The integration of refugees and migrants in the labour market

The ILO joined a meeting organized by the Union for the Mediterranean, ahead of its 2019 Ministerial Conference.

News | 23 October 2018
The issue of migrant and refugee movements continues to dominate political agendas globally and focused the attention of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) at a meeting organized in Brussels alongside its regular High-Level Working Group on Employment and Labour and ahead of its 2019 Ministerial Conference.

As part of its 2017-2019 Roadmap adopted at the 2016 Conference, the UfM expressed strong interest in addressing issues related to the integration of refugees and migrants in the labour market, particularly given the impact of these movements in the Mediterranean region.

Nick Grisewood, Senior Specialist in the ILO Labour Migration branch, highlighted the experiences of the ILO in refugee-hosting countries and situations, particularly the response to the Syrian crisis in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, as well as ongoing developments in the Horn of Africa. Supporting the largest refugee-hosting countries in addressing the labour market impacts of refugee movements is a growing area of focus of the international community in light of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework and the upcoming adoption of the Global Compact for Refugees.

The ILO focuses its attention on supporting enabling policy, legislative and regulatory environments and building the capacities of government and social partners to assist access to employment, livelihoods and training for host communities as well as refugees. It also works with a range of partners to address issues of labour market supply and demand, while supporting efforts to ensure access to decent work to avoid labour market segmentation and exploitation.

Some of the key comments by the ILO were reinforced in the context of panel discussions at the seminar, including the critical role of the social partners, ensuring access of refugees to public employment services, strengthening the capacities of local government and municipal authorities that host refugees and ensuring that refugees themselves are part of concerted efforts to support successful and sustainable socio-economic integration.