Selection of the resettled Syrian refugees

The Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS) has just completed its selection mission in Turkey.

The first group of refugees as part of the Belgian resettlement program 2014 will arrive in Belgium this autumn. The group consists of 75 Syrians who fled to Turkey, to escape from the acts of war. A CGRS delegation went to Ankara, Turkey on the 31stof August. The team consisted of two protection officers specialized in Syria and the region, as well as a mission coordinator.In total, the group consists of some 20 families and a dozen single people who have been presented to Belgium by UNHCR. Almost half of them (40%) are younger than 18. All of these refugees live in an urban environment, mostly in Istanbul. They all have a story of their own, but they all have in common that they are very vulnerable and they have suffered severely from the Syrian conflict. Many of them have lost family members. The CGRS team has interviewed all the adult refugees. During the mission, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) also performed a medical examination on these people.Approximately 1 million Syrian refugees are living in Turkey at present. Less than one third lives in one of the 21 refugee camps. The rest lives all over Turkey, sometimes in very awkward conditions. In addition to the Syrian refugees, Turkey recently was confronted with a new influx of refugees due to the crisis in Iraq.The CGRS is now finishing off the selection. Fedasil will then organise a Cultural Orientation mission, during which the refugees are prepared for their future life in Belgium.