Labour Mobility for Refugees

Many refugees flee to countries where they do not have access to agricultural land or the formal labour market. They are consequently obliged to rely on international assistance and occasional work in the informal sector. As a result, they may try to move to a state where better jobs appear to be available. In many cases, however, they lack the necessary passports, visas and work permits and may find themselves in a situation of continued vulnerability.

Such situations would not arise if refugees, especially those with particular skills, could exercise freedom of movement, gain access to the required documents and work legally in other countries. Although not a solution in itself, labour mobility could assist refugees to locally integrate in the country where they are working or their country of first asylum. It could also provide refugees with the resources and capacity to return to their country of origin, once it becomes safe to do so.


Q&A: Economist seeks to boost refugees' productivity through labour mobility

Labour migration schemes can help refugees find jobs, build skills and work towards longer-term solutions, says Ali Mansoor, the head of the Global Forum for Migration and Development.