A plea to governments to adapt national laws and respect international treaty agreements allowing refugees the right to work will be the central theme of tomorrow’s joint Council of Europe-UNHCR conference.
The 27 September event features expert witnesses and the testimony of refugees as participants explore how countries treat their obligations to refugees living in Europe and the reasons behind the denial of refugees’ employment rights.
It will be opened by new Council of Europe Deputy Secretary Gabriella Battaini Dragoni and Erika Feller, Assistant High Commissioner at the United Nations refugee agency.
“Denied the right to work, refugees are forced to resort to negative economic coping strategies – prostitution, crime, begging, child labour and illegal, dangerous and exploitative work,” says Olivier Beer (photo), the Strasbourg-based UNHCR Representative to the European Institutions. “This can lead to serious protection risks especially for those already more vulnerable such as women, youth, or older persons.”
Interview with Olivier Beer [fr] [en]
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