OPEN SECTION - The Refugee Resettlement Scheme is the Golden Ticket but Very Scarce for Many in Africa: Prospects and Challenges During COVID-19
The refugee resettlement scheme is a window of hope for millions of refugees across the globe. It is an opportunity that grants refugees a durable solution, especially those who cannot voluntarily return to their countries of origin due to fear of persecution. The golden ticket, as seen by many, is resettlement to Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. COVID-19, the reluctance by western countries to commit to responsibility-sharing, along with other constraints confronting the process of granting settlement to refugees generated barriers to resettlement in 2020. Resettlement opportunities have been scarce for many refugees in Africa, particularly those refugees with protracted cases. The consequences are reflected in an increase in the use of irregular migration routes to Europe rather than relying on the established resettlement scheme. This paper aims to provide an overview of the options for a durable solution, exploring and discussing the prospects and challenges during the era of COVID-19. In conclusion, the data derived from the literature review and 12 key informant interviews suggests that the impact of COVID-19 on the resettlement scheme and the implementation of Africa’s first free trade area that promises to increase human mobility provides an opportunity for the international community to reimagine the golden ticket. Supported by the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and the Global Compact on Refugees, local integration and resettlement within Africa should be the new achievable gold standard.
Keywords: Refugee Resettlement, Displacement, Durable Solutions, Sub-Saharan Africa, COVID-19
Vol: 1/2022 - Article 1.6