3:00—4:30 PM CEST
Palais de Nations
Room 27
Geneva, GE

Using Innovative Programming and Financing to Expand Labor Market Access for Refugees and Forced Migrants

This event is only open to those registered for the Global Refugee Forum, held in Geneva from December 16-18. No registration is necessary.


Cindy Huang, Vice President of Strategic Outreach, Refugees International, and Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development

Felipe Muñoz, Advisor to the President of Colombia for the Colombian-Venezuelan Border, Government of Colombia

Tom Erlend Skaug, State Secretary, Ministry of Education and Research, Government of Norway

Ahmed Skim, Director of Migration Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad, Government of Morocco

Amadou Thierno Diallo, Acting Director General, Global Practices, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)

Moderated by:

Barri Shorey, Senior Director, Economic Recovery and Development, International Rescue Committee

About the event

Refugees and forced migrants can be immense economic contributors to the host communities where they settle. However, to maximize their contributions and achieve improved well-being and self-reliance, refugees and forced migrants need to be able to access the labor market. This access allows refugees and forced migrants to be more productive employees and business owners, leading to new employment opportunities, greater consumer spending, and increased tax revenues. For refugees and forced migrants, it can lead to increased incomes, greater workplace protections, greater security and stability, and decreased rates of child labor and child marriage.

Yet refugees and forced migrants around the world currently face important legal, administrative, and practical barriers to accessing the labor market and contributing to the fullest extent. Innovative programming and financing can support refugees and forced migrants overcome these barriers, encouraging them to move from financial assistance and aid to economic empowerment. At this event, an official Global Refugee Forum spotlight session, researchers from the Center for Global Development and Refugees International will set the scene, highlighting the importance of economic inclusion and the benefits that can come from this. Speakers from the Governments of Colombia, Norway, and Morocco will then talk through their experiences integrating refugees and forced migrants into the labor market and the barriers they are seeking to overcome through innovative programming. Finally, the Islamic Development Bank will explore how innovative financing can be used to support these efforts. Overall, we hope to showcase best practices, highlight the importance of responsibility-sharing, and emphasize the need for continued political mobilization towards economic inclusion. Hashtag: #LetThemWork

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