Creating Economic opportunities for refugees: Why refugees in Ethiopia are refusing their right to work and integration?

 

1. The right to work of refugees

 The right to work is one of the fundamental human rights recognized by different human rights instruments. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) under its Article 23 declared the right to work as a fundamental human right.

For refugees, the right to work is vital for reducing vulnerability, enhancing resilience, securing dignity, and integration. The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees recognize the right to work of refugees including their Right to housing, education, welfare assistance and social security, Freedom of movement, ID documents and travel documents.

To implement the right to work of refugees there are Legal conditions required by refugee law and other national laws. The variety of legal conditions related to the right to work and other legal restrictions on the right to work such as work permits, restricted business sectors, an encampment of refugees, and restrictions on freedom of movement.

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Refugee proclamation No. 1110/2019: The right to work of refugees, is it possible to implement?

 

Introduction

 

Ethiopia is host to the Second Largest refugee population in Africa. With over 905,000 refugees, the majority originating from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea,  Yemen, Sudan, and others. Most of the refugees in Ethiopia are located in Gambella Regional State, Tigray Regional State, Somali Regional State,  Addis Ababa, Afar Regional State, and Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State. Most of the host regions are the least developed regions in the country, characterized by harsh weather conditions, poor infrastructure, extremely low capacity, high levels of poverty and poor development indicators.

In 2017 the government of Ethiopia (GoE) accepted to implement Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). The core objectives of the Framework are to ease pressure on the host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, expand access to third-country resettlement solutions, and support conditions in countries of origin for safe return. Following the decision of GoE to implement CRRF, in 2019 the GoE revised the 2004 refugee proclamation. The main focus of the revised proclamation is on durable solutions through local integration of refugees.

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