages: on the Flemish
side, a qualitative and integrated process is offered, the person clearly knows what his duties
are and the whole process is coordinated by one person of reference. With a large possibility
for field initiatives based on target group needs and demands and because there is no closed
target group, the French speaking side gives a larger access for all groups. Some negative
aspects are detected by Nathalie De Wergifosse of the NGO Ciré located in Brussels : on the
French speaking side, the integration policy can be perceived as unclear, the multiplicity and
absence of coordination of service providers can lead to a risk of competition between NGOs,


                                                                                              26
rather than to a complementarity. On the Flemish side, there is no systematic information
given by municipal services and it is sometimes underestimated how difficult it can be for
people with no definitive residence permit to attend the official services set up by the decree.

Ms. De Wergifosse rounded up her presentation by giving three recommendations for the
integration of the persons who would be resettled in Belgium:
    - The integration issue must be addressed considering both the person’s interests and
       society’s interest
    - A clear political vision on expectations of the society regarding newcomers in
       particular and its own composition in general must be given
    - A specific and defined policy for these newcomers is necessary
    - The integration policy in the framework of a resettlement programme should include
       the usual 3 components : language education, social and professional orientation

 Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen was also present during this session on integration. As
specialist on the refugee issue, Lieven Devisscher insists that attention be paid to the
following points in order to set up an integration programme for resettled refugees:
    - Improve the actual mechanism to recognize the high school diploma and academic
        degree
    - Improve the access to school for refugees who have been forced to stop their studies in
        their country of origin
    - Set up vocational training for people having a high education level and recognize the
        past professional experiences of refugees
    - Stimulate entrepreneurship in the refugee communities

During the session, Belgian participants (the Protestant centre and Caritas International)
insisted on the necessity to look at past experiences with resettled refugees in Belgium in the
late nineties, in order to avoid mistakes made (social services).


RECOMMENDATIONS

After all these presentations, and seeing the diversity of approaches towards integration in
Belgium, it was difficult to obtain any consensus on the “good” integration model for
resettled refugees. Various points of discussion remained open, for example the advantages
and disadvantages to keep resettled refugee groups together, the central dispatching versus
voluntary commitment of the municipalities. As for the other resettlement phases, the national
context influences any decision that could be taken.

The core objective of the workshop was to answer the following basic question: which
elements of the integration process need to be examined in order to set up a resettlement
programme. A crop of recommendations in the field of integration arose among the
participants. Providing resettled refugees with social counselling and making the housing
available as soon as possible by the municipalities were seen as priorities. The supplementary
role of NGOs as providers of social services was pointed out, as well as the fact that one case
worker should be assigned per case. Given the multiplicity of integration mechanisms in
Belgium, a coordination mechanism at all levels should be established as well as the the
properly identified division of responsibilities between federal, regional and municipality
levels. Exchange of good practices between the different systems and their adaptation at
municipal level could easily be done, starting from the Flanders decree.



                                                                                             27
DELEGATION PACKAGE

All participants to the workshop received an information package including:
 The programme of the workshop
 The powerpoint presentations
 Pens and paper from CGVS and Fedasil
 The list of participants
 In case they were invited, the practical information for the social evening on the Thursday



PUBLICITY

After the workshop, an article was published on the website of Fedasil and in the newspaper
of the CGVS.

After agreement with the speakers, all their presentations were put on the website of the
project www.enaro.eu/dsip.




                                                                                           28
APPENDIX I: INTERNATIONAL SPEAKERS INVITED


UNHCR :
Ms Judith Kumin – UNHCR Regional Representative
Gert Westerveen – UNHCR Head of Protection Unit

European Commission :
Mr Gert-Jan Van Holck – DG Justice, Freedom and Security, Unit Asylum and Migration

International Organisation for Migration :
Ms Tiina Miskala – Project Development Officer & Cultural Orientation Programme
Coordinator International Organization for Migration

Representative of Canadian Policy on resettlement :
Ms Holly Edwards – Immigration Advisor Canadian Mission to the EU

ICMC :
Ms. Petra Hueck – Programme Manager ICMC Europe

British Refugee Council – Yorkshire and Humberside :
Ms Rachael Hardiman – Operations Manager (Resettlement)

Dutch Council for Refugees :
Ms. Ariane Den Uyl, Collaborator at Integration Knowledge centre Vluchtelingenwerk.




