The growing global phenomenon of large displacements of refugees and migrants calls for a coordinated global response. Between the year 2000 and 2020, the number of people who were forced to flee violence, persecution and human rights violations increased from 17 million to 82.4 million respectively, including 26.4 million refugees.
The benefits, advantages and opportunities that safe, orderly and legal travel movements create are substantial and are often undervalued or overlooked. On the other hand, mass forced displacements present mostly complex and worrying challenges. These global movements and the responses put into practice have political, economic, social and humanitarian ramifications, whether for development or for for human rights, transcending any borders.
The responses to this growing phenomenon must be global . Neighboring or/and transit countries are disproportionately affected, threatening their capacities, infrastructure and services. Likewise, refugee and migrant humanitarian crises are increasingly frequent and protracted (with an average of 20 years for refugees), with long-term repercussions for all those involved and the origin and host communities.
Complementary pathways are lasting solutions that facilitate refugees' access to international protection, through admission and reception in third countries. The urgency of implementing such programs is evident in the 2016 New York Declaration for Migrants and Refugees . The agreed commitment to establish and expand resettlement programs and complementary pathways for refugee admission was further reinforced with the Global Compact for Refugees in 2018.
Community sponsorship (CS) for refugees is one solution. Through these initiatives, it is possible to help asylum seekers and refugees reach safe places by sharing responsibilities between the governments, civil society and the private sector.