Contact person:
Brigitte Suter
  • Norska forskningsrådet
Responsible at MaU:
Brigitte Suter
Project members at MaU:
Collaborators :
  • Roger Zetter – Oxford University/Fafo (project leader)
  • Nerina Weiss – Fafo (project coordinator)
  • Ragna Lillevik – Fafo
  • Ingunn Bjørkhaug – Fafo
  • Jessica Schultz – CMI Bergen
  • Kamel Dorai – CNRS
  • Moses Tukwasiibwe – Bishop Stuart University
  • Stelios Gialis – University of the Aegean
  • Adele Garnier – Universite de Laval
  • Lewis Turner – University of Newcastle
Time frame:
01 December 2021 - 30 November 2024

About the project

The project's main aim ‘The future of resettlement: Vulnerability revisited’ (‘Future of Resettlement’) is to explore changes in resettlement policies, specifically related to the concept of ‘vulnerability’, and how these policy changes shape the processes where refugees are selected for resettlement. For displaced persons who cannot return to their country of origin or integrate into their country of first asylum, resettlement is the remaining durable solution. There is a great need for more extensive humanitarian interventions in a world where nearly 26 million refugees were registered with UNHCR in 2020.

The UN Member States have pledged to ensure ‘no one will be left behind and to ‘endeavour to reach the furthest behind first’ when pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals stated in Agenda 2030. Displaced persons often lack access to essentials, legal identity, protection of the law and the ability to participate fully in the host countries’ economy and society. They, therefore, are among the world’s most vulnerable and furthest behind. In the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants adopted on September 19, 2016, by the United Nations General Assembly, Member States committed to strengthening and enhancing mechanisms to protect people on the move. One of the Declaration’s four key objectives is to expand third-country solutions such as resettlement schemes.

By empirical and comparative analysis of Norwegian resettlement policies and the selection practices of Norwegian resettlement missions in four countries of the first asylum, ‘Future of Resettlement’ will respond to Global development and international relations’ priority area, humanitarian issues. In particular, the project is concerned with how resettlement today complies with the humanitarian ‘soft law’ principles in international refugee protection and how this humanitarian instrument protects vulnerable groups among refugee populations.

The project will provide new knowledge on both policy formulation and practices that determine refugees’ access to resettlement as a durable solution. In our comparative exploration of how Norway selects refugees for resettlement, we explore this in four case countries, including Norway’s strategic development partner Uganda and Lebanon, Rwanda, and Greece.

Our comparative design will provide learning points beyond the specific localities, and inform international debates on resettlement as a humanitarian instrument. It also compares “traditional” resettlement schemes in Uganda and Lebanon with new legal pathways to resettlement that Norway has pursued in Rwanda (relocating refugees from Libya) and Greece (with EU-cooperation on relocation), as examples of policy innovation in resettlement.