Founded in 1951 to assist in the resettlement of Europeans displaced in the aftermath of World War II, IOM has provided essential services in support of refugee resettlement operations for over six decades. In the last decade alone, IOM has organized resettlement movements of 892,243 refugees from 186 locations around the world.
Resettlement is a sometimes unrecognized yet compelling instrument and symbol of international solidarity and burden sharing to find a durable solution for refugees who are unable to return to their country of origin for fear of continued persecution and do not have the option to stay in their country of asylum. IOM works closely with governments, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), non‐government organizations and other partners.
The process begins with UNHCR. UNHCR identifies, interviews and submits refugee cases to countries for resettlement consideration; subsequently, under cooperative agreements with those same countries, IOM resettlement services - Case processing, Health Assessments, Pre‐Departure Orientation and Movement - take place. Upon arrival, resettlement countries provide refugees with legal and physical protection, including access to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights similar to those enjoyed by nationals. Most refugees eventually become naturalized citizens of their country of resettlement.
In 2013, IOM NL was recruited to act as the ERN National Network Focal Point for the Netherlands. Within this role, IOM NL acts as the first point of contact for ERN members in the Netherlands and is responsible for gathering and disseminating information and knowledge on resettlement matters within the Dutch and wider EU context. In October 2013, as one of its activities IOM NL organized a conference for various Dutch resettlement actors to discuss matters related to emergency resettlement in the Netherlands. More information about this conference can be found on the ERN website.
In response to the increasing numbers of individuals and families escaping the violence in Syria, the Dutch government has committed to spending €4m from the aid budget to support refugees in the Syrian region. Additionally, within the yearly quotas of 500 refugees under the Dutch resettlement policy, the Netherlands will receive 250 refugees over the years 2013 and 2014. IOM NL will provide support to ensure the resettlement of these refugees.