Although Articles 17 and 19 of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees give refugees the right to work, many countries have made reservations to these articles and thus restrict refugees’ abilities to seek and hold gainful employment. Reservations to the right to work are often coupled with reservations to freedom of movement, forcing the refugee population to live in camps, unable to legally leave or earn money.
Recognising the problems caused by depriving refugees of the right to work, the Refugee Work Rights Coalition is a collection of partners who are committed to advancing refugees’ right to work globally. Through joint-advocacy, the Coalition seeks to increase refugees’ access to safe and lawful conditions, as enshrined in international and regional human rights law. In addition to influencing policy and raising awareness through advocacy, the Coalition also published the Global Refugee Work Rights Report 2014: Taking the Movement from Theory to Practice.
For more information on the Coalition and their work, please contact Anna Wirth.