The Syrian refugee crisis: the ILO's response and proposals

Briefing note | 13 May 2015
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. According to UNHCR registration data, more than 3.9 million Syrians have now fled their country. Jordan – with its population of 6.4 million – now has an expanding Syrian refugee population of more than 620,000. In Lebanon the refugee influx has expanded dramatically: in March 2015 it was estimated that 1,189,214 Syrian refugees lived in Lebanon. In Turkey there are 1,718,147 officially registered Syrian refugees; in Egypt 133,619; and in Iraq 244,523.

The concept notes and proposals listed above concern ILO priorities in terms of ensuring livelihoods and income-generating activities, including labour intensive investment, innovative proposals concerning food production, ensuring adequate protection of workers and promoting women workers, as well as combating child labour and exploitation. The goal of ensuring decent work underlines all the proposals.

The ILO’s strategy to address this crisis is development-focused in its support to host communities and refugees in order to maintain and reinforce the social and economic stability of the affected neighbouring countries. In implementing this strategy, the ILO works closely with other UN agencies and Bretton Woods institutions, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank.