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The right to work for refugees

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 12933 | 10 May 2012

Mr Christopher CHOPE, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Marek BOROWSKI, Poland, SOC ; Mr Mevlüt ÇAVUŞOĞLU, Turkey, EDG ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Jim DOBBIN, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Tülin ERKAL KARA, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Ms Annette GROTH, Germany, UEL ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Mr Tadeusz IWIŃSKI, Poland, SOC ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Mailis REPS, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr René ROUQUET, France, SOC ; Mr Jim SHERIDAN, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Valeriy SUDARENKOV, Russian Federation, SOC ; Mr Tuğrul TÜRKEŞ, Turkey, EDG ; Mr Eric VORUZ, Switzerland, SOC ; Svetlana ZHUROVA, Russian Federation, EDG

The right to work is vital in assuring the durable and successful integration of refugees and provides a means for them to take part in society, avoid social isolation, and become financially self-sufficient and less reliant on state funding. Regrettably, the right for refugees to work is still not fully recognized and facilitated either in practice or in law in all Council of Europe member states.

Employment is a fundamental route to the integration of refugees. The lack of gainful employment creates a situation of dependence where refugees are forced to rely on state welfare or support from organisations, which also means high costs for the host country. Therefore, the Parliamentary Assembly should call on its member States to recognize and facilitate the right to work for refugees.

For similar reasons in the period while their applications are being considered asylum seekers should be allowed and encouraged to obtain employment. Too many countries, often those with the longest processes for determining asylum applications prohibit those applicants from engaging in employment.

The Council of Europe could collect and promote good practices from different programs that have been in place in European countries on these issues.