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#ChooseHumanity

European leaders must step up and resettle refugees

The US government's suspension of the United States’ refugee resettlement programme for 120 days and indefinite ban on the arrival of Syrian refugees is a cruel blow to desperate people fleeing war and terror.

Photo: Andrea Falcon / IRC

President Trump has slammed the door in the face of 60,000 refugees who were due to be resettled in the US in 2017, many of whom had already been vetted by US authorities.

The IRC is calling for European governments to step up and commit to immediately resettle 60,000 refugees.

The only sustainable and responsible way to address migration flows is to offer safe and legal routes to protection. Supporting refugees is not just a moral obligation; it is a vital part of maintaining global stability in a world where more and more people are on the move. While President Trump’s Administration has chosen to turn its back on refugees, the rest of the world cannot.

Europe's opportunity: 

European nations make up 16.5% of the world's GDP, yet EU Member States host only about 8% of the world's refugees. Currently, the EU lacks a coherent and coordinated policy on resettlement. When European leaders meet for a migration summit this Friday they should pledge to fill the humanitarian void left by the Trump administration and offer safe haven to 60,000 refugees this year. Member States should work together to create a unified approach across all EU countries. 

Urgent: Europe must give safe haven to 60,000 refugees this year.

If Europe fails to resettle a proportionate number of refugees, this will raise into question the EU's capacity to uphold its own values, its integrity as a humanitarian actor and individual Member States' willingness to fulfill their international obligations. Europe's reluctance will only add further pressure on developing countries, which currently host the vast majority of the world's refugees. The IRC is calling for an ambitious, permanent and humane resettlement scheme that will establish a structured process for resettling refugees in Europe.

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Why is refugee resettlement important?

Resettlement gives families fleeing war and persecution a chance to rebuild their lives in safety. Despite the rhetoric, every refugee who is resettled is heavily vetted before being accepted by the receiving country. In the U.S., the resettlement process can take up to 36 months. Many refugees bring their own skills, experience and knowledge to contribute to their society.

Read some of our stories of refugees starting over, creating businesses and contributing to society: 

What can I do to help refugees? 

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Thank you!

With more than 65 million people displaced by war and persecution in the world today, the need to provide refuge is more urgent than ever. All of us at the IRC thank you for your compassion and your commitment to the cause of refugees.