APPENDIX II: LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

                              Liste of participants : workshop Resettlement 10-11 April 2008
Name                                       Organisation                  Jobtitle                                 City
Adriaens                  Ewout            CGRS (CGRA)                   Senior casemanager                       Brussels
Ariane                    Den Uyl          Dutch Refugee Council
                                                                               Deputy Commissioner for Refugees
Bienfait                  François        CGRS (CGRA)                          and stateless persons            Brussels
                                                                               Collaboratrice Regroupement
Borremans                 Nadia           CBAR                                 familial
Braeken                   Wendy           Fedasil (Klein kasteeltje)
                                          CIRE - Coordination et Initiatives
                                          pour et avec les Réfugiés et
Bultez                    Sophie          Étrangers                            Juriste                            Brussels
Claes                     Lea             Fedasil (Headquarters)               Research staff member              Brussels
Colman                    Bart            CGRS (CGRA)                          Judicial expert                    Brussels
Dalebroux                 Catherine       Fedasil (Pondrôme)                   Social worker (Pondrôme)           Pondrôme
Daubian-Delisle           Sylvie          CGRS (CGRA)                          Judicial expert                    Brussels
de Aguirre                Aintzane        UNHCR                                Senior Protection Assistant
                                          International Organization for
De Backer                 Jo              Migration (IOM) - Brussels           Assistant Reintegration Focal Point Brussels
                                          International Organization for
de Fijter                 Adriana         Migration (IOM) - Den Haag         Policy officer                       Den Haag
                                          CIRE - Coordination et Initiatives
                                          pour et avec les Réfugiés et
de Wergifosse             Nathalie        Étrangers                          Integration sector                   Brussels
Declunder                 Ingrid          Bon VZW                            Stafmedewerker                       Brussels




