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Refugee Pathways team — from left to right: Julie Meier (founder and executive director), Jeff Bachman (associate director), Emily Ervin (research assistant and writer), Emmaly Read (research assistant), Caleb Reed (research assistant), Heather Knorr (outreach associate).

Refugee Pathways envisions a world where all displaced people can relocate safely and find protection in a humane and dignified way.

Too many refugees and internally displaced people face exploitation when seeking protection in another country.
To empower displaced people to relocate safely, Refugee Pathways has created an online information platform in 2017 to address the need for increased access to information on legal options for relocation. The Refugee Pathway’s information platform provides free access to legal complementary relocation opportunities — or complementary pathways — tailored to displaced Syrians. …


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A Syrian boy during an awareness workshop on Covid-19 at a camp for displaced people in northwestern Syria. Photo: AAREF WATAD / AFP / NTB Scanpix.

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the already existing vulnerabilities of refugee populations have been exacerbated. The impact of COVID-19 on refugees has gone beyond the devastating health tolls also to include massive loss of employment, livelihoods, shelter, and nutrition, as well as increased gender-based violence and poverty rates. There is a dire need for an increase in humanitarian aid and international action for refugees to receive a safe and dignified response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Syrian refugee and IDP camps amidst the pandemic

Refugee camps are crowded spaces with sparse medical services, which increases the vulnerability of communities within the…


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A resettlemed family. Pixabay

This month, UNHCR reported that 2020 will be a record low for refugee resettlement. The UN Refugee Agency announced that according to its data, “only 15,425 refugees were resettled from January to the end of September this year, compared to 50,086 over the same period last year.” This is due to the general quota for resettlement continuing to decline as well as negative impacts by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has delayed departures and paused some resettlement programs indefinitely. …


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A young refugee works in a mobile shop in Sao Paolo, Brazil after having resettled from Syria via a humanitarian visa. UN Refugee Agency

Refugees are often forced to flee their homes when they lose access to employment opportunities. Upon relocating to often neighboring countries, refugees are faced with challenges of entering the formal labor markets. Within host communities, refugees are either siloed into refugee camps with limited livelihood and economic opportunities or live in urban areas that may only provide opportunities in the informal markets. The lack of employment options can lead refugees to move to a country where better jobs are seemingly available, however, there are many barriers in re-locating such as acquiring proper documentation of passports, visas, and work permits.


It does not take much imagination to picture a world where changing weather patterns lead to disastrous events such as flooding, hurricanes, wildfires, desertification, drought and sea-level rise. These environmental catastrophes have intensified and become more likely due to climate change, and in return have led to millions of people being forced to flee their homes.

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Climate refugee. Photo by Alessandro Grassani.

For an example of climate change affecting migration, look no further than Syria. A devastating drought, the worst in 900 years, affected the livelihoods of over 1.5 million farmers in rural Syria almost fifteen years ago. The drought led farmers to migrate from rural…


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Black Lives Matter protest in Greece. Image from Record Newspaper

Refugee Pathways acknowledges that the movement for refugee rights is deeply connected to the broader movement for racial justice. Our vision for refugees to relocate safely and in a humane and dignified way recognizes that racial discrimination is often a barrier to that vision for refugees in both their home and host countries. In order to create this vision of a more just world, the advocacy for the protections of refugee rights and the movement for racial justice must be seen as interconnected. Creating space for the empowerment of refugees requires the protection of their full experience as it intersects…


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We are thrilled to announce the launch of our very first Refugee Pathways Campaign! Refugee Pathways envisions a world in which all refugees can relocate safely and find protection in a humane and dignified way. For us, this means researching and publishing information regarding legal pathways for refugees as they seek safety.


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Learn about four refugees on the frontline of the COVID-19 Pandemic and what you can do to support them

This World Refugee Day, we at Refugee Pathways would like to lift up and celebrate refugees worldwide who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Refugees are our essential workers, our childcare providers, our grocery store clerks, our mask-makers, our doctors and our scientists. They are the people who feed our communities, teach our children and provide our medical care. No strangers to adversity themselves, refugees around the world have been rising to meet the needs of their communities…


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Arrival point on Lesvos, Greece by Jim Black

Four years ago, when I was working in humanitarian advocacy in New York, I decided to leave New York for Greece to work on the refugee response. I arrived in Lesvos, Greece in August of 2016, just after the European Union and Turkey struck a deal to curb the large numbers of refugees arriving in Europe at the time, by controlling the crossing of refugees and migrants from Turkey to the Greek Islands.

Protracted conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as central and north Africa, had displaced hundreds of thousands of people over the past years with over one…


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© UNHCR/Ioana Epure

Travel arrangements for resettling refugees have been severely disrupted since mid-March when international air travel faced drastic reductions and many countries began to limit entry across their borders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While closing international borders is not a new response to pandemics, the World Health Organization (WHO) notes that “restricting the movement of people and goods during public health emergencies is ineffective in most situations and may divert resources from other interventions.” The response to halt immigration, including resettlement programs, does little to stop the spread of COVID-19 and instead places an undue burden on families seeking…

Refugee Pathways

Empowering refugees on their journey to safety one complementary pathway at a time.

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