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IRC in Europe

IRC in Brussels

IRC Belgium leads on the IRC's engagement with the EU institutions. Our priority is to ensure that EU policy and legislation meets the needs of those affected by conflict and disaster. We use IRC’s learning and experience to shape EU humanitarian and development policies in ways that improve the lives of more people worldwide. We seek to drive policy change on the refugee crisis in Europe and globally, and to ensure that EU funding for the global refugee crisis is targeted effectively.

IRC Belgium is part of a strong and flourishing European network, working closely with our offices in Germany, UK, Greece, Switzerland, and Serbia, as well as our sister organisation Stichting Vluchteling (SV) in the Netherlands. 

The IRC & the EU 

• The European Union and its member states are collectively the world’s largest aid donor. Our engagement with the European institutions enables us to help shape effective, evidence- based policies that bring maximum benefit for beneficiaries.

• IRC advocates for a sustainable, sensible and above all humanitarian response to the refugee crisis, including the provision of safe and legal routes to protection in the EU.

• We draw on our knowledge of the situation on the ground in Greece and the Balkans to advocate for solutions to address the humanitarian crisis within Europe’s borders.

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Protecting Humanitarian Space in the Central African Republic

Improving Humanitarian Access is crucial to prospects of peace and stability in the Central African Republic In the Central African Republic, political crises over the past three years have resulted in violent conflict affecting nearly the entire population and leaving some 2.3 million people, over half the population, in dire need of assistance. The election of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra in February 2016 marked the return to constitutional order but the security situation remains volatile. In early November the Government of CAR published the final document of the Recovery and Peace Consolidation Plan (RCPCA), which will be presented during the Donors’ Conference on November 17th in order to mobilise funding from the international community. A humanitarian response plan (HRP) for the 2017-2019 period will follow and will focus on life-saving interventions, acute malnutrition, protection against acts of violence and the provision of basic services in unstable or inaccessible areas.

November 17, 2016
Report

Rescuing Futures: Europe’s Vital Role in Refugee Resettlement

At a time when over 65 million people globally have been forced from their homes, this report—which follows IRC’s policy brief Pathways to Protection—makes the case for increased and improved refugee resettlement in Europe. The report calls on the EU to play a central role in refugee resettlement, including through the establishment of an ambitious EU Resettlement Framework that safeguards the humanitarian essence of resettlement and promotes the integration of resettled refugees. The report also provides concrete recommendations for the EU and its Member States to ensure that the number of resettlement places are increased in Europe, meaning more lives are saved, more protection is provided to the most vulnerable, and more futures are rescued.

November 14, 2016
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Joint comments paper: European Commission proposal for a regulation establishing a Union Resettlement Framework

Joint comments paper: European Commission proposal for a regulation establishing a Union Resettlement Framework

November 14, 2016
Report

Identify Me: The Documentation Crisis in Northern Syria

The Syrian conflict is one of the most complex humanitarian crises the international community has faced, with tremendous consequences for current and future generations. One of the largest underreported issues is the loss or lack of identity documents, namely birth and marriage certificates.

November 2, 2016
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Protection of Civilians in and from Mosul Briefing - October 2016

Starting in January 2014, ISIS took over large areas of Anbar and Ninewa governorates, as well as areas of Kirkuk and elsewhere. Operations to clear these areas from ISIS control and prepare for an advance on Mosul – a city 400 km north of Baghdad currently under ISIS control – have been occurring since 2015. On 17 October 2016, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi announced that military operations to re-take Mosul from ISIS had commenced.

October 25, 2016
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European Refugee Crisis Situational Briefing - 2016 October

A long-term refugee crisis, with thousands stranded in substandard camps, has unfolded on European soil. On the Greek islands, 14,331 men, women and children await possible return to Turkey and the Greek Government reports 60,788 people of concern across the country. With increased border restrictions, some 6,000 refugees are now in Serbia, stretching the capacities of accommodation facilities. Close to 1,000 people are sleeping rough in the capital or at the two transit zones on the border with Hungary while the weather is turning increasingly colder. The refugee crisis is part of a new global norm, in which unusually large numbers of people are displaced for longer than ever before, and where the disparity between their needs and provision is growing by the week. Europe's first priority must be to meet the humanitarian needs of refugees who have already arrived, and to process their asylum claims, family reunion and relocation transfers quickly. Denied safe pathways into Europe, significantly more refugees are risking their lives by travelling via smuggling routes through the Balkans. Elsewhere in Europe, desperate people also continue to make the dangerous sea voyage from Libya to Italy. The proposed Union Resettlement Scheme represents a major opportunity for the EU to step up to its global responsibilities. An Immediate increase in resettlement efforts is required to offer safe routes of entry for those seeking sanctuary, alongside a robust and humane system to receive spontaneous arrivals. The UN estimates that 10% of the global refugee population - the most vulnerable - need resettlement. The IRC calculates that the European share is a minimum of 540,000 over the next five years, or 108,000 per year.

October 14, 2016
Report

Forced displacement in urban areas: what needs to be done

The issue of how the global community can effectively address forced displacement is prominent on the international agenda. Displacement levels are the highest ever recorded with roughly 65 million people forcibly displaced around the world, including over 21 million refugees, three million asylum-seekers and over 40 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

October 14, 2016
Report

More than Six Months Stranded – What Now?

Over six months since the closure of Greece’s northern border and the introduction of the EU-Turkey deal, this policy brief—prepared jointly by 12 national and international organizations operational in Greece—outlines the current context for the over 60,000 people now stranded within the country’s borders.

October 13, 2016
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European Refugee Crisis Situational Briefing - 2016 September

A long-term refugee crisis, with thousands stranded in substandard camps, has unfolded on European soil. On the Greek islands 12,515 men, women and children await possible return to Turkey and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has identified 59,569 people of concern across the country. The refugee crisis is part of a new global normal, in which unusually large numbers of people are displaced for longer than ever before, and where the disparity between their needs and provision is growing by the week. Europe's first priority must be to meet the humanitarian needs of refugees who have already arrived, and to process their asylum claims, family reunion and relocation transfers quickly. The EU-Turkey deal has not dampened the desperation of people attempting to reach sanctuary in Europe. Denied safe pathways into Europe, significantly more refugees are risking their lives by travelling via smuggling routes through the Balkans. Elsewhere in Europe, desperate people also continue to make the dangerous sea voyage from Libya to Italy. Resettlement of refugees must be a core part of a new global pact. Immediate increase in national resettlement efforts is required to offer safe routes of entry for those seeking sanctuary. EU decision makers must now step up to their responsibility and work to adopt the Union Resettlement Framework with annual targets that will make a real impact. The UN estimates that 10% of the global refugee population - the most vulnerable - need resettlement. IRC calculates that the European share is a minimum of 540,000 over the next five years, or 108,000 per year.

October 10, 2016
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Brussels Speech 7 September

Summary of David Miliband's speech in Brussels.

September 27, 2016

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