Resettlement is defined as the transfer of refugees from a State in which they have sought asylum to a third State that has previously agreed to admit them as refugees and grant them a form of legal status, with the possibility of acquiring future citizenship.
If a refugee cannot locally integrate in the country where he or she has sought asylum and there is no prospect of repatriation in the foreseeable future, resettlement becomes the only possible durable solution. Resettlement is an important international protection tool to meet the needs of refugees whose life, liberty, safety, health and other fundamental human rights are at risk.
Resettlement is also a tangible demonstration of international solidarity and responsibility sharing with the mostly poor countries hosting the majority of the worlds' refugees.
Many ECRE Members are involved in resettlement activities and the consistent use of partnerships between NGOs and governments demonstrates the importance of expertise and experience the NGOs bring to all stages of the resettlement process.
UNHCR estimates that in 2013, 181,000 people in the world will be in need of resettlement places, including 18,739 persons on the European continent, mainly in Turkey. However, despite today's acute global resettlement needs, Europe is doing little to resettle refugees compared to such countries such as the US, Canada and Australia. Beginning in late 2012, sixteen EU member States have been participating in resettlement programmes, either on a formal or an ad hoc basis. In 2011, the EU collectively resettled 4,325 refugees amounting to only 7% of the global total that year (61,649 departures).