Displacement is disruptive to employment and livelihoods. A range of factors, such as socio-economic conditions of the host country, legislation and policies around the protection of refugees and their right to work, as well as other practical issues mediate the access to the labour market and decent jobs. Faced with many barriers, refugee workers are often concentrated in low-skilled informal employment or under-regulated sectors where they are susceptible to precarious conditions and decent work deficits.
ILO ResponseThe ILO has engaged in the labour aspects of forced displacement since its inception and focuses on ensuring access to decent work for both refugees and host communities. Its work is grounded in a comprehensive rights-based framework notably including the ILO Guiding Principles on the Access of Refugees and Other Forcibly Displaced Persons to the Labour Market (2016) and the Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205).
Working closely with governments, workers and employers' organizations, ILO interventions have aimed to:
- Strengthen policy and regulatory frameworks enabling access to labour markets and decent work, including social protection, for refugees.
- Create jobs and promote the transition to the formal economy.
- Boost employability and entrepreneurship among refugees and host communities, e.g., through skills development and recognition, financial and digital inclusion.
ILO-UNHCR PartnershipIn 2016, an agreement was signed by the ILO and UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) to expand their longstanding collaboration to create durable solutions for refugees, other FDPs, and host communities. The third Joint Action Plan for 2023-2025 is currently in place to advance the institutional partnership and establish shared goals and priorities.
The ILO 101 Guide was created to further elaborate on the ILO’s mandate, approach and activities related to supporting decent work in refugee and other forced displacement contexts.
Reports and briefings
Feasibility study on the enrolment of refugees and asylum seekers in the Egyptian Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS)
29 August 2023
28 August 2023
13 August 2023
News and events
25 September 2023
Empowerment through skills development
Lebanon’s green thumb: ILO trains workers from rural communities in landscaping activities across local agricultural schools
20 September 2023
19 September 2023