Refugee Empowerment for Labour Market Integration

Project focuses on labour market integration of asylum seekers, persons granted asylum and persons granted subsidiary protection. Refugees are not economic migrants, but they do need to work. Finding a decent job as soon as possible can play a crucial role in smooth and positive integration of adult refugees.
In reality, it is not so easy for refugees to get integrated into Slovak labour market. They have to overcome several legal and practical obstacles. Another serious problem faced not only by refugees, but also by other groups of third country nationals - mainly those low-skilled, is their vulnerability to labour exploitation and illegal labour in disadvantaged working conditions. Their very limited job opportunities force them to accept even the conditions, which are inadequate, contrary to Labour Code, or even dishonouring.

1) Research: on challenges for refugees in relation to the access to labour market (detailed identification of gaps/ obstacles) and working conditions/ labour exploitation cases of asylum seekers and refugees, including subsidiary protection holders. Research will include legal analysis (desk-research), and field research - interviews with asylum seekers, persons granted asylum and persons granted subsidiary protection, as well as with employers (why they would and why they would not employ a refugee/ what discourages them from employing a refugee?).

2) Position Paper: elaborated based on research findings, EU and ILO recommendations and identified good practices gathered and evaluated thought the research activity of the project.

3) Advocacy: we will advocate for positive legislative and practical changes, which would improve access to labour market of refugees, and their protection from labour exploitation and illegal employment. Advocacy activity will include campaign - posts on social media - to promote decent working conditions for refugees and other migrant workers and to raise awareness about the problem of labour exploitation. 

4) "Employ a Refugee" activity: we will promote refugee employment among potential employers and broader public; will have a promotional stand “Employ a Refugee” at the Job Expo 2021.

5) “Refugee Labour Kit”: we will elaborate a package with necessary information for refugees about employment and risks of labour exploitation, including information videos in different languages. 

6) Laboratories of Empowerment: will serve as a platform for information sharing, support, awareness raising, transfer of knowledge, etc. “Laboratories” will have a form of 2 empowerment meetings with interested and active members of refugee community (5 to 8 members). Participants will be selected from different refugee communities. There will be also a “virtual laboratory” where communication with members will take place (in the form of virtual group of members).

7) Ask a Lawyer: we will provide individual counselling on labour and integration related legal problems, and legal representation in a concrete administrative or court proceedings will be provided if necessary for the solution of the legal problem of the client

8 ) Participation as Community of Interest “(CoI) member in LIME project and promotion of its outcomes and possible transfer of good practices to Slovakia.

Project duration: July 2020 - June 2021

Project is supported in the amount of 25 000 USD by the Government of the United States of America from the Julia Taft Refugee Fund.