                                                                                                                     29
Devisscher   Lieven         Flemish Refugee Council            Beleidsmedewerker Integratie        Brussels
Dussart      Anne           Caritas International - Brussels   Head of the social programmes       Brussels
                            Mission of Canada to the
Edwards      Holly          European Union                     Counsellor (Immigration)            Brussels
Flynn        Sophie         UNHCR                              Resettlement Advocacy Officer
                                                               Conseillère-Chef de service des
Gabet        Nadine         Affaires sociale et de la santé    Affaires Sociales
Genin        Nicolas        Fedasil (Pondrôme)                 Director reception center           Pondrôme
Goeminne     Annick         CGRS (CGRA)                        International Relations Unit        Brussels
Hardiman     Rachael        British Refugee Council            Operations manager                  Leeds
Hellemans    Inge           Agency for Home Affairs            Policy advisor
                            Regional center for integration
Heuskin      Jean-Michel    Liège (CRIPEL)                     Directeur
Houben       Kathelijne     Flemish Refugee Council
Huberlant    Marie          Fedasil (Headquarters)
Hueck        Petra          ICMC Europe                        Programme Manager
Jansen       Christophe     CGRS (CGRA)                        Head International Relations Unit   Brussels
Kegels       Michael        Fedasil (Klein kasteeltje)         Director reception center           Brussels
Kumin        Judith         UNHCR                              Regional Representative             Brussels
Küntziger    Isabelle       Fedasil                            General Director (CEO)
Leliaert     Isabel         CGRS (CGRA)                        Casemanager                         Brussels
Leroux       Marie-Claire   Protestant Social Centre           Social worker                       Brussels
Lobert       Florence       Caritas International - Brussels                                       Brussels
Lutin        Ward           CGRS (CGRA)                        International Relations Unit        Brussels
Machado      Marta          ICMC Europe                        Programme assistant
Masurelle    Vinciane       Fedasil (Headquarters)
Meers        Patrick        Fedasil (Headquarters)
Mertens      Anke           Fedasil (St-truiden)               Sociale dienst
                            Ministry of Interior & Adm.        Head of Integration & Social
Mircea       Radu           Reform, Romania                    Assistance Bureau
                            International Organization for
Miskala      Tiina          Migration (IOM) - Oslo             Project Development Officer         Oslo
                            Churches' Commission for
Moritz       Torsten        Migrants in Europe (CCME)          Project Secretary                   Brussels
                            Dutch Agency for the Reception
Ogelo        Astrid         of Asylum Seekers (COA)        Casemanager                             Hoogland
                            Dutch Agency for the Reception
Os           Gerben         of Asylum Seekers (COA)        Casemanager                     Veenendaal
Pauwels      Thomas         CGRS (CGRA)                    Senior casemanager              Brussels
Piron        eileen         CGRS (CGRA)                    COI Expert CEDOCA (Turkey/iran) Brussels
                            Ministry of Interior & Adm.
Predescu     Octavian       Reform, Romania
Ramakers     Joan           Fedasil (Headquarters)
Renders      Greet          Fedasil (St-truiden)               Social assistant (maatsch ass)      St-Truiden
                            Dutch Agency for the Reception
Rengers      Nicolien       of Asylum Seekers (COA)        Project Manager DSIP
Reumers      Ingrid         Fedasil (St-truiden)           Adjunct-directeur                       St-Truiden
                            International Organization for
Reyntjens    Pascal         Migration (IOM) - Brussels         Programme Coordinator               Brussels
Schrauben    Daniel         Belgian Red Cross                  Social coordination                 Melreux
Sepiol       Agnieszka      Fedasil (Pondrôme)                 Vice-manager reception center       Pondrôme
Slegers      Bjorn          Fedasil (St-truiden)               Adjunct-directeur                   St-Truiden
                            Ministry of Justice / Immigration
Smith        Richard G.     and Naturalization Service        Senior resettlement officer          Rijswijk
Spaas        Evelyn         CGRS (CGRA)                       COI expert CEDOCA                    Brussels
                            Department for Asylum and
                            Migration Policy, Interior Ministry
Stehlikova   Katerina       of the Czech Republic (OAMP) Officer                                   Prague 7




                                                                                                     30
                                      Department for Asylum and
                                      Migration Policy, Interior Ministry
Sykorova                 Katerina     of the Czech Republic (OAMP)
Terweduwe                Nadia        Belgian Red Cross - Flanders        Head Tracing service             Mechelen
                                      Dutch Agency for the Reception
Tupan                    Robeske      of Asylum Seekers (COA)        Coordinator Workshops DSIP
Van Holk                 Gert-Jan     European Commission            DG JLS, Immigration and Asylum
                                      Immigration Policy Department -
van Oers - Verschueren   Tanja        The Netherlands                 Policy officer                       Oosterhout
Vanderhaegen             Jacqueline   Protestant Social Centre        Social worker                        Brussels
                                      Centre for Equal Opportunities
Vanderkam                Michel       and Opposition to Racism
Vanmechelen              Simon        Fedasil (St-truiden)              Head social service                St-Truiden
Vercruysse               Stef         Fedasil (Steenokkerzeel)          Centre Director (Steenokkerzeel)   Steenokkerzeel
Verschaeve               Ines         Fedasil (St-truiden)              Head Coordination                  St-Truiden
Vinikas                  Bruno        CBAR                              Président
Westerveen               Gert         UNHCR                             Head of Protection Unit            Brussels




                                                                                                             31

				
DOCUMENT INFO