Imagine closing your front door behind you without knowing if you’ll ever be able to return.
The International Rescue Committee and Ben & Jerry’s believe that every refugee deserves a safe place to call home. Right now, record numbers of people around the world are being forced to flee their countries due to war and violence. We want to be on the right side of history, to make sure that vulnerable refugees have an opportunity to seek refuge in Europe without putting their lives at risk. That is why we have launched Together for Refugees. We need your help to call on European leaders to make change happen.
So what exactly is this campaign about?
The EU is considering a historic piece of legislation, the ‘Union Resettlement Framework’. The legislation is a unique opportunity to help some of world’s most vulnerable refugees by giving them sanctuary in Europe through a managed resettlement process.
Together for Refugees will encourage members of the public to show their support for refugees and to write to their EU representatives, highlighting the importance of refugee resettlement. By joining the campaign, you can make your voice heard on the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.
What is refugee resettlement, and why is it important?
Right now there are millions of refugees in need of safety, with many living in limbo in states neighbouring their country of origin. Resettlement offers some refugees a chance to rebuild their lives. The process identifies the most vulnerable refugees and supports them to resettle permanently in another country, eliminating the need to undertake dangerous journeys.
Once refugees arrive, local authorities and communities are involved; in providing support, whether it’s learning the local language, helping to find work, or integrating children into schools, and families into communities. It is also important to remember that resettlement should be implemented alongside other safe and legal routes and a robust asylum system.
In Europe we are rightly proud of our values of openness, tolerance, and diversity. And yet, while the EU has 20% of the world’s GDP, it hosts less than 11% of the world’s refugees. Vulnerable refugees are forced to make an impossible decision between putting their lives on hold in camps and temporary accommodation, or making perilous journeys to safety. Resettlement offers a better way.
Click here for an in depth look at our policy work and advocacy goals.
Why are the IRC and Ben & Jerry’s Together for Refugees?
The IRC has been supporting people fleeing conflict to reach safety since it was founded at Albert Einstein’s request in 1933, at a time when refugees were fleeing Europe. We work in 28 U.S. cities and some 40 countries helping people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities.
Ben & Jerry’s has championed a range of issues over the years, from marriage equality to climate justice. The company has always stood up for issues it cares about, and has a unique role to play in mobilising people to call for progressive change.
We may have different day jobs – but we share a commitment to standing together with refugees.
How can I make a difference? There are countless examples throughout history of when people power has effected political change. We launched Together for Refugees because we believe there is a huge potential right now to make our voice heard in support of refugees. That’s why we need people to urge their representatives to pass a historic piece of legislation that will help vulnerable refugees resettle in Europe.
Find out more about resettlement and Europe’s response to a global refugee crisis in our reports: