; Conclusion on Self Reliance of Refugees
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Conclusion on Self Reliance of Refugees


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									                      Conclusion on refugee self reliance
            [USCRI/RCK Draft (footnotes supplied for discussion purposes)]

The Executive Committee,

Recognizing that millions of refugees have been living for years in protracted refugee
situations with restrictions on their ability to earn livelihoods and that solutions are
unavailable for them in the near term,

Recognizing that while the vast majority of refugees in such situations are in the
developing world, their protection is an international responsibility,

Emphasizing that refugee self-reliance promotes refugee protection, human dignity,
and psychosocial well-being and, in particular, that refugees who are more self-reliant
are better able to provide for and protect themselves, particularly against poverty,
sexual and gender-based violence,1 and other risks,

Recognizing that refugees who are more self-reliant are better able to meet basic
needs while they remain in exile and better able to adapt once durable solutions are
identified,2 whether voluntary re-establishment in their countries of origin, third
country resettlement, or naturalization in their countries of asylum,3

Noting that refugees possess skills, talents, and knowledge, that their self-reliance
facilitates their ability to contribute to the economic development of host States and to
act as agents of regional and international integration, and that self-reliance for
refugees can reduce dependence and bring tangible benefits for host States and their
citizens, donor governments and bodies, and themselves,

Recognizing that the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, its Preamble,
and 1967 Protocol provide for the rights of refugees to engage in a variety of self-
reliance activities enabling a dignified and productive life while they remain in exile4
and call for international sharing of responsibility in their implementation,5 and
  Agenda for Protection (2003), Overview, Item 5, p. 18: ―[T]apping the resourcefulness of refugee
women and men … can help reduce or prevent incidents of sexual and gender-based violence that may
result from dependence as a result of lack or denial of socio-economic opportunities in host countries.‖
  Agenda for Protection (2003), Goal 5, Redoubling the Search for Durable Solutions (introduction), p.
74: ―As an interim response, the promotion of self-reliance of refugees is an important means to avoid
dependency, take advantage of the initiative and potential contributions of refugees, and prepare them
for durable solutions.‖
  Agenda for Protection (2003), Overview, Item 5, p. 16:
          In promoting local integration, States will examine when, where and how to grant secure legal
          status and residence rights, including the possibility of becoming naturalized citizens in the
          country of asylum for those refugees who have attained a considerable degree of socio-
          economic integration.
Objective 4, Local integration having its proper place as part of a comprehensive strategy for durable
solutions, p. 78:
          States, working in partnership with international and regional development actors, to
          contribute to the realization of local integration through burden-sharing, which ensures that
          the necessary resources are available to underpin self-reliance and local integration, in a
          manner that sustains the viability of local communities affected by their presence.
  Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, Articles 13, 14, 17, 18, and 19.
  Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, Preamble (―the grant of asylum may place
unduly heavy burdens on certain countries, and that a satisfactory solution of a problem of which the

affirming that that the protection of these rights of refugees is central to the mandate

Recalling that the Agenda for Protection Goal 5, Objective 7, emphasizes the need to
integrate strategies for self-reliance and empowerment from the outset of refugee
operations, with UNHCR as a catalyst to mobilize financial and technical support for
such measures,6

Recalling that the Joint Statement by the Co-Chairs on the Targeting of Development
Assistance strand of Convention Plus included views that States can benefit from the
initiative and capacities of refugees, mitigating the impact of large refugee
populations, demonstrating tangible benefits of hosting refugees, improving security
and protection, reducing competition between refugees and local populations,
diminishing local grievances towards refugees, enabling them to contribute to
development processes, and preparing them for durable solutions; that linkages to
agreements on readmission, naturalization, or limits on asylum would not enhance the
capacity of developing countries to protect refugees.7

United Nations has recognized the international scope and nature cannot therefore be achieved without
international co-operation‖).
  Agenda for Protection (2003), Goal 5, Redoubling the Search for Durable Solutions (introduction),
Objective 7. Achievement of self-reliance for refugees, pp. 80-81:
          • UNHCR and States to ensure that, from the outset, assistance programmes for refugees
          integrate strategies for self-reliance and empowerment. In this regard, UNHCR to act as a
          catalyst in mobilizing financial and technical support for such measures.
          • In this regard also, UNHCR and States to look at relief-substitution strategies [c], tapping in
          particular the resourcefulness and potential of refugee women, in an effort also to avoid the
          serious protection problems, including sexual and gender-based violence, which can result
          from over-dependency and idleness.
          • States to consider expanding possibilities for education, vocational training, and agricultural
          and other income-generating programmes, benefiting men and women equitably.
          • States, UNHCR and humanitarian partners to ensure that refugees, particularly refugee
          women and adolescents, and host communities themselves, participate in the design and
          development of self-reliance programmes.
          • States, UNHCR and humanitarian and development partners to work with host countries on
          further developing integrated approaches that can strengthen the absorption capacity of
          refugee-hosting areas.
          • UNHCR to initiate a study of economic and social conditions for refugees in host States,
          with emphasis on national employment legislation, as well as an inventory of best practices
          for self-reliance strategies, to provide States with practical operational tools to turn principles
          into concrete measures.
  Joint Statement by the Co-Chairs, Convention Plus: Targeting of Developent Assistance for Durable
Solutions to Forced Displacement (High Commissioner’s Forum, FORUM/2005/8), February 10, 2006,
Paragraph 8:
          Many States acknowledged that targeting development assistance for durable solutions to
          forced displacement should ideally: …
          • Improve overall protection and develop national and local capacities to strengthen protection
          … for forcibly displaced persons;
          • Strengthen international cooperation and promote international burden and responsibility
          sharing more equitably amongst states…;
          • Tap the productive capacity of forcibly displaced populations by deploying methodologies
          which encourage their active participation of displaced populations in community-based
          development programmes; …
          • Aim at reducing poverty, promoting human development, peace and security, and meeting
          the needs of displaced persons and the most vulnerable nationals in society, based on the right
          of all people to a dignified life free from poverty, in line with the Millennium Development

Noting other Executive Committee Conclusions, including Nos. 50 (XXXIX - 1988),8
65 (XLII - 1991),9 85 (XLIX—1998),10 88 (L – 1999),11 100 (LV – 2004),12 102 (LVI

Paragraph 11: ―UNHCR was encouraged to continue to engage the UN development community and,
together with other stakeholders, advocate for the inclusion of displaced populations in development
policies and practices.
          14. Many States cautioned that any development assistance provided for solutions to forced
          displacement should be additional to the development envelope for a given country and not
          subtract funds from already under-funded humanitarian programmes that aim to meet the
          basic needs of forcibly displaced people. Other States pointed to situations where efforts to
          target development assistance for durable solutions had indeed attracted additional funds.
          They also stressed that the commitments made by the donor community to increase Official
          Development Assistance (ODA) over the next years offered an opportunity to access
          additional funds for durable solutions to forced displacement.
          15. A related issue was the question of aid conditionality. A number of States feared that
          targeting development assistance for durable solutions to forced displacement could
          potentially lead to the imposition of new conditionalities on development cooperation that
          would not necessarily enhance the capacity of developing countries to provide adequate
          protection to displaced communities or achieve durable solutions. They felt that targeting
          development assistance might, for example, be linked to agreements on readmission, local
          integration of refugees or limit the right to seek asylum. Others held the view that targeting
          development assistance for durable solutions to forced displacement would continue to be
          governed by the prevailing broadly agreed principles for development cooperation, namely
          poverty reduction, local ownership and partnership.
          16. Some States took issue with qualifying forcibly displaced persons as agents of
          development since, in their experience, displaced persons represented a burden on the host
          State and often competed for already limited natural and other resources. At the same time,
          many States felt that more could be done to benefit from the initiative and capacities of
          forcibly displaced populations so as to not only mitigate the impact of the presence of large
          refugee populations but also to demonstrate to the local population the tangible benefits of
          hosting refugees. This would also contribute to an improved security and protection
          environment in countries, reducing competition between refugees and the local population
          over scare resources, diminishing local grievances towards refugees, and enabling them to
          contribute to national development processes and prepare them for durable solutions. They
          advocated for the needs and resources of displaced populations to be taken into account in
          development cooperation policies, post-conflict transition frameworks, national development
          plans and poverty reduction strategies. Several States made it known that they have already
          done so.
  Paragraphs (j) (recognizing gainful employment as a ―basic economic and social right … essential to
the achievement of self-sufficiency and family security for refugees and … vital to the process of re-
establishing the dignity of the human person and of realizing durable solutions to refugee problems‖)
and (k) (encouraging States to ―examine their laws and practices, with a view to identifying and to
removing‖ obstacles to refugee employment).
  Paragraph (c) (encourages States ―to avoid unnecessary and severe curtailment of their freedom of
movement … including through the issue of necessary personal documentation and permission to
return after travel abroad‖).
   Paragraph (d) ―Reiterates that refugee protection is primarily the responsibility of States and that it is
best achieved through effective cooperation between all States and UNHCR, as well as other
international organizations and pertinent actors, in a spirit of international solidarity and burden-
Paragraph (g) ―Recognizes that the refugee experience, in all its stages, is closely linked to the degree
of respect by States for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the related refugee protection
principles, and reaffirms the importance in this regard of educational and other programmes to combat
racism, discrimination and xenophobia, to promote tolerance and respect for all persons and their
human rights, to advance the rule of law and legal and judicial capacity-building, and to strengthen
civil society and sustainable development;‖

- 2005)13, and 104 (LVI - 2005)14 emphasize the importance of refugees’ freedom of
movement and right to work, their essential role in self-sufficiency, family security,
human dignity, and durable solutions and the international sharing of responsibility in
their implementation;

         (n) Underlines the utmost significance to refugee protection of the institution of asylum,
         which serves the purpose of providing a structured framework for protection and assistance to
         persons in need of international protection, while ensuring that appropriate durable solutions
         can be achieved;
         (o) Reiterates its commitment to uphold the principles of international solidarity and burden-
         sharing, reaffirms the need for resources to be mobilized to assist countries receiving refugees,
         particularly developing countries who host the large majority of the world’s refugees and bear
         a heavy burden in this regard, and calls upon Governments, UNHCR and the international
         community to continue to respond to the asylum and assistance needs of refugees until durable
         solutions are found;
         (p) Recognizes that international solidarity and burden-sharing are of direct importance to the
         satisfactory implementation of refugee protection principles; stresses, however, in this regard,
         that access to asylum and the meeting by States of their protection obligations should not be
         dependent on burden-sharing arrangements first being in place, particularly because respect
         for fundamental human rights and humanitarian principles is an obligation for all members of
         the international community;
   Paragraph (b) ―Underlines the need for the unity of the refugee's family to be protected, inter alia by:
… (v) programmes to promote the self-sufficiency of adult family members so as to enhance their
capacity to support dependent family members.‖
   Paragraph (l) Notes the ongoing problems faced by countries of asylum, particularly those in the
developing world, in coping with the consequences of mass influx situations once they have stabilized
and particularly if they become protracted; and recommends that the following elements could be
considered as part of the international response, including any burden and responsibility sharing
arrangements that have been developed:
     i.  the evaluation, together with United Nations specialized agencies, non-governmental
         organizations and other relevant actors, of the impact of refugees on host country economies,
         society, environment and security, especially in protracted refugee situations; …
iii.     the advance pledging, where possible, of further financial or other assistance beyond the
         emergency phase until durable solutions are found;
iv.      the provision of support for national protection capacities of host States as needed, inter alia,
         to strengthen registration and documentation systems, and establish national legal frameworks
         and other mechanisms required to enable protection and assistance to be assured over time;
v.       the provision of financial and in-kind assistance in support of refugee populations and host
         communities to promote refugee self-reliance, as appropriate, thus enhancing the
         sustainability of any future durable solution and relieving the burden on countries of first
vi.      the provision of financial and other forms of support, as appropriate, linked to broader
         economic developments and other concerns countries of first asylum may have in relation to
         providing protection to large numbers of asylum-seekers and refugees;
vii.     the encouragement of international financial institutions to consider to what extent the
         economic and social costs of hosting large numbers of refugees can be factored into the
         justification for their activities, including in the conditions of financial lending schemes and
         grant-based assistance;
   Paragraph (m):
         Recognizes that the participation of refugee women and men in the economic life of the host
         country is an important means of facilitating their active contribution to the attainment of their
         own self-reliance; and encourages State Parties to respect the full range of rights included in
         the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol and, mindful of the particular conditions
         applicable, to explore the most practical and feasible means to accord freedom of movement
         and other important rights underpinning self-reliance.
   Pargraph (m)(i) ―recognizes that the protection in all States, of basic civil, economic and social rights,
including freedom of movement and the right to engage in income-generating activities is essential to
the achievement of self-reliance of refugees‖ and (ii) ―encourages all States hosting refugees … to
examine their laws and practices, with a view to identifying existing obstacles to refugee employment."

Recalling regional instruments affirming the importance of refugee self-reliance,
international solidarity, and equitable responsibility sharing, including the 1969
Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa,
incorporating by reference the 1951 Convention; the 1984 Final Declaration and
Program of Action of the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees
in Africa15 and its Principles for Action in Developing Countries;16 the 1994 Addis
Ababa Document on Refugees and Forced Population Displacements in Africa; 17 the

   1984 Final Declaration and Program of Action of the Second International Conference on Assistance
to Refugees in Africa:
          I. DECLARATION
          A. Global Responsibility
          1. … The Conference recognizes that the condition of refugees is a global responsibility of the
          international community and emphasizes the need for equitable burden sharing by all its
          members, taking into consideration particularly the case of the least developed countries. …
          B. Local Settlement
          3. Where voluntary repatriation is not immediately feasible or possible, conditions should be
          created within the country of asylum so that refugees can temporarily settle or integrate into
          the community, i.e., participate on an equal footing in its social and economic life and
          contribute to its development. For this purpose, settlement programs should be development-
          oriented and, wherever possible, be linked to existing or planned economic schemes for the
          area or region.
          E. Structures for Assistance to Refugees, Including Returnees, and for Coordination of Such
          Aid and Development Assistance…
          11. Governing councils of development agencies should seriously consider the refugee and
          returnee element in their program planning with a view to alleviating the plight of refugees
          and returnees. Among such agencies UNDP, in view of its central coordinating role within
          the United Nations system for development and its close linkages with donor communities,
          could be asked to take as soon as possible a leading part in the coordination, implementation
          and monitoring of refugee-related infrastructural projects of a developmental nature in close
          association with its partners and other donors; the expertise of nongovernmental organizations,
          in the assessment, planning and execution of projects should also be utilized.
   Refugee Aid and Development, Principles for Action in Developing Countries:
          Temporary Measures Pending a Durable Solution
          (d) Where voluntary return is not immediately feasible, conditions should be created in the
          country of asylum for temporary settlement of the refugees and their participation in the social
          and economic life of the community, so that they can contribute to its development. For the
          refugees, it is essential to free themselves from dependence on relief, and reach a situation
          where they can take care of themselves as soon as possible. …
          (f) In low-income areas, the needs of the local people should also be taken into account. In
          such areas developmental initiatives may therefore be needed which would permit both
          refugees and local people to engage in economically productive activities to ensure them a
          decent livelihood. Such initiatives do not necessarily imply a commitment to one or another
          longer-term solution. …
          (o) Governing bodies of development agencies should consider the presence of substantial
          numbers of refugees or returnees as one of the relevent elements in their program planning.
   1994 Addis Ababa Document on Refugees and Forced Population Displacements in Africa,
Paragraph 13 (―Refugees have been… restricted to refugee camps or to remote, inaccessible locations
where they are sometimes exposed to banditry, rape and other forms of criminality. Many have not
been able to enjoy social, economic and civil rights.‖), Recommendation Seven (ii) (―Governments
should use their best endeavours to treat refugees according to the standards established under refugee
law. In particular, they should… enable them to regain a normal way of life.‖), Recommendation
Eight (―The international community, the United Nations, the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, and other relevant Organizations, should support and assist host Governments in fulfilling
their responsibilities towards refugees in a manner consistent with the principles of refugee law on the
one hand, and legitimate national security, social and economic interests on the other hand. In

2004 Cotonou Declaration and Programme of Action;18 the 2006 Nairobi
Declaration;19 the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees;20 the 1965 Protocol on
the Treatment of Palestinian Refugees;21 and the 2004 South Asia Declaration on
Refugees by the Eminent Persons Group on Refugee and Migratory Movements in
South Asia.22

Recognizing UNHCR’s paper on ―Local Integration and Self-Reliance‖ from the 33rd
Meeting of the Standing Committee, June 2005, which emphasizes that restricting
self-reliance can lead to increased vulnerability and poverty of refugees, and its
―Proposals for an Executive Committee Conclusion on Self-Reliance‖ from the 16
January 2007 Informal Consultative Meeting proposing such a Conclusion,

particular, financial, material and technical assistance should be made available to: i) Ensure that social
and economic structures, community services, and the environment of host countries or communities
are not unduly stretched as a result of having to host massive numbers of refugees; ii) Provide food,
water, shelter, sanitation and medical services on a timely basis so that refugees and local populations
alike are not put in a life-endangering situation.
   2004 Cotonou Declaration and Programme of Action, ―Deeply concerned about the number of
protracted refugee situations… as well as the presence of armed elements in some refugee camps and
forced recruitment… Promoting a change in attitude towards refugees 10. Undertake, as men and
women elected by the people, to do all in our power to foster a positive attitude towards refugees and
displaced persons, so as to improve their protection and ensure their contribution to the socio-economic
development of their host communities. … Objective 5: Diminishing dependence on humanitarian
assistance by promoting self-reliance Specific strategies: Explore the ways and means to enhance the
productive capacities and self-reliance of refugees and their host communities, as a means of
decreasing dependency on humanitarian assistance and empowering them to contribute to the
development of the host country while in exile, and the reconstruction and economic development of
the country of origin upon return. In this regard, recognize the central role of women in any efforts
aimed at self-reliance and promoting durable solutions. … Ensure that refugees fully enjoy their social
and economic rights, to empower them to become self-reliant… Include refugee-hosting areas in
national development plans, and encourage development partners to provide additional funding
targeted to host communities as well as refugees. … Objective 9: Combating intolerance and
promoting respect for refugees. Specific strategies: Sensitizing citizens to the plighyt and rights of
refugees, with a view to fostering understanding and acceptance of their presence, and raising
awareness of the positive contribution that refugees can make to their host communities and societies.
   On February 21, 2006, ministers of the seven-nation Inter-Governmental Authority on Development,
including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda, issued the Nairobi Declaration, committing
themselves to ―effective protection‖ of refugees and ―to include refugees, returnees, and IDPs and host
communities in our development agenda.‖
    1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees: Article 6 seeks to ensure, if states set up camps, they be
―at a reasonable distance from the frontier with a view to improving the protection afforded to refugees,
safeguarding their human rights and implementing projects aimed at their self-sufficiency and
integration into the host society.‖ Article 11 calls on states with many refugees to study ―the
possibilities of integrating them into the productive life of the country … thus making it possible for
refugees to enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights.‖
   1965 Protocol on the Treatment of Palestinian Refugees (―1. Whilst retaining their Palestinian
nationality, Palestinians currently residing in the land of _______ have the right of employment on part
with its citizens. 2. Palestinians residing at the moment in _______ in accordance with the dictates of
their interests, have the right to leave and return to this state.
   2004 South Asia Declaration on Refugees by the Eminent Persons Group on Refugee and Migratory
Movements in South Asia, Recommendation 14(a)(v) and (vii) provides that ―Every refugee... shall
have the right to: ... choose his place of residence and move freely within the territory of the country of
asylum, ... be issued identity documents, [and] be issued travel documents for the purpose of travel
outside and back to the territory of the country of first asylum.‖ Recommendation 18 calls on
Governments "To be liberal, as far as possible, in permitting refugees to work and to become self-

     a) Reaffirms the importance of self-reliance as an element of protection, in
        addition to any indirect benefits it may have,

     b) Recognizes that restrictions on self-reliance contribute to other protection risks
        including poverty, sexual and gender-based violence, threats to family unity,
        economic exploitation and abuse, among refugees and their hosting

     c) Stresses that self-reliance necessarily requires the legal rights to participate in
        the local and international economies,

     d) Urges States to review and to withdraw reservations to the 1951 Convention,
        particularly with regard to employment, which limit refugees’ self-reliance,

     e) Reaffirms that self-reliance contributes to the realization of all three durable

     f) Stresses that while self-reliance may be conducive towards eventual local
        integration of refugees, it does not presuppose or require their availability and
        is valuable as a protection measure in itself,

     g) Encourages States, UNHCR and other relevant actors to engage in
        consultations and planning as early as possible in refugee situations to ensure

     h) Recognizes the waste of human potential and productive capacity that can
        occur where refugee self-reliance is constrained, and emphasizes the negative
        impacts of extended care and maintenance operations, including lack of
        provision for basic needs, restrictions on rights, and waste of resources,

     i) Affirms that to avoid such outcomes, many developing host States will need
        the assistance of the international community and UNHCR in meeting the
        indirect expenses associated with refugees’ independent living such as those
        for education, health, and other services to refugees along with nationals in an
        integrated manner, avoiding wasteful and divisive parallel aid streams,
        addressing the impact of any migration to urban areas, providing security, and
        improving infrastructure,

     j) Recognizes that host government policies can limit self-reliance particularly
        by legal restrictions on refugees’ employment, freedom of movement, choice
        of residence, and access to professional and entrepreneurial licenses and
        identity and international travel documents,23

     k) Emphasizes the importance of a legal and institutional framework that allows
        refugee self-reliance, and encourages particular attention to facilitating self-

  1951 Convention, Art. 17 Identity papers: The Contracting States shall issue identity papers to any
refugee in their territory who does not possess a valid travel document.
Article 28 Travel documents: 1. The Contracting States shall issue to refugees lawfully staying in
their territory travel documents for the purpose of travel outside their territory unless compelling
reasons of national security or public order otherwise require…

         reliance through supporting and creating hosting environments that permit
         refugees to exercise civil, economic and social rights towards achieving self-
         reliance and viable livelihoods, and in this respect,
                 i.     Recognizes the relevance of the 1951 Convention and its 1967
                        Protocol as a framework for legal rights for refugees that are
                        conducive for self-reliance,
                 ii.    Calls upon donor governments to initiate programmes of
                        responsibility sharing, including through reimbursement of
                        developing host countries for indirect costs, development
                        assistance, and resettlement,
                 iii.   Calls upon refugee-hosting states to remove obstacles to
                        refugee self-reliance, particularly in the areas of employment,
                        income generation, freedom of movement, and choice of
                 iv.    Recognizes that refugees are entitled to full protection of labour
                        and social security rights on a basis of equality with those of
                        nationals24 and that especially those in situations lasting three
                        years or more should be exempt from restrictions on access to
                        the labour market,25 and

