As the number of resettlement countries grows across Europe, Latin America, and Asia, the question of how to better prepare resettling refugees, as well as receiving communities, for what lies ahead is more pressing than ever. For resettling refugees, adjusting to their new lives can be particularly difficult. Often, they have lived for long periods in remote regions or refugee camps, with no or little formal education and limited knowledge of how to navigate bureaucracies. Equally, receiving communities may lack the information and support they need to welcome new neighbours. While predeparture orientation alone can neither guarantee a smooth transition nor expedite integration, it holds the potential to increase refugees’ confidence in their decision to resettle and to improve their ability to start life anew in an unfamiliar place. If done effectively, orientation can make a difference for refugees’ well-being and be an investment in receiving-community social cohesion.
While the potential benefits of such preparation are clear, it is far less obvious how exactly to make the most out of the limited time at hand before refugees depart. It can be challenging to strike a delicate balance between conveying key messages and skills for the next steps ahead while meeting refugees’ own information needs. What do resettling refugees need to learn before departure, and what information can wait until after arrival? Who is best placed to deliver predeparture orientation, and how can information be shared in the most accessible and credible way? And how can receiving communities best be supported in welcoming newcomers? To answer these questions, this Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar will examine concrete and innovative practices of how to better design and implement predeparture orientation programmes from the perspective of a diverse range of actors.
Lena Kainz, Associate Policy Analyst, MPI Europe
William Kweku Paintsil, Head of Unit/Programme Coordinator, IOM Norway
Nyawal TerJour, Mentor, Netherlands Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers predeparture orientation
Susan Fratzke, Policy Analyst and Programme Coordinator, International Programme, MPI
MPI Europe Webinar (note: CEST time below)
Time and date
12 Jun 16.00 - 12 Jun 17.00, 2019