Worldwide and year after year, millions of refugees flee their home countries and are in need of protection. Resettlement is an international protection tool and a durable solution for refugees as well as a demonstration of international solidarity and responsibility-sharing with those countries hosting large numbers of refugees. In close cooperation with governments, UNHCR and other non-governmental organizations, IOM has played a key role in refugee resettlement around the world since 70 years. 

Resettlement in Belgium

Since 2013, Belgium has a structural resettlement programme in place. Each year, Belgium is offering resettlement places to a certain number of vulnerable refugees, in need of international protection.

IOM supports the Government of Belgium with travel and other resettlement related services upon request of the governmental agencies dealing with the implementation of the resettlement programme, namely the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Fedasil) and the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS).

Providing essential support to States resettling refugees and other humanitarian pathways, is a fundamental purpose of IOM and among its largest ongoing activities. Along the resettlement continuum from identification to integration, IOM provides comprehensive resettlement activities which broadly fall under four areas: case management; pre-migration health activities; movement management and operations; and addressing integration pre-departure and post-arrival. 

In 2020, Belgium welcomed 176 Syrian refugees from Turkey and Lebanon within the frame of the Belgian Resettlement programme. 133 of them travelled from Lebanon, while the remaining 43 persons travelled from Turkey. Unlike any other years, 2020 was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a huge impact on all international movements. To this end, IOM adopted a range of measures to minimize the risk of transmission during movements, and planned adaptations in pre-departure activities, such as social distancing measures, distribution of face masks and all beneficiaries undergo a PCR test before departure.

For more information, contact Mrs Evi Vermeulen (, tel: +32 (0)2 287 74 23)

Resettlement figures 2017-2021

Resettlement chart from 2017 until 2021

Persons resettled to Belgium

2021: 964

2020: 176

2019: 239

2018: 880

2017: 1309

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