Joint Statement by State Migration Service and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on access to labour market for refugees

As many countries around the globe continue to struggle with the unprecedent COVID-19 crisis, forced displacement has been on the rise and is now affecting more than one percent of humanity who have no choice but to flee conflict, persecution or events seriously disturbing public order and are unable to return home. With the global displaced population at its highest number of 79.5 million ever recorded in the world’s history, the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continue to work together towards enhancing the conditions for local integration for some 2,000 refugees and asylum-seekers under UNHCR’s mandate. 

Facilitation of legal employment and access to labour market for refugees was an important pledge made by the Azerbaijani delegation at the Global Refugee Forum which took place in December 2019 and was a true milestone in building solidarity with the world’s refugees and the countries and communities that host them. During the months following the Global Refugee Forum, the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan engaged with the Ministry of Labour and other state entities in order to ensure the implementation of the pledge. A great achievement on the eve of World Refugee Day, marked on 20 June is that refugees and asylum-seekers in Azerbaijan can now apply for individual identification numbers and have their labour contracts registered.     

“The Government of Azerbaijan has taken significant steps in order to facilitate legal employment and to improve access to the legal labour market for asylum seekers and refugees under the UNHCR protection, and recent arrangement of State Migration Service in cooperation with Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population fully ensured the labour rights of these people” said Vusal Huseynov, Chief of the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

“Fortunately, the Government is now addressing the issue of access to legal employment which will allow these refugees to become self-sufficient and pay taxes instead of relying only informal employment and humanitarian assistance. This will be a major step forward on the road to inclusion and integration,” said Guido Ambroso, UNHCR Representative in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

As a result of fruitful cooperation, technical support and capacity development activities, over the past years, there have been a number of positive developments in the national asylum procedure in line with international standards that further emphasize the Government’s primary role in protecting and securing durable solutions for refugees.

19 June 2020

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