Fifth edition of Migration and Development Debate Series taking place in Berlin

Published Date: 
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Federal Foreign Office/Auswärtiges Amt, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) jointly presented the fifth instalment in the Migration and Development Debate Series:

Refugees' right to work and access to labour markets

When: Tuesday, 31 January 2017, 18:00-20:00

Welcome remarks: Frank Laczko, Director of GMDAC, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Federal Foreign Office


Roger Zetter, Professor Emeritus of Refugee Studies at the University of Oxford

Dietrich Thränhardt, Professor Emeritus of Political Sciences, University of Münster 

Jan Schneider, Head of Research Unit, The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration

facilitation by:
Marianne Haase, Advisor, Sector Project Migration and Development, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

About: The integration of refugees into the labor market is a key topic of the Tenth Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and its Roundtable 2.1. Moving beyond emergencies – Creating development solutions to the mutual benefit of host communities and displaced persons. For refugees, the right to work is vital for reducing vulnerability, enhancing resilience, and securing dignity. Harnessing refugees’ labor force and skills can also benefit local economic activity and national development. But what are the conditions necessary for refugees’ integration into the labor market? What are the obstacles? And what are different policy options with regard to respecting, protecting and promoting refugees’ access to labor markets?

The seminar will share the results of a study commissioned by the World Bank’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), co-financed by the German Development Ministry (BMZ), the Swiss Agency for Development and the Government of Sweden. Based on a sample of 20 countries hosting 70 percent of the world’s refugees, this study investigated the role and impact of the principle determinants of the right to work and labor market access: refugee and employment law, policies and practices that facilitate or constrain the right to work, and mediating socioeconomic conditions.

Against this comparative background, the discussion will focus on the case of Germany. What are the challenges and opportunities for refugees’ labor market integration in Germany compared to other countries? What policies have been put in place? What are lessons learnt so far? What can Germany learn from other countries faced with similar challenges?