November 13, 2018
8 °C Zurich, CH

The Right To Asylum: Give Refugees The Right To Work

Give Refugees the right to work. People seeking asylum are effectively prohibited from working in many countries. As a result, many are left to live in poverty, struggling to support themselves and their families, whilst the Government wastes the talents and economic power of thousands of people. Let’s change that!

refugee at work

Give Refugees The Right To Work

People seeking asylum are effectively prohibited from working in many countries. As a result, many are left to live in poverty, struggling to support themselves and their families, whilst the Government wastes the talents and economic power of thousands of people.

It is not fair to deprive people of the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families while they wait, often years, for a decision on their asylum claim. It is not effective to waste the talents of our population, or to keep people suffering in limbo. We want people who have risked everything to find safety in our countries to have the best chance of contributing to our society and integrating into our communities. This means giving people seeking asylum the right to work. So that they can use their skills and live in dignity.

“Help Refugees and join the call for a fair and effective immigration system – the governments around the globe must lift the ban and grant asylum seekers the right to work.”

Why is this change needed?

The current system is not just unfair, it’s foolish. Everyone wants the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. It is simply unfair that those who have risked everything to find safety elsewhere, have had to wait very long for a decision on their claim, but not allowed to do this most basic thing – work to earn money.

It provides a route out of poverty – from destitution to dignity. Forcing people to live in poverty for months, or even years at a time, while they seek safety from persecution is inhumane and has a detrimental impact on their physical and mental health. Enabling people to work provides them with the human dignity of being able to provide for themselves and their families if they are able.

The current system is wasteful: People seeking asylum who are able to work would not need to be supported for extended periods and could contribute to the economy through increased tax revenues and consumer spending. Researches have demonstrated that people seeking asylum can save the cost from the asylum support budget if the permission to work rules were liberalized.

It would help integration: For those who are eventually given refugee status, avoiding an extended period outside the labor market is key to ensuring their long-term integration into the society and encouraging them to be self-sufficient. The Home Office’s own research into the factors that influence refugee integration concluded that “disrupted employment histories (have) an adverse effect on future employment”. Early access to employment increases the chances of smooth economic and social integration by allowing refugees to improve their language skills, acquire new skills and make new friends and social contacts in the wider community. The vast majority of people seeking asylum want to work and contribute to society.

The public support this: More than two-thirds of the public do agree that “it is important that they integrate, learning the local language, work and earn their own money.” It would be helpful if asylum-seekers were allowed to work if their claim takes more than six months to process.

The solution

Governments must lift bans and enable people to work. Let’s stick together, let’s make our immigration system fair and effective for everyone. #StandUpForAsylum and call your Government to reform the asylum system.

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