Syrian Refugees and Labour Market

Stakeholders meeting in Gaziantep: Labour market impact of Syrian refugees

The ILO Office-Turkey organized a stakeholders meeting in Gaziantep on 16 November 2015 with the participation of stakeholders at central and local levels to introduce project activities and discuss the labour market impact of Syrian refugees.

News | 02 December 2015
Besides Mustafa Ünver Böke, Deputy Governor of Kilis and Harran District Governor Temel Ayca, participants to the meeting included representatives from the following organizations, agencies and units: General Directorate of Labour, Ministry of Labour and Social Security; General Directorate Migration Affairs, Ministry of Interior; General Directorate of Lifelong Learning, Ministry of National Education; Prime Ministry, Presidency of Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD); Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR), Confederation of Turkish Employers’ Unions (TİSK); Hak-İş Confederation; Şanlıurfa Provincial Directorate of National Education; Şanlıurfa AFAD Provincial Directorate; Gaziantep Provincial Directorate of İŞKUR; Gaziantep Provincial Directorate of Migration Management; Gaziantep Provincial Directorate of Family and Social Policies; Gaziantep AFAD Provincial Directorate; Kilis Provincial Directorate of Migration Management; Kilis Provincial Directorate of National Education, Kilis Provincial Directorate of Family and Social Policies; Kilis AFAD Provincial Directorate; İpekyolu and Karacadağ Development Agencies; Metropolitan Municipalities of Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa; Kilis Municipality; Şanlıurfa Chamber of Industry and Commerce; Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce; Gaziantep Chamber of Artisans and Craftsmen and local civil society organizations.


The meeting started with a presentation giving detailed information about the ILO project in Turkey implemented in cooperation with national organizations and agencies with components of capacity building, strengthened information base, direct support and awareness raising. This was followed by a session where representatives from central and local level discussed the effects of Syrians on labour markets. During this session participants also shared their experiences and problems encountered in extending services to Syrians.


Speakers at the meeting stressed the importance of the decision of the Council of Ministers expected to grant working permit to Syrians under temporary protection to support their means of subsistence. It is stated that informal employment of Syrians under existing circumstances may create some problems including unfavourable working conditions, wage disparities and unfair competition. While the contribution of Syrians to local economy is mentioned, attention is drawn to the necessity of addressing opportunities and risks together.

It is noted that in the fifth year of the Syrian crisis, on-going support has shifted from humanitarian aid to the process where long-term development needs are assessed along with the need to enhance resilience at both national and local levels. Participants added that international organizations have to undertake more responsibility and share burden in terms of efforts to be waged and services to be delivered in this process.

The ILO Office for Turkey will prepare a detailed report on the outcomes of the meeting and share it with all participants and stakeholders.