The West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership has a strategic role in supporting local authorities in the West Midlands in their acceptance of refugees resettled to the UK under the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) and facilitate the refugee family’s arrival to their new homes in the West Midlands. We also work to develop strategy around ensuring the long term success of resettlement in the region and the integration of the resettled families into their new communities.
- Resettlement is the transfer of refugees from an asylum country to another State that has agreed to admit them and ultimately grant them permanent settlement.
- UNHCR is mandated by its Statute and the UN General Assembly Resolutions to undertake resettlement as one of the three durable solutions.
- Resettlement States provide the refugee with legal and physical protection, including access to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights similar to those enjoyed by nationals.
Resettled refugees will meet one or more of the following vulnerability criteria:
- Legal and physical protection needs
- Medical needs
- Survivors of violence and torture
- Lack of local integration prospects
- Elderly refugees
- Family reunification
- Children and adolescents
Prior to the launch of the UKRS the UK has engaged in a number of resettlement schemes. The most recent of these that the WMSMP have been involved in are the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and the Vulnerable Childrens Resettlement Scheme. For information on our current response please see our latest migration stats briefing.
Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS)
The VPRS was launched in January 2014, with the scheme designed to help those most in need. By June 2015, 216 individuals had arrived in the UK through this scheme. The scheme was later expanded through an announcement by the then Prime Minister David Cameron that committed the UK to accepting 20,000 vulnerable Syrian Refugees by the end of parliament. In July 2017, the scheme was again expanded to include individuals of all nationalities, not only Syrian, but all nationalities in the region who have been displaced by the Syrian conflict. This scheme is separate and in addition to the individuals resettled under the VCRS, Mandate and Gateway schemes operated by the UK Government.
Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS)
On the 21st April, 2016, the UK Government announced a scheme to resettle up to 3000 individuals to include children and their families. It was on the UNHCR’s recommendation that the scheme not solely target unaccompanied children, but also children at risk in other forms such as abuse and exploitation. The VCRS represents the largest resettlement effort that specifically at children in the MENA region.
Community Sponsorship is coordinated nationally by a charity called RESET. They support prospective and current community sponsors in the process of supporting a refugee family.
Community Sponsorship enables groups to make a formal commitment to provide support for a refugee family for one year. This support includes: meeting the family at the airport, providing a warm welcome and orientation, organising language tuition, and supporting access to medical services, social services, education and employment.
Before the refugee family arrives, the Group must also source accommodation for the refugee family to rent and raise £9,000 to contribute towards the initial costs that the family will incur when they first arrive (e.g. purchasing school uniforms, the first month of rent). The family will be entitled to apply for benefits so they will not need to rely on donations after this initial period.