National Workshop in Egypt

ILO facilitates discussions on promotion of decent work for refugees in Egypt

At a national level workshop, main findings of the ILO's recent baseline study on the access of refugees and asylum seekers to the labour market were discussed with key influencers.

News | 29 March 2023
Representatives of the Government of Egypt, the ILO, the AUC and the Embassy of the Netherlands at the workshop. ©ILO

Cairo, EGYPT, (ILO news): On 23 February 2023, ILO PROSPECTS Egypt and the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo (AUC) jointly organized a workshop on “Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ Access to the Labour Market in Egypt: Recommendations and Best Practices”.

Key representatives from government agencies, social partners, civil society, UN agencies, private sector and academia participated in this important discussion, aimed at supporting national and international priorities and commitments to support refugees and asylum seekers.

“Egypt hosts over 280,000 refugees from 60 different nationalities. With the existing economic challenges and soaring inflation, both refugee and host communities are facing increased vulnerabilities. To look at how to improve livelihood and skills development opportunities for refugees, the ILO together with the AUC reviewed existing policies and their implementation that shape refugees’ access to labour markets,” explained Amir Obeid, Chief Technical Advisor, ILO PROSPECTS Egypt.
Participants from various government, non-government and international agencies at the workshop. ©ILO

Participants at the workshop included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Federation of Egyptian Industries, the Embassy of the Netherlands, UNHCR, UNICEF, IFC, the European Union Delegation to Egypt and CARITAS.

"The workshop provided an excellent platform to bring together key stakeholders from different sectors. The discussions were promising given the shared willingness to continue the dialogue on extending decent work opportunities for refugees and their hosts,” explained Nicholas Grisewood, Global Programme Manager, ILO PROSPECTS.

The workshop outcomes will help inform further PROSPECTS programme interventions supporting policy frameworks and institutional capacity development to enhance inclusion and protection for refugees.

Fatma Kaya, Technical Programme Officer, ILO PROSPECTS HQ, said: "The workshop was a first and significant step in this direction. Across the ILO PROSPECTS programme in eight countries, including Egypt, we will work closely with the host governments and our partners to explore opportunities to strengthen policy, legislative and institutional environments and mechanisms improving access of refugees and host communities to employment opportunities.”

In the workshop, discussions focused on the main findings of the ILO’s recently released report - Review of national policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks, and practice in Egypt. It is a part of a series of studies conducted in eight PROSPECTS countries.

The baseline study and the feedback from the workshop will also contribute to the broader global conversation on inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in labour markets, as well as inform a wide range of organisations, policymakers, academics, practitioners and others working in this context.

PROSPECTS is a global partnership spearheaded by the Government of the Netherlands that aims to improve the access of host communities and forcibly displaced people to education, social protection, and decent work.

In this partnership, the ILO plays a key role in promoting decent work and focuses on strengthening local economic development and improving employability by equipping refugees and host communities with better and relevant skills to enter local labour markets and access enterprise development opportunities.