PRIO/NCHS contributes to debate on refugee resettlement

Photo Credit: JJ Massey, Royal Navy Media Archive via Flickr Creative Commons)

On 12 June 2015 the European Migration Network, the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration held a conference on resettlement, regional solutions and humanitarian assistance. The conference focused on four main themes: the changing environment of resettlement; managing resettlement expectations within refugee populations; resettlement as part of comprehensive solutions; and the way forward.

Contributing to the panel “Managing resettlement expectations within refugee populations”, Cindy Horst (Research Director and Research Professor, PRIO) discussed the impact of resettlement in refugee camps. NCHS Director, Kristin B. Sandvik (Senior Researcher, PRIO) commented on the academic approach to resettlement, and discussed resettlement and the way forward.

Other topics that were discussed at the Conference were displacement in the 21st century; the evolution of resettlement as an instrument of protection and its potential for meeting contemporary challenges; academia’s approach to resettlement; strategic resettlement and linkages to humanitarian/development policy; and EU policies regarding cooperation with third countries of origin and transit and programs for development and protection in the region.

The conference was organized in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Refugee Council, and included national and international government officials, academics and humanitarian actors.

Speakers included Jan Egeland (Secretary General, Norwegian Refugee Council), Vincent Cochetel (Director, Bureau for Europe, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), Prof. Alexander Betts (Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford), Oskar Ekblad (Head of Swedish resettlement program, The Swedish Migration Board), Aleksandar Romanovic (DG Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission), Thomas Thomsen (Chief advisor for Humanitarian Policy and Assistance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark), and Johan Kristian Meyer (Refugee Policy Director, Department for UN, Peace and Humanitarian Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Comments were provided by Frode Forfang (Director General, Norwegian Directorate of Immigration), Tonje Øyan (Head of resettlement unit, Norwegian Directorate of Immigration), Pål Nesse (Senior Adviser, Norwegian Refugee Council), Magne Holter (Assistant Director General, Department of Migration, Ministry of Justice and Public Security).