The Right to Protection has launched a project aimed at integrating refugees and asylum seekers into Ukrainian society, in particular through their employment. Nowadays, one of the main problems for refugee or complementary protection holders, as well as asylum seekers is the problem of employment. To address this, in March 2020 our project "Innovative Ways to Integrate Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Ukraine" was launched.
Every minute, 20 people around the world are forced to abruptly drop everything, leave their lives behind, and escape violence. According to UNHCR more than 26 million refugees and 3.5 million asylum seekers were forced to flee their homes in 2019. Some of these people end up receiving protective status in Ukraine; the State Migration Service says that as of January 1st, 2019, there were 2,620 refugees and more than 5,500 asylum seekers in the country.
However, despite being beyond the reach of the violence they fled from, these people still face massive challenges in beginning their lives anew. In particular, it can be extremely difficult for them to find gainful and lawful employment due to employers’ lack of knowledge about their legal circumstances regarding the right to work.
In March of 2018, in order to address this outstanding challenge, R2P launched the Innovative Ways to Integrate project. The overall goal of the project is to find ways to integrate refugees and asylum seekers within the territories of Ukraine. In particular, the project aims to help refugees and asylum seekers find employment, as well as solutions to everyday challenges (birth and marriage registration, etc.), so that they can begin to live normal, self-sustaining lives.
Since then, R2P has developed and now manages a database of more than 500 resumés of refugees, complementary protection holders, and asylum seekers in Ukraine. We have also built a network of socially responsible employers who fill their vacancies through our services. This exchange is beneficial for all parties because Ukrainian companies often experience high turnover and staffing shortages, and they are in need of people just like our beneficiaries.
However, our work is far from done! There are many more individuals in need of work, and there are many more positions that need to be filled. A new phase of this project will focus on addressing the problem of access to employment starting in March 2020.
R2P continues our ongoing outreach to refugee communities and to potential employers. We are keeping our databases updated with skilled people looking for jobs, and we are continuing to conduct outreach and educational seminars to inform Ukrainian businesses about what they need to know when hiring refugees.