Lessons learned from the ILO’s Refugee Response Programme in Turkey - Supporting livelihood opportunities for refugees and host communities

This report examines lessons learned in the ILO Turkey’s Refugee Response Programme, which supports mainly Syrian refugees, but also includes non-Syrian refugees, and host communities.

As the Syrian conflict begins its ninth year, Turkey continues to host the highest number of refugees in the world for the fifth year in a row, with over 3.6 million Syrian refugees and an estimated number of 400,000 from other countries such as Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. As the situation is now considered protracted, the focus is now shifting towards building resilience, with a view to moving from humanitarian to development outcomes, and supporting access to the labour market.

The ILO has been active in supporting refugees in Turkey in finding decent work opportunities since 2015. With its tripartite structure, normative framework and decent work agenda the ILO is in a unique position to address challenges and develop inclusive strategies to support the access of refugees to decent work. The report focuses on the projects that the ILO has been implementing in Turkey since 2015. Hence, some of the lessons learned are specific to Turkey; they relate to specific laws, policies and approaches in the Turkish context. Many others, however, are relevant to other country contexts and could be drawn upon and applied in other refugee situations around the globe.