New Global Refugee Labor Mobility Task Force launched – ICC

ICC has partnered with the Canadian and Australian governments, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Fragomen, Talent Beyond Boundaries and RefugePoint to launch the Global Refugee Labor Mobility Task Force with the aim of encouraging and supporting the adoption of complementary pathways of work for refugees.

The Global Refugee Labor Mobility Task Force is a new multi-sector, multi-stakeholder initiative to increase refugees’ access to third-country solutions through complementary avenues of work, through a global dialogue and technical advice.

The founding members came together on April 6 for a virtual event to present the goals of the Global Task Force, discuss the value of expanding pathways to work accessible to refugees, and invite interested stakeholders to get involved. The event also featured Canada as its first president.

ICC Secretary General John WH Denton AO said: “As the institutional representative of the global private sector, ICC enables businesses to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all, including displaced people whose livelihoods have been compromised. This labor mobility initiative is a great example of how businesses around the world can help provide durable solutions for the millions of displaced people around the world. »

By creating alternative ways for refugees to find durable solutions in third countries, outside of traditional resettlement programs, complementary pathways of work initiatives have the potential to be transformative for everyone involved. They can be particularly effective in:

  • help displaced people to travel safely to third countries regular labor or economic migration programs
  • recognize refugees skills, abilities and talentsas well as their need for protection
  • showing how refugees to contribute in their new countries, communities and workplaces
  • give employers access to a new talent pool to fill vacancies

Their success depends on partnerships between governments, the private sector, civil society and refugees with lived experience of resettlement and career paths. Composed of actors who actively support the growth and implementation of complementary work paths, the founding members of the Global Task Force are:

  • International Chamber of Commerce (CCI)
  • Government of Canada
  • United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • The international organization for migration (IOM)
  • Australian Government
  • Talent beyond bordersthe first organization in the world to pioneer talent mobility for refugees
  • RefugePointan agency that provides durable solutions for refugees at risk and supports the humanitarian community to do the same
  • Fragmentthe world’s leading provider and advisor of corporate immigration services

This latest initiative comes as ICC has played a leading role in advocating for corporate action in response to the escalating global refugee crisis, particularly in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine, through through joint initiatives and calls to action with UNHCR, the WHO Foundation and UNICEF. .

Joint Statement – ​​Global Refugee Labor Mobility Task Force

Around the world, millions of people are displaced and in need of security and protection. Only about 1% of refugees have access to resettlement each year, leaving millions in limbo and a large talent pool often untapped. Complementary labor pathways offer displaced persons an additional means, beyond resettlement, to find durable solutions in third countries through labor migration programs. In doing so, they recognize the skills, experience and talent of refugees, in addition to their need for protection.

To see these successes on a larger scale, we need to make labor immigration pathways accessible to refugees. Today, the Global Refugee Labor Mobility Task Force was launched and featured Canada as its first chair. The working group will create momentum for complementary pathways of work around the world. Leaders from Canada, Australia, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, the International Chamber of Commerce, Fragomen, Talent Beyond Boundaries and RefugePoint held the first working group meeting to discuss the transformative potential of refugee labor mobility initiatives .

Working with like-minded partners and countries, Canada will continue to be a global leader in attracting international talent to fill skilled labor shortages and drive post-pandemic economic recovery. Complementary pathways of work are intended to work alongside existing humanitarian resettlement programs, with the goal of expanding the number of pathways available for qualified refugees to immigrate overseas.

This initiative builds on Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot Program (EMPP), an innovative program that recognizes the skills and abilities of refugees by removing barriers and helping them and their families immigrate to Canada. through existing economic programs.

The task force will work with global stakeholders from governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society to increase the number of skilled refugees welcomed to Canada, while reducing labor shortages there. where Canada needs it most.

The working group will organize activities throughout the year to identify opportunities to implement and scale up the Pathway to Employment initiatives. In addition, it will seek to better understand the political and operational challenges associated with their implementation and find practical solutions to overcome them. This will include immense collaboration to ensure that pilot projects can turn into formal programs. The success of this work will depend on the participation of the many stakeholders who actively support the implementation of these pathways, and whose experience and lessons learned will be crucial in informing policy and program improvements.

The task force will also prepare a detailed report in 2024, which will document its work and successes and outline policy and operational considerations for scaling up and institutionalizing complementary pathways of work for refugees around the world.

Through this global collaboration, the working group will explore how these initiatives can support qualified refugees in need of protection, while providing them with opportunities to make meaningful contributions to their new communities.

Understanding and facilitating the admission of qualified refugees through alternative and innovative pathways is not only a complement to our humanitarian commitments, it is a commitment to economic growth by supporting our communities and industries across the country that depend on immigration. Complementary labor pathways will increase the attraction and retention of newcomers to regions facing acute economic, labor and demographic challenges. Together, the Global Refugee Labor Mobility Task Force will do more to bring the immeasurable contributions of immigrants to our communities and all sectors of the economy.

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