Special responses

Special responses allow large numbers of people who may or may not meet the grounds for formal refugee status, to seek protection and, often, to travel to certain countries in a regulated manner.

Receiving countries – either individually or as part of a regional block – develop special pathways to protection in response to a humanitarian crisis and/or the danger of widespread human rights abuses.

These can involve a comprehensive range of provisions like evacuation flights, special visas, processing for asylum after arriving in the destination country, and/or support with housing, education and employment.

Examples of recent special responses include those responding to situations in Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Ukraine.


In March 2023, More in Common,  has published a report on the United Kingdom’s sponsorship scheme for Ukrainians. The Report, Welcoming Ukrainians: The Hosts’ Perspective, draws on an original survey of 1200+ Homes for Ukraine hosts and public opinion research. It found that, one year on from its launch, the scheme has been a broad success and that support for the UK taking in refugees from Ukraine is strong and consistently so.

A summary of the findings is available here.

The full report, Welcoming Ukrainians: The Host’s Perspective, can be downloaded he

Updates on special responses

Executive Summary of Envisioning a Way Forward: Climate Displacement Legal Strategy Convening
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) hosted a two-day gathering with legal scholars, practitioners,...
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Summary of From Safe Homes to Sponsors: Lessons from the Ukraine Hosting Response for Refugee Sponsorship Programs
Hosting initiatives, where private citizens provide their own homes as short-term accommodation to those...
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Climate and Migration (2)
The January 2024 roundup of literature on Sponsorship, Resettlement, and Pathways to Protection was prepared...
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Information & data sources