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G20 Policy Makers Should Support Wider Religious Roles in Refugee Settlement

Authors: Katherine Marshall Shaun Casey

October 16, 2017

Religious entities play significant roles in the current refugee/forced migration crisis. These roles include innovative and experience based ideas to address broken aspects of the humanitarian system, overall advocacy on behalf of refugees and migrants, direct action in refugee camps and communities, action in communities that refugees and migrants flee, and support for refugee integration in host countries. Broadly, however, religious factors and contributions are poorly understood and insufficiently taken into account by policymakers and in think tank analyses of these (among other) issues. This brief focuses on the European and U.S. resettlement challenge and contends that the G20 in its approach to the forced migration crisis should engage more directly with religious actors as central partners. Recognition of and support for religious engagement could help to counter the fears and negative responses that affect political responses to refugee resettlement. Closer cooperation with key religious actors could substantively strengthen integration processes. It was co-authored by Berkley Center Senior Fellow Katherine Marshall, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Ulrich Nitschke, Azza Karam, Alberto Quatrucci, Attalah Fitzgibbon, and Msgr. Robert Vitillo, with input from Berkley Center Director Shaun Casey, Prof. Isabel Phiri, Dr. Mark Owen, and Dr. Majbritt Lyck-Bowen.

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