Refugees International advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population. Refugees International is committed to saving the lives and protecting the rights, dignity, and security of refugees and displaced people worldwide. Resettlement is an important way to show solidarity with countries like Turkey that are hosting large numbers of refugees, and to integrate refugees into those countries where they may have better access to livelihoods. “We had our homes; we didn’t pay rent.”. Enhancing refugees’ self-reliance by improving their access to livelihood opportunities is also one of the key objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees. This is an alarming figure, considering that at the end of 2011, that number was only around 10K. “I don’t tell my family that I work,” she said. People employed with a work permit and their beneficiaries are not eligible for the ESSN. But with an economic downturn and a rising unemployment rate, refugees who once found safe harbor in Turkey are now facing an increasingly hostile climate—from increasing deportations, to shrinking access to the labor market, to growing Turkish authorities have denied their deportations of Syrians, stating that though “action” was taken against 12,000 irregular migrants in the second half of July, the targets were of Afghan, Pakistani, and other third country nationalities. As a result, most refugees are confined to low-paying jobs, many of them in small textile workshops and construction. Indeed, many of the Syrian refugees that Refugees International interviewed said they were working, or had worked, without work permits because employers were unwilling or unable to provide them. “Aya,” a Syrian woman living in Istanbul with her family, said it would be impossible for them to move to Bursa, where they are registered, because her daughter has special needs. Afghans face many difficulties as asylum-seekers in Turkey. Refugee Rights Turkey was registered and certified as an association under Turkish law as of September 16th, 2014, by the legal name of “Mülteci Hakları Derneği”. Universal education for Syrian refugee children has become a daunting and essential task for Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Providing health care in refugee camps during COVID-19. Cultural barriers are also commonly cited to explain the low participation of women refugees in the labor market. They were then referred to one of some 60 “satellite cities,” where they had to register with the local office of the Provincial Department of Migration Management (PDMM) to obtain a Turkish identity card (commonly known as a kimlik). “Amina,” who works in an NGO without a work permit, and “Arwa,” a math teacher who has worked and continued her studies in Turkey, said they had experienced sexual harassment. It also advocated for refugees’ rights to legal employment, safe working conditions, and fair wages in Turkey. It also includes the category of “conditional refugees,” which applies to people who have fled persecution or violence from countries outside of Europe. “It was verbal. Also, any vocational trainings provided should go beyond gender-stereotyped roles to help women find jobs that need to be filled and empower them as participants in the formal labor market and as members of society. Book now for March 2021 onwards and we'll work with you every step of the way and provide complete flexibility with dates! Watch the video. There’s a … Somaya said her family receives TRY 700 per month in ESSN assistance. I realized that all the places are the same. Approximately 3 million Syrian refugees currently live in Turkey. Since the WHO Refugee Health Programme began, almost 2000 Syrian health workers have been trained in 7 refugee health training centres to work in a network of up to 178 refugee health centres throughout Turkey. [4] Nevertheless, Syrian refugees under temporary protection in Turkey still face significant barriers to accessing the formal labor market, as do refugees from other countries. This program is for compassionate volunteers who wish to provide valuable assistance in the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey. Turkey’s experience on the key issues such as jobs and employment should be examined as lessons for both refugee hosting countries and donor countries alike. In 2006, there were a total of 4,550 individual applications made for asylum in Turkey. In July 2019, Refugees International traveled to Gaziantep, Istanbul, and Ankara to investigate refugees’ access to the labor market—a priority for refugees, humanitarians, and donors, but a politically charged topic for the host population. We don’t go out.”. Increase resettlement of Syrian and non-Syrian refugees from Turkey to EU countries. Although the ESSN alone does not cover all of their household expenses, it provides a stable income, whereas some work opportunities might last for just a few months. However, since September 2018, UNHCR and ASAM no longer register international protection applicants. Turkey now hosts the largest refugee population in the world (see Figure 1). A consultant for Refugees International traveled to Turkey in July 2019 to assess refugees’ access to the labor market, focusing on particular challenges faced by women and of the effects of a July 2019 crackdown on identity documents and a wave of subsequent deportations of Syrians in Turkey. The Turkish authorities should provide refugees with opportunities to regularize their situation and facilitate the work permit process for both employers and employees. Kilis, which lies on the border with Syria, hosts more Syrian refugees than Turkish residents. As they try to rebuild their lives, IOM continues to provide multi-sector assistance to refugees throughout the country to meet their various needs. People leave Iraq and come to Turkey to save their lives due to sectarian issues, while many others flee ethnic tension. Those unable to produce kimliks from Istanbul were detained, coerced into signing voluntary repatriation forms, and forcibly returned to Syria. Turkey now hosts the largest refugee population in the world. In Gaziantep, “Samira” told Refugees International that her husband sometimes finds work, but it is not stable. Turkey is a party to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention) and its 1967 Protocol. ORAM’s essential work enables the international community to protect exceptionally vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers and safeguards the integrity of the international refugee protection system. The Help Refugees team have made their first visit to Turkey in anticipation of an increased need of aid after the EU/Turkey deal to turn back refugees from Europe. Asylum-seekers in Turkey apply to the Turkish government (to the Directorate General for Migration Management) for international protection. Please help us support the Syrian refugee community in Izmir, Turkey. In return, Turkey was pledged €6 billion ($6.6 billion) to house refugees in camps, while the EU also accepted a certain contingent whose asylum claims had been recognized. In addition, the administrative process for requesting a permit takes an average of about one month but can drag on for longer. ASAM also runs UNHCR’s (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) pre-screening of asylum seekers in Turkey. According to official statistics, the Turkish Republic hosts nearly 3.5 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country.A number of studies show that a vast majority of these refugees will remain in Turkey permanently, even if the situation in Syria becomes stable and return becomes a possibility. In 2016, the majority of clients (89%) served by RSN-RRT came from 5 countries: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Turkey hosts more refugees than all of the EU countries combined. Eleni Diker is the research fellow of Vehbi Koc Foundation working as a project manager at the Migration Research Center at Koç University, Istanbul. According to the Washington Post, about 1 million refugees, mostly Syrian nationals, have traveled … On July 22, 2019, the office of the governor of Istanbul issued a press release ordering Syrians living in Istanbul who had registered in other Turkish provinces to relocate to those areas by August 20, 2019. Many of these refugees are Syrian who have fled the ongoing war. We do not accept any government or UN funding, ensuring the independence and credibility of our work. Still others, such as women and LGBT individuals, face compounded difficulties and risks in Iraq because of their identity. Turkey also maintains a significant non-Syrian population. The work permit system poses a series of hurdles for Syrian refugees in Turkey. In addition, in 2014 Turkey introduced a Temporary Protection system for Syrians—the only form of protection available to them. © 2020 Refugees InternationalAll rights reserved. Women refugees remain a largely underserved population. “In Syria we didn’t send our children to work,” one Syrian woman told Refugees International in Gaziantep. Turkey has a very rich history and heritage. This means that Turkey assumes full responsibility for refugees coming from countries that are members of the Council of Europe. In recent years, RSN has provided service to refugees from countries ranging from Cameroon to Turkmenistan. The information on this page was last updated in October 2017 and is likely outdated. In 2011, that number stood at 16,000. For its part, the EU pledged to resume talks on Turkey’s accession to the EU and visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to EU countries, and promised that for every Syrian returned to Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian would be resettled in a European country. EU-Turkey Deal: Band-Aid Solution. To lower cultural barriers to the employment of women outside the home, conduct educational sessions on the participation of women in the labor market for Syrian refugee communities, including male family members and community leaders. Although many Syrians in Turkey work, the majority do so in the informal labor market, where exploitation is widespread. Some have special circumstances that tie them to Istanbul. Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services. For their part, donors must continue their socioeconomic support for refugees and members of the host community, as well as humanitarian support for those whose circumstances do not allow them to work. On 17 July 2019, the Immigration Department of the opposition “Syrian Coalition” held a workshop in media professionals, jurists, and representatives of civil society organizations, intending to ease tension and rage towards the Syrian presence in Turkey, after cases of attacks on Syrian refugees. Watch the video. In many cases, conditions in Turkey are compelling women and their family members to overcome this resistance, pushing women who did not work in Syria to do so in Turkey. “His employer said ‘I can do a work permit for you,’ but he doesn’t have a kimlik. For up-to-date information, please go to our homepage. Refugees International reported in December 2018. Municipalities are at the forefront of managing the Syrian refugee situation in Turkey. Doing so would not only enable more refugees to work legally under fairer and more decent conditions, but also enhance their contributions to Turkey’s economy, ultimately benefiting the host community as well. So far in 2019, the currency has plummeted, inflation has soared, and unemployment has risen to more than 14 percent. However, Turkey adopted the Convention with a “geographical limitation.”. You can learn more about helping as a skilled volunteer or donating to the cause by contacting relief organizations like the International Rescue Committee or UN Refugee Agency. Turkey is no exception. July 30, 2020. Encourage more employers to hire refugees legally; reduce the processing time and costs for employers by waiving or lowering the work permit fee and simplifying the administrative process. Although Turkey has never lifted this restriction, in 2013 it enacted a domestic law on asylum, which introduced the status of “international protection”[2] that includes the category of “refugees”—those who have fled persecution in a European country. The Turkish government has made some welcome efforts to create better livelihood opportunities for Syrians under Temporary Protection. Syrians have also opened businesses in Turkey; more than 7,000 companies are formally registered by Syrians, many of whom are refugees, since the beginning of the war in Syria. In times of economic hardship, employment is often a major concern. Several of the Syrians that Refugees International interviewed who were receiving ESSN assistance said one or more family members in their household were working in the informal labor market. Since 2016, humanitarian organisations – in collaboration with the Turkish Red Crescent and Turkish government institutions – have been helping refugee families to buy what they need most, via debit cards thanks to EU funding. Interviewees often said the media had played a role in portraying Syrians in a negative light. Refugees International is committed to saving the lives and protecting the rights, dignity, and security of refugees and displaced people worldwide. Also, work permits are valid for only one year, after which they must be renewed. These efforts include providing vocational training courses and language classes through the Turkish employment agency and chambers of commerce. Syrians interviewed by Refugees International in Gaziantep and Istanbul described being confronted by Turks who questioned their presence there and other instances of hostile treatment in public. This amounts to over 120,000 individuals. