“Work is a start. It is a start to changing one’s life… Work gives a person the opportunity to educate their children, to feed them and to have a home.”
- Alberto, Colombian refugee
For refugees, traumatized by what they have already endured, the ability to work legally can be a pivotal anchor, and a chance to rebuild.
Engaging in decent work can minimize the emotional and mental stresses and uncertainty associated with their predicament, and restore a sense of control and stability.
When refugees are told they cannot work legally, these hopes are taken from them.
Forcing refugees to rely on handouts for survival can lead to economic dependence, isolation, loss of confidence, and erosion of skills.
Self-sufficient refugees can provide economic and social contributions to their host communities and countries; they have the potential to rejuvenate communities, expand markets, import new skills and build global networks. Positive interactions between refugees and host communities can dispel prejudice, enhance understanding and improve relations between refugees and local communities, thereby facilitating integration.