Around the world, people are on the move, escaping hardship and looking for safer environments in which to live and find work. Forced displacement affects over 68,5 million people around the world. It means an average of one person was displaced every two seconds in 2017, with developing countries most affected. [i] The protracted situation in Syria is now into its ninth year, which caused staggering over 11 million people to flee for their lives. Turkey currently hosts more refugees than any other country in the world, with over 3,6 million Syrians under temporary protection, including 2,1 million of them at working age.
Around one million Syrian under temporary protection are estimated to be working in Turkey. Although Syrians are able to work in Turkey following the adoption of the new Regulation on Work Permit for Refugees under Temporary Protection in January 2016, according to various labour market studies, including by the ILO, Syrian refugees are mostly employed informally in low skilled occupations.
Efforts accelerate with a new project for decent work for Syrians and Turkish citizens
With this context in mind, ILO Turkey Office has kicked off a new project to meet the challenges build on the idea that “Decent work is much more than a job”. With the project entitled ”Promoting Decent Work for Syrians under Temporary Protection and Turkish citizens in Host Communities”, over 60,000 Syrians and Turkish citizens are expected to be assısted.
The project is implemented by the ILO in close cooperation with the Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Services (MoFLSS), the national authorities and the social partners and ıs funded by the German Development Bank, KfW. The project will operate in 10 provinces, indicatively Ankara, Şanlıurfa, Hatay, Gaziantep, Adana, Mersin, İstanbul, İzmir, Bursa and Konya.
The project aims to facilitate the early entry of Syrian refugees and Turkish citizens from host communities into the labour market and to help them develop, strengthen and upgrade their skills and competences as required. The overall objective of the project is to enhance formal employment for Syrian refugees under temporary protection (SuTP) and Turkish citizens and to facilitate the creation of formal sector jobs.
Support to increase the livelihood opportunities from both demand and supply side
This objective will be achieved through three outputs: Syrians will be qualified through a tailor-made on-the-job-training. The direct beneficiary will be İŞKUR General Directorate as well as its provincial directorates in the pilot provinces, which will be supported by Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Secondly, Turkish public employment services will be strengthened to support Syrians and Turkish citizens through one-stop-shops. One-stop shops will provide employment services including registration of SuTP and Turkish citizens, raise their awareness on the rules and regulations governing their participation in the labour market and provide referral to training and employment opportunities provided by ILO and/or available in İŞKUR’s database.
The project will provide support to employers to hire SuTP through an incentive scheme. The incentive scheme includes administrative and financial support to apply for work permits and covers social security contributions as well as work permit application fees tied to the employment of SuTP so that transition from the informal to the formal economy is enhanced.
The main partner will be Social Security Institution (SSI) that will implement an incentive scheme to support the formal employment of SuTP and TC, who will be the end-beneficiaries under this output. This will be supported by Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Decent work as the foundation of fair, productive and inclusive societies
ILO Country Director Numan Özcan highlights, “While recognizing the need to align humanitarian relief with development assistance, access to economic opportunities are central in restoring hope, dignity and human security. As ILO we advocate for a fair migration agenda that makes migration a choice, not a necessity by creating decent work in countries of origin.
A combination of employment opportunities, rights, social protection and crucially social dialogue, has proved time and again indispensable to achieving inclusive growth and social peace. We’ll accelerate our efforts to promote decent work as the foundation of fair, productive and inclusive societies”.
 Estimate derived from ISKUR and annual Household and Labour Force Surveys