Europe: The benefits of recognising refugee qualificationsPosted on 01/05/2017
EPALE is the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe. In the November 16, 2016 post Simon Broek hosts an article by Dr. Roger Y.Chao Jr., a senior consultant for UNESCO – International Center for Higher Education Innovation, about the topics of social inclustion, immingrants and validation of prior learning.
The article posts that “The current refugee crisis poses significant challenges to any host country and region not only to Europe. These challenges include finding the economic resources to ensure refugees’ living conditions, as well as the social and cultural difficulties of the integration process. However, simple recognition of refugee qualifications and helping refugees to access and participate in education and the labour market significantly reduce the costs of hosting and integrating refugees, and enhance their integration into the host country.
The countries hosting refugees incur substantial economic and social costs. Economic costs include housing, education, and cost of living for refugees. Recognising refugee qualifications significantly cuts the host countries’ costs by facilitating entry to further education and access to the labour market, and by engaging refugees in positive and constructive economic activities, such as community engagement.
Refugees who have successfully integrated into their host countries, can also provide peer support to their fellow refugees. Their personal experience and empathy for their fellow refugees should provide informed and in-depth support necessary to ensure a smoother integration process. Early entry into the labour market helps refugees become self-sufficient and gives them the time, energy and resources to actively engage with their host community. This creates a win-win situation where host countries can reduce cost, increase their impact on refugee integration, and facilitate refugees’ independence and their ability to provide the much needed peer support to their fellow refugees.
The social benefits of recognising refugee qualifications are intangible but can be seen to impact social order and acceptance by, and of, their host country and its respective community. Engagement with the community is essential for refugee integration into their host countries. Prolonged unemployment and barriers to entry in the host country’s labour market actually have grave consequences including dependency on public and private dole outs, crime, and resistance to integration.”
Read the rest of the article on EPALE Web site which ends with the description of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a Call for Action.