ILO Colombia and Turkey launch e-learning course for the sharing of good practices to promote decent work for refugees and migrants in the context of COVID-19

Within the framework of the initiative “Promoting decent work in refugee and mixed migration contexts: A south-south triangular cooperation (SSTC) initiative between Turkey and Colombia”, the ILO-ITC e-learning course was launched to bring tripartite partners from Turkey and Colombia together to both evaluate and support national capacities to promote access to decent work.

News | 25 June 2021
South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) initiatives promote collaboration between equals bringing together countries of the Global South for development solutions. Building on economic and social similarities between Turkey and Colombia as well as similar development levels, tripartite constituents will have the opportunity to discuss evidence-based good practices and learn about new tools and approaches to promote access to decent work for migrants and refugees. This SSTC initiative is based on the belief that decent work is the root of social cohesion and the catalyst for employment opportunities and social protection as well as an essential response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this in mind, an online training is organized by the ITC, the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to build on a series of webinar held in December.

The three weeks-long online course will offer participants practical examples, tools and support to develop new approaches for improving labour market governance, promoting inclusive employment policies and extending social protection in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each week one learning bloc consisting of an online module, a practical group work and an online seminar with simultaneous interpretation into Spanish and Turkish will be held. The training is targeting tripartite partners from both countries, as well as representatives from municipalities, chambers and NGOs working on refugee and migration issues.

An effective means to exchange good practices and strengthen ties

Underlining that SSTC enables the ILO to provide an innovative platform to encourage partners to think outside the box, Mr Nejat Kocabay, Senior Program Coordinator of the ILO Office for Turkey, said:

“With this training, we aim to promote sharing and adapting evidence-based good practices to address development challenges and strengthen ties among development partners whose characteristics, challenges and areas of opportunity are similar. With this in mind, we give paramount importance to the involvement of all of ILO’s social partners (Governments, workers' and employers' organizations) so that all stakeholders can benefit from learning process”.

In the first session, which was attended by ILO’s tripartite constituents from Turkey and Colombia, the country representative of the ILO Project Office in Colombia for the Andean Countries, Italo Cardona, highlighted that, “Even though Turkey and Colombia face different realities, each country can share experiences that can enhance learning between the two countries. Both have been hosting a large number of migrants and refugees and were confronted to a number of challenges. Both took action to promote fair and effective migration governance enhancing decent work and social protection for all”.

Anita Amorim, the Unit Head of Emerging Partnerships at the ILO Geneva, said: “Refugees and migrants have great potential to contribute to their host countries. Their participation in the workforce contributes to local economies, can give their lives purpose and will reinforce the skills necessary to rebuild their country once they can return to it safely. How we work together to foster this potential is crucial”

The training is supported by the SSTC fund of the ILO and contributions from development cooperation projects in Turkey as well as in Colombia. The contributions from Turkey come from the “Decent Work Opportunities for Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey” project, which is funded by the US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and the contributions from Colombia come from an ILO-funded project entitled ‘”Improved labour migration governance in Colombia for promoting jobs and decent job”(Gobernabilidad de las migraciones mejorada en Colombia para promover empleos y trabajo decente).

For more information: “South-south triangular cooperation (SSTC) initiative between Turkey and Colombia”

For more information, please contact:

Spanish and Turkish intepretation will be provided.


Turkey is home to 4 million refugees, hosting the largest number of refugees in the world for the seventh year in a row. The vast majority, close to 3.6 million, come from Syria, while 400,000 are Afghanis, Iranians and Iraqis. To support refugees and host communities gain a living in decent working conditions, the ILO Office for Turkey is implementing a Refugee Response Programme and is contributing to the Livelihoods targets of the Turkey chapter of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP).

Colombia hosts more than 1.7 million refugees and migrants coming from Venezuela due to the complex socioeconomic and political situation in the country. Venezuelans seek to access employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in Colombia in order to secure a living for themselves and their families back in Venezuela. The ILO Office in Colombia is promoting access to decent work for migrants and refugees through the project Improved labour migration Governance in Colombia.