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM). I worked in factories from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with no work permit. Turkey not only hosts the largest refugee population in the world but has also put in place a strong and open policy framework to facilitate refugees’ access to the labour market. As of 2016, Afghans account for about 35% of the non-Syrian refugee population in Turkey. A 2018 UN needs assessment found that Syrian women consider lack of employment, access to housing, and the inability to speak Turkish to be their greatest challenges in Turkey. However, the Turkish authorities have tolerated Syrian refugees working in the informal labor market and living in Istanbul without the appropriate registration for years. “Now I don’t go anywhere. Thank God [the authorities] haven’t stopped him.”, Syrian refugees interviewed by Refugees International had found work in Istanbul and been settled there for years. For those coming from outside of this zone, Turkey may grant limited protection in the form of one of many temporary statuses (conditional refugee status, humanitarian residence permit, or temporary protection). Expand support for livelihood programs benefiting Syrian and non-Syrian refugees, including programs designed to increase women’s participation in the work force. Women represent about half of Turkey’s Syrian refugee population, yet their participation in the labor market is low. Such efforts are key to enabling refugees to no longer rely on humanitarian assistance but rather support themselves and their families through legal work in decent conditions; in addition, working legally would enable them to better contribute to Turkey’s economy by using their skills and paying taxes. Most of Turkey’s refugee population does not live in camps, but rather in host communities across the country, mostly in urban areas. Three million have taken refuge in the nearest countries, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, while the remaining six and a half million are internally displaced within the conflict-marred country, according to the UN Refugee Agency. “Here in Istanbul I found a place [a daycare] for her. Lying at the heart of Turkey’s economy, Istanbul is attractive to many refugees because it provides more job opportunities in both the formal and informal sectors. She said she cleans houses three times per week to supplement the family income. While the turmoil at the Turkey-Greece frontier is at a halt for now, it will most likely return in the near future: after all, the 2015 refugee crisis had never come to a complete stop. The European Commission began contracting this second tranche in 2018. Others said they had a husband who was working, but they also needed to work to supplement the family income. This situation exists partly because the permit system requires employers to apply for work permits on behalf of the applicants. For information about our work in Turkey:. With İGAM, a Turkish NGO that supports Syrian refugees, I am taking lessons with their volunteer teachers. For all public branding and communication purposes, the organization adopts the “Mülteci Hakları Merkezi” name in Turkish and “Refugee Rights Turkey” name in English. Under the EU-funded Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), 1.6 million people in Turkey receive cash assistance in the form of cards commonly known as “Kizilay cards.” The assistance is aimed at the most vulnerable and provides monthly payments of TRY 120 (USD 21) per family member, as well as additional top-up payments of between TRY 50 (USD 9) and TRY 250 (USD 45) every quarter. Turkey also maintains a significant non-Syrian population. When the refugee crisis ebbed in 2016, the EU could have used the time to fix its asylum system. In July, a Syrian teenager working as a market seller in Bursa, northwestern Turkey, died after he was attacked by a group of men. Our first trip was to one of the few free schools educating Syrian children. The country has provided Syrians under Temporary Protection the right to access work permits and formal employment. In 2013, it was 44,800. The time and expense involved in obtaining work permits for both Syrian and non-Syrian refugees are quite demanding. The overwhelming majority—96 percent—of Turkey’s Syrian refugee population lives outside of camps, in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas around the country. Turkey allocated 30 billion [specify] between 2011–2018 on refugee assistance.. Over 13 million Syrians received aid from the Turkish Aid Agency (AFAD). In recent months, hosting Syrian refugees increasingly has become a politically contentious issue. If a non-Syrian individual or family is recognized as a refugee under UNHCR’s mandate, the UNHCR will attempt to resettle them to a third country. [5] As of August 6, the exchange rate was USD 1 = TRY 5.53, Tagged: Turkey, Syria, Middle East, Izza Leghtas, Labor Market Access, Mailing Address:Refugees InternationalPO Box 33036Washington, DC 20033, Street Address:1800 M Street, NWSuite 405N Washington, DC 20036ri@refugeesinternational.org. Moreover, a legal quota requires that there be at least five Turkish employees in a given workplace for every foreign non-Syrian worker. A considerable proportion of support services targeting refugees have been delivered through non-profit organizations in Turkey. As a result, Turkish law does not recognize people who have fled persecution from non-European countries as refugees. 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