   1951 Convention, Article 24 Labour legislation and social security:
         1. The Contracting States shall accord to refugees lawfully staying in their territory the same
         treatment as is accorded to nationals in respect of the following matters:
                   (a) In so far as such matters are governed by laws or regulations or are subject to the
                   control of administrative authorities: remuneration, including family allowances
                   where these form part of remuneration, hours of work, overtime arrangements,
                   holidays with pay, restrictions on home work, minimum age of employment,
                   apprenticeship and training, women’s work and the work of young persons, and the
                   enjoyment of the benefits of collective bargaining;
                   (b) Social security (legal provisions in respect of employment injury, occupational
                   diseases, maternity, sickness, disability, old age, death, unemployment, family
                   responsibilities and any other contingency which, according to national laws or
                   regulations, is covered by a social security scheme), subject to the following
                             (i) There may be appropriate arrangements for the maintenance of acquired
                             rights and rights in course of acquisition;
                             (ii) National laws or regulations of the country of residence may prescribe
                             special arrangements concerning benefits or portions of benefits which are
                             payable wholly out of public funds, and concerning allowances paid to
                             persons who do not fulfil the contribution conditions prescribed for the
                             award of a normal pension.
         2. The right to compensation for the death of a refugee resulting from employment injury or
         from occupational disease shall not be affected by the fact that the residence of the beneficiary
         is outside the territory of the Contracting State.
         3. The Contracting States shall extend to refugees the benefits of agreements concluded
         between them, or which may be concluded between them in the future, concerning the
         maintenance of acquired rights and rights in the process of acquisition in regard to social
         security, subject only to the conditions which apply to nationals of the States signatory to the
         agreements in question.
         4. The Contracting States will give sympathetic consideration to extending to refugees so far
         as possible the benefits of similar agreements which may at any time be in force between such
         Contracting States and non-contracting States.
   1951 Convention, Article 17, Wage-earning employment:
         2. In any case, restrictive measures imposed on aliens or the employment of aliens for the
         protection of the national labour market shall not be applied to a refugee who was already

                 v.       Notes that arrangements that bind refugees to particular
                          employers or limit their employment to particular economic
                          sectors or regions may be inconsistent with these rights, limit
                          refugees’ bargaining power, expose them to exploitation and
                          abuse, and undermine the wages, working conditions, and
                          bargaining power of workers in the host community as well,

    l) Affirms that self-reliance is a complex and multifaceted process, and can be
       best achieved in an environment conducive to economic and social
       development, and is thereby reliant on links with host populations and access
       to economic and development opportunities; and, in this respect
                    i. Emphasizes the need to integrate refugees into national
                       development plans,
                   ii. Stresses the role of the international community in sharing
                       responsibility by supporting development in refugee-hosting
                       countries and building capacity at regional and national levels,
                 iii. Acknowledges the need for self-reliance activities to operate in
                       conjunction with activities to open wider market opportunities
                       for both refugees and hosts,
                  iv. Realizes the importance of refugee freedom of movement,
                       residence, and international travel to ensure opportunities for
                   v. Calls upon host countries to initiate and donors to support
                       national awareness campaigns highlighting not only the plight
                       of refugees but also their potential contributions and
                       international support for honouring refugee rights, and
                  vi. encourages refugees’ access to micro-credit and micro-finance

    m) Welcomes the production and dissemination of guidelines and inventories of
       best practices of self-reliance programmes to support UNHCR field operations,
       host governments and donors in designing and implementing self-reliance
       activities and encourages UNHCR to develop and apply appropriate standards
       for measuring and assessing self-reliance potential in different refugee-hosting

    n) Supports UNHCR’s innovative Strengthening Protection Capacity projects
       and Development Assistance for Refugees initiatives, and

    o) Recognizes the need to pay special attention to specific demographics of
       refugee populations, and undertake a gender and age sensitive approach to self
       reliance,26 and as such

        exempt from them at the date of entry into force of this Convention for the Contracting State
        concerned, or who fulfils one of the following conditions:
                 (a) He has completed three years’ residence in the country;
                 (b) He has a spouse possessing the nationality of the country of residence. A refugee
                 may not invoke the benefits of this provision if he has abandoned his spouse;
                 (c) He has one or more children possessing the nationality of the country of residence.
   Agenda for Protection (2003), Overview, Item 5, p. 18:

              i. Recognizes that refugee women and young girls may have
                 additional constraints on achieving self-reliance, and
             ii. Emphasizes that elderly, HIV-positive, and other vulnerable
                 refugees may require additional inputs and experience
                 significant challenges in achieving self-reliance.

All actors involved in refugee protection will ensure that refugees, especially refugee women
and adolescents, and the host communities participate in the design and development of self-
reliance programmes.


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