The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a private, non-political international humanitarian organisation, supporting refugees and internally displaced persons in exile when settling and integrating in a new place, or upon return.
With a presence in 40 countries, the 7,500 employees of the organisation, together with partners, works to protect and support refugees and internally displaced persons and to promote durable solutions to displacement.
Based on observations from DRC’s offices in the field, it is obvious that the diaspora has a huge economic, social, and political impact in countries of origin. The organisation is increasingly recognizing diaspora as a key stakeholder and partner in its work to end displacement and has over the years taken several steps to support and strengthen the constructive engagement of diaspora communities – both in countries of origin, transit, and residence.
The work with diaspora is constantly evolving and expanding as the organisation further observes and documents the wide array of diaspora engagement. So far, DRC works with diaspora in the following fields:
- Emergency response.
DRC, through its Global initiative DEMAC, supports enhanced mutual collaboration and knowledge between diaspora humanitarian actors and the established humanitarian system with a view to raising awareness, avoid duplication of efforts and to ensure all gaps are covered.
- Humanitarian and development engagement.
DRC aims at enhancing diaspora capacity as humanitarian and development actors through technical and financial support.
- Economic development and job creation.
DRC works to enhance the effects of diaspora engagement in local economic development and job creation – through collaboration with diaspora entrepreneurs, and senders/recipients of remittances.
- Protection of the rights of migrants.
In partnership with diaspora organisations DRC works to deliver protection information to migrants before they leave and while they are on the move.
- Diaspora advocacy.
In partnership with diaspora civil society DRC works to facilitate the voices of diaspora around issues relating to countries of origin – either towards hosting governments/ international actors or towards country-of-origin governments.
- Documentation of diaspora engagement.
As working with diaspora remains a relatively unexplored area of work for many humanitarian actors, documentation of diaspora engagement is an essential part of all of DRC’s programming.
Founded in 1956, DRC works exclusively on the basis of its mandate towards the displaced, providing protection and life-saving humanitarian assistance. Its 6,000 volunteers in Denmark make an invaluable difference in integration activities throughout the country; working during displacement at all stages: in the acute crisis, in exile, when settling and integrating in a new place, or upon return.
DRC operates independently – and embraces neutrality, inclusion, respect, honesty, transparency, and works on the basis of human rights in all its dealings.
By: Theresa R. Fianko
Additional Information: The Danish Refugee Council
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