UK to introduce new refugee resettlement scheme

The UK will look to resettle thousands of refugees under a new resettlement scheme set to start in 2020, the Home Secretary has announced.

Sajid Javid yesterday confirmed plans to resettle in the region of 5,000 of the world’s most vulnerable refugees in the first year of the new scheme, once the Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme concludes next year.

The UK will aim to resettle refugees at current levels, adding to the nearly 16,000 refugees who have already found safety in the country since 2015 under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and the many thousands resettled under other routes.

“Since 2016, Britain has resettled more refugees from outside Europe than any other EU state – and it’s vital we continue to do all we can to help the world’s most vulnerable,” said Javid. “Under our new scheme, thousands more people fleeing conflict and persecution will have the opportunity to build a new life in the UK.

“I’m proud of the world-leading work we have done in the Middle East and Africa so far – but there is so much more to do.”

From 2020, the new resettlement scheme will consolidate the Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme, the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme and the gateway protection programme into one global scheme.

The new programme will be simpler to operate and provide greater consistency in the way that the UK government resettles refugees. It will broaden the geographical focus beyond the Middle East and North Africa.

A new process for emergency resettlement will also be developed, allowing the UK to respond quickly to instances when there is a heightened need for protection, providing a faster route to resettlement where lives are at risk.

The community sponsorship scheme, which enables community groups to directly welcome and support refugees in the UK, will continue. Refugees resettled under this new community-led scheme will be in addition to the government commitment.

The global humanitarian need continues to grow with over 68.5 million people around the world forced from their homes and nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Like its predecessors, the global resettlement scheme will be based on need. We will work closely with the UNHCR to identify the most vulnerable refugees from around the world.

Article published 18th June 2019