Syrian Refugees

ILO’s Response to Syrian Influx in Turkey

The ILO is committed to support the crisis response in Turkey through field studies and analysis, identification of employment and training opportunities, and the promotion of fundamental principles and rights at work – for both refugees and host communities affected by the crisis.

Project Background

As the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year, the ensuing refugee crisis remains one of the largest, most protracted and complex humanitarian emergencies of modern times. The effects of the Syrian refugee crisis are increasingly spilling over into the economic and social spheres – leading to stalled economic activity, loss of income, and shrinking access to quality public services in host countries that already had to contend with difficult socioeconomic conditions before the Syrian crisis began.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis has captured international attention for the unprecedented scale of the displacement of population. The countries receiving the refugees face major challenges to deal with the situation and to support the host communities. While addressing humanitarian needs has been at the forefront of the response, increasingly the focus is shifting to livelihoods support. Within this context, the ILO is playing a significant role in the livelihoods cluster of the response in the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) coordinated by the UN agencies and development partners. The ILO has initiated immediate action on the ground in Jordan and Lebanon and is now also initiating support in Turkey.

With this aim, the ILO Office for Turkey has intensified its efforts to provide ILO inputs to a UN-wide proposal (in particular on the issues of livelihoods, protection and education) and progressively has been working on social integration and inclusion issues that involve child labour, women’s empowerment etc.


The project aims to strengthen the ILO’s key role in response to the Syrian crisis in Turkey by both enhancing local capacity and delivering initial crisis impact assessments and a pilot demonstrative project aiming to enhance decent work opportunities for both refugees and host communities, to facilitate tripartite consultations to support an employment rich response with better working and living conditions, and to protect vulnerable Syrian refugee population categories such as children and women. The project will also develop a communication strategy, and covers a larger follow-up project. On the basis of this inception phase, the ILO will have enhanced opportunities to mobilise resources for providing technical support through mid-term and long-term programmes.

Priority Issues for the ILO

  • Provision of technical assistance on legislation and implementation (i.e. Temporary Protection Regime (TPR) related work permits implementation for Turkey)
  • Promoting creation of decent jobs and job placement
  • Data collection and analysis activities to be carried out
  • Provision of technical support for capacity development
  • Work with social partners
  • Need to develop a macro-economic perspective and approach to response protracted situation
  • Development and use of necessary communication materials for resource mobilization efforts


  • National and local capacities strengthened to deal with refugee crisis in Turkey
  • Knowledge-base on the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on the labour market and child labour improved
  • Labour market integration of Syrian refugees and host communities promoted
  • Raised awareness among refugees, host communities and wider stakeholders on the new legislative measures and its implications on labour market
  • Capacity development needs of İŞKUR, MoLSS and local Government institutions identified and reported
  • Communication strategy developed and implemented
  • Local and Central Level Steering Committees are established in collaboration with MoLSS, DGMM, Social Partners, Local Governments and UN Agencies
  • Assessments on child labour and the impact of Syrian refugee crisis on the demand side of the labour market carried out and reported
  • Initiatives to integrate Syrian refugees and host communities into the labour market identified and implemented

Key Partners

  • Ministry of Labour and Social Security
  • Ministry of Family and Social Policies
  • Ministry of Development
  • Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Migration Management
  • Disaster and Emergency Management Authority of Prime Ministry
  • Turkish Employment Agency
  • The European Union
  • UN Agencies
  • Local Governments
  • Trade Unions and Employers’ Organization.