Today‘s first Global Refugee Forum (GRF) will gather a wide range of actors to announce concrete contributions and pledges in order to reach the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees. The forum represents an important opportunity for States, as well international and regional organizations, local authorities, civil society organizations including Diaconal actors, academics and the private sector to reinforce their commitment to enhance protection for refugees worldwide and to share responsibility for welcoming and supporting refugees in inclusive host societies.

One of the Compact’s four objectives is to expand access to third country solutions by increasing resettlement programs and develop access to complementary legal pathways.

On the occasion of  International Migrants Day, Eurodiaconia, along with 10 partner organizations, co-signed a position paper to call on the European Union and Member States to develop accessible complementary pathways to provide additional, protective and durable solutions to international protection needs. Among the recommendations outlined in the common position paper co-signed by Eurodiaconia:

  • The involvement of communities, diaconal actors, NGOs and local authorities in the support of refugees is a key tool to implement complementary pathways and create an inclusive hosting society and should be developed in addition to the professional caseworkers’ role. Professional social workers, groups of citizens and communities should work in complementarity and in addition to institutional services to ensure access to beneficiaries’ rights.
  • Complementary legal pathways shall be developed in addition to existing States’ commitments to respect full access to the right to asylum for all persons in need of international protection. Such pathways shall neither undermine resettlement programs nor replace the possibility to request asylum on the territory or at borders.
  • Complementary pathways should be fully accessible to persons in need of international protection which should include the removal of administrative and legal obstacles by States to procedures.
  • As stressed in the Compact on Refugees, complementary pathways should contain protection safeguards and provide durable solutions for refugees. Ensuring protection oriented complementary pathways also includes long-term integration needs.
  • Organizations implementing complementary pathways and States should ensure transparent and fair identification processes..

Heather Roy, Eurodiaconia Secretary General, commented that “The creation of safe and regulated pathways that are complementary to refugee resettlement are an important way to meet the international protection needs of refugees and engage host communities in the integration of new arrivals.  The role of social actors such as Eurodiaconia and our members is essential to ensure social inclusion.”

Eurodiaconia is a dynamic, Europe-wide community of social and health care organisations with direct experience in providing services to migrants and advocating for their fundamental rights. Our federation is committed to a Europe of solidarity, equality, and justice. We currently have 51 members in 32 countries and territories who are churches and NGOs rooted in the Christian faith and working in the tradition of Diaconia.


Find more on the recommendations outlined by Eurodiaconia in the common position paper.