Iraqi interpreters and resettlement

The Home Office has revealed a resettlement plan for 2,000 Iraqis that had been involved with providing assistance to the British Army over the last five years. This represents some success those campaigning on behalf of these individuals yet the criteria attached to the way in which the resettled will be selected raises questions about resettlement policy more generally. How should individuals be selected for resettlement programmes that will only ever be able to provide a solution for a fraction of forced migrants or refugees in camps around the world? I have discussed previously the preference of some states to select on the basis of ‘capacity to integrate’ rather than purely on need, with the argument being that resettlement is more likely to provide a ‘durable solution’ to people with a the right ‘integration characteristics’; provision of ‘effective protection’ to those most in need of it becomes a secondary concern of resettlement policy. Does this approach to Iraqi resettlement suggest that any future expansion of the UK’s resettlement programmes would follow the same principles?

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