Supporting Resilience and Social Cohesion with Decent Livelihood Opportunities

Project Overview

Türkiye is the country hosting the largest number of refugees, with over 4 million refugees, including 400,000 non-Syrian refugees (mostly Iraqis, Afghans and Iranians) and 3.7 million Syrians. Of these, 2 million Syrians are of working age, but only 930,000 are part of the labour force. More than 97% of Syrian workers are estimated to work informally before the pandemic.

The challenges and barriers refugees face in accessing livelihoods opportunities, ensure self-reliance and decent work conditions remain. These challenges can be grouped into three categories: (a) Low level of skills and employability of refugees, (b) Lack of formal jobs and income opportunities, and (c) Insufficient labour market governance and enforcement.

Hence forth, The ILO has supported refugees’ access to decent work opportunities since 2015 guided by a Programme of Support spanning over the years adopting a comprehensive, holistic and integrated Refugee Response Programme promoting short- and medium-term employment-rich measures.

The ILO strategy employs three integrated pillars: (1) Increase the availability of a skilled, competent and productive labour supply to facilitate access to decent work for refugees and Turkish host communities; (2) Support local economic development in specific sectors and geographic locations to stimulate job creation and stimulate entrepreneurship opportunities for Syrian refugees and Turkish host communities; (3) Provide support to strengthen labour market governance institutions and mechanisms to assist Türkiye in implementing inclusive development strategies.

In the light of the information above, grounding on the ILO’s rights-based approach to migration, its standard-setting role and tripartite structure, Supporting Resilience and Social Cohesion with Decent Livelihood Opportunities Project is designed in consultation with the representatives from the workers’ and employers’ organizations, the public authorities and the non-governmental actors paying due attention to the national priorities and development plans and is designed to respect the complementarity principle with the other UN agencies and 3RP partners. Moreover, the following guidelines and policy documents are taken as a basis in the design of the Project: (a) UN 2030 Agenda, (b) the SDGs, 8 and 10 in particular, (c) UNSDCF 2021-2025, (d) ILO P&B 2022 - 202314, (e) 11th Development Plan (2019-2023), (f) the National Employment Strategy (2014-2023) and (g) the National Programme and Action Plan on Elimination of Child Labour (2017-2023).

The Project has been built on above mentioned three integrated pillars complementing each other to build resilience and strengthen social cohesion among the refugee and host communities at İstanbul, İzmir, Bursa, Ankara, Adana, Mersin, Şanlıurfa, Kahramanmaraş, Konya, Hatay, Eskişehir, Denizli, Gaziantep, Manisa, and Kilis through the promotion of decent work and sustainable livelihood opportunities and in particular by investing in a skilled and competent labour supply, stimulating job creation and business development, job retention, strengthening labour market governance institutions and enforcement.

Objectives of the project are:

Objective 1: Refugees and host conummity members have better access to the labour market and remain in employment through improved employability and employment services and enhanced social cohesion.

Objective 2: More and better income opportunities provided to refugees and host communities through sustainable income generationand job creation.

Objective 3: Working conditions of refugees and host communities improved through enhanced labour market govenance and enforcement.

This project is funded by US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).