The focus on clarifying the standards and streamlining the procedures for resettlement is intended to improve the manner in which UNHCR delivers resettlement. A key reference for UNHCR in elaborating resettlement criteria and developing new approaches to policy definition is the Resettlement Handbook.
The Resettlement Handbook was introduced in June 1997 at the Formal Consultation on Resettlement and subsequently to Governments represented at the September meeting of the Standing Committee and to NGOs at the Pre-Executive Committee meetings in October. The Director of the Division of International Protection issued a memorandum to all UNHCR offices introducing the Resettlement Handbook and underlining the importance of a comprehensive and consistent approach to resettlement.
The Handbook was updated in 1998, 2002 and November 2004 and was issued in English, French and Spanish. The July 2011 edition is available in English.