EU Passworld: A Complementary Pathways Project
EU Passworld is an exciting new project funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). The project creates additional education and employment pathways for refugees to be resettled through community sponsorship programmes in Ireland, Belgium and Italy.
In Ireland, the project started in 2022 and is coordinated by UNHCR Ireland and Nasc. Refugees are often displaced due to continued conflict, wars and persecution and they end up in neighbouring countries, sometimes in perilous conditions. This places a disproportionate burden on neighbouring countries in the Global South. These refugees are placed on resettlement lists, which in practice can mean that they are waiting for years in precarious accommodation and in refugee camps in countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. The project aims to create additional educational and employment opportunities for refugees who have been waiting on UNHCR resettlement lists and provide them with safe pathways.
What are Complementary Pathways?
Complementary pathways are safe and regulated avenues for refugees to reach third countries, like Ireland. These pathways are in addition to resettlement done by government, providing a legal stay in a third country where their international protection needs are met. A third country is a country other than their country of origin and the first country in which they have sought protection. In this case, Ireland is the third country. These pathways are additional to resettlement and do not replace the protection refugees are eligible for under the international protection system. Typically, complementary pathways can include labour pathways, education pathways and family reunification.
What are Complementary Education pathways?
With complementary education pathways refugees are admitted to a third country through higher education opportunities. Refugees’ access to these opportunities is based on their education and language skills in contrast to their protection needs. Education opportunities offered through these pathways should allow for a long-term solution i.e., long-term residence in the new country instead of short-term study and scholarship programmes.
These opportunities contribute to refugees’ economic and social empowerment while increasing their agency and self-reliance. At the same time, they benefit host communities and institutions with a more prosperous academic environment, enhanced social cohesion, and improved academic infrastructure and resources.
What are Complementary Labour pathways?
Complementary labour pathways create other ways for refugees to find durable solutions in third countries, outside of traditional resettlement programs.
Labour complementary pathways:
help displaced people move safely to third countries through regular labour or economic migration programs
recognise refugees’ skills, abilities and talents, as well as their need for protection
show how refugees contribute to their new countries, communities and workplaces
give employers access to a new talent pool to fill job openings.
Community Sponsorship is a programme that gives people across Ireland the chance to welcome resettled refugees to their local communities. Refugees can often wait for years on UNHCR resettlement lists. Community Sponsorship gives the opportunity to people in Ireland to provide a welcome and a home to people desperately waiting for sanctuary.
Traditionally, groups are asked to fundraise and find accommodation and are then matched with a refugee family in need of resettlement by the Irish Refugee Protection Programme. Regional support organisations like Nasc provide support and training to groups throughout the process.
If you are a university or an employer and want to get involved
If you would like to support a refugee by being part of a Community Sponsorship group
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.