As a mode of admission, community sponsorship programs allow sponsorships to support the entry and stay of designated refugees in third countries. Community sponsorship can also be used as an instrument for the reception and integration of refugees arriving through resettlement programmes or other channels such as educational or humanitarian visas. The essential components of these programmes are the financing of travel, accommodation, livelihoods, school fees, language teaching, cultural orientation and psychosocial support for detained asylum-seekers. In some countries, students may be allowed to work part-time or convert their legal status, and their skills and education may also challenge them for temporary or permanent employment opportunities after graduation. Apprenticeships and traineeships in a third country allow refugees to retrain or upgrade their skills through on-the-job training in their profession, higher education or field of expertise. Using the established structure of the ERN, the project brought together national, regional and local governments, international organisations, civil society organisations, think tanks, academics and the refugee diaspora. Through a series of webinars, targeted roundtables and publications, the project sought to identify lessons learned and ways to integrate complementary pathways as a more enduring feature of protection in Europe. Advocate for governments to expand their national resettlement commitments and for complementary pathways to be added to these commitments In September 2016, the European Resettlement Network`s coordinating partners – IOM, ICMC and UNHCR – launched a new phase of the ERN. ERN+ (Developing Innovative European Models for the Protection of Refugees and Providing Support to New Resettlement Countries) examined complementary forms of reception of people in need of international protection and highlighted the need to find safe and legal ways to reach the EU. ERN+ was co-financed by the European Union under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Employment opportunities in third countries are safe and regulated means of entering or residing in another country for employment purposes, with the right of permanent or temporary residence. Employment opportunities in third countries can be part of traditional immigration systems that could be adapted to facilitate the reception of refugees.
They may also include temporary and permanent entry arrangements for skilled workers specifically designed to support refugees. Adequate travel documents for legal entry and residence arrangements and appropriate safeguards for refugees during and after employment are essential for the maintenance of these programmes. Complementary pathways should not replace the protection afforded to refugees under the international protection regime, including through resettlement, but rather complement them and serve as an important expression of global solidarity and international cooperation and a contribution to a more equitable sharing of responsibility. Resettlement and complementary pathways require careful planning, both in countries of first asylum and in local communities hosting refugees. All actors have their role to play, and we facilitate discussions and exchanges between them. We work on all programmes and pathways, map the evolution and legal implications of European efforts in this area, and work with civil society and other partners to research and transfer models and best practices in European countries. A unique multi-stakeholder consortium of civil society organizations, national governments, academia and UNHCR offices that develops and implements innovative programmes, practices and tools that foster the link between community sponsorship and complementary pathways. While resettlement is carried out by States in cooperation with UNHCR, complementary pathways such as humanitarian corridors are fully managed and funded by civil society organizations. Humanitarian corridors accept refugees through humanitarian visas, which offer protection and refugee status, similar to resettlement.
Other routes, such as study, work or family reunification, often take place within the general framework of issuing visas with limited legal status and duration. Community sponsorship offers citizens the opportunity to actively participate in integration by welcoming and supporting refugees.
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