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Great New Report on Refugee Work Rights

September 4, 2014

When I worked in Egypt, where UNHCR RSD was a major focus of our legal aid program, a refugee told us, “The blue card is not enough.”  This haunted me, because a blue card (which includes a non-work residence permit) was all we could get refugees through refugee status determination.

“The blue card is not enough” is an indictment of the longstanding tendency for the field of refugee law to focus on just two things: the refugee definition and its application (a.k.a. RSD), and the principle of non-refoulement. But in too many places, everything else refugees need to rebuild their lives has been forgotten in practice.

This may be slowly changing, and Asylum Access has just published an important new report moving in this direction, about refugees’ right to work.  Based on a survey of NGOs and in depth country profiles, it finds a wide range of legal, bureaucratic and practical obstacles preventing refugees from realizing their economic potential.

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One Comment
  1. September 4, 2014 6:59 pm

    Thanks Michael! Right to work is always forgotten and stiil a major reservation in the Convention. Protection is not sufficient if not linked to durable solutions. Dignity is also key refugees and asylum seekers cannot be seen as a burden only but as partners as well
    Their participation in planning confidence building and solutions has to be included in all indicators of refugee work

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