Under the EU-funded Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), 1.6 million people in Turkey receive cash assistance in the form of cards commonly known as “Kizilay cards.” The assistance is aimed at the most vulnerable and provides monthly payments of TRY 120 (USD 21) per family member, as well as additional top-up payments of between TRY 50 (USD 9) and TRY 250 (USD 45) every quarter. Refugees in Turkey: Health FMRC Series Report by Eleni Diker 1 01.06.2018 Istanbul/Turkey 1. Turkey now hosts the largest refugee population in the world. Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services. Although the ESSN alone does not cover all of their household expenses, it provides a stable income, whereas some work opportunities might last for just a few months. Depending on their circumstances and country of origin, they may be eligible to apply to the UNHCR. Overview On October 30 2020, the western province of İzmir, Turkey was hit by a 6.6-7.0 earthquake that primarily damaged Izmir city. It is a tremendous responsibility—one that not only the Turkish government but also the people of Turkey have been called upon to shoulder. Indeed, only 15 percent of Syrian women engage in gainful employment, and even fewer have work permits. Some have special circumstances that tie them to Istanbul. Resettlement is an important way to show solidarity with countries like Turkey that are hosting large numbers of refugees, and to integrate refugees into those countries where they may have better access to livelihoods. One survey (HUGO, 2014) across a large sample in 18 provinces indicates The vast majority of Turkey’s refugees work without work permits and outside the protections of the law. Although Turkey has shown great generosity over the past years in welcoming people fleeing the war in Syria, the pressure it has placed on Turkey’s resources does not justify the recent wave of deportations of Syrians to Idlib, a war zone. Launch public educational campaigns aimed at the Turkish public to dispel myths about Syrian refugees in Turkey and fight discrimination and negative stereotypes. For non-Syrian refugees, who fall under a different work permit system, more stringent requirements make access to the formal labor market even more difficult. A Turkish citizen, Yaşar Budak, who have reportedly been married to three Syrian women till today, has confessed that all Syrian refugee women in his town have been taken out of the camp after agreements have been forged with their families. Indeed, according to a European official, about 80 percent of ESSN beneficiaries work informally. Some of the interviews were conducted individually, while others were in group settings. “It was verbal. The time and expense involved in obtaining work permits for both Syrian and non-Syrian refugees are quite demanding. In turn, individuals qualifying for international protection may be granted an ability to stay in Turkey and not be subject to return to their home country, but must ultimately find a long-term solution outside Turkey. It also includes the category of “conditional refugees,” which applies to people who have fled persecution or violence from countries outside of Europe. On 17 July 2019, the Immigration Department of the opposition “Syrian Coalition” held a workshop in media professionals, jurists, and representatives of civil society organizations, intending to ease tension and rage towards the Syrian presence in Turkey, after cases of attacks on Syrian refugees. These reported deportations came after Turkish authorities in Istanbul conducted intense checks of Syrians’ identity documents. The governments of these three nations and other organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Human Rights Watch are working to ensure that each of these 1.5 million children receives the education they deserve. Three million have taken refuge in the nearest countries, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, while the remaining six and a half million are internally displaced within the conflict-marred country, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Building on the experience and expertise of both organizations, our joint policy report : “Turkey’s Refugee Resilience: Expanding and Improving Solutions for the Economic Inclusion of Syrians in Turkey” aims at outlining pragmatic and innovative options to facilitate refugees’ access to decent employment so as to contribute to our common objective to #leavenoonebehind. They described the lives they had built in Istanbul and said it would be difficult or even impossible to restart their lives in other provinces, where job opportunities are scarcer and, in some cases, they would be separated from their families. She said she is unable to work because of health issues and the lack of childcare. “Now I don’t go anywhere. Increase resettlement of Syrian and non-Syrian refugees from Turkey to EU countries. Turkish authorities denied these reports. Many of the checks took place in largely Syrian neighborhoods and bus and subway stations Syrians were likely to frequent. Turkey agreed to accept returned asylum seekers and migrants from the Greek islands. Many of their stories are unimaginable. The European Union and the UNHCR have supported national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through project-based financial support. Furthermore, requests for work permits can only be made six months after the candidate has filed an application for international protection. The vast majority of Syrian refugees globally are located in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Turkey hosts refugees from many countries. In addition, in 2014 Turkey introduced a Temporary Protection system for Syrians—the only form of protection available to them. Turkey is no exception. RSN continues to work with our local partner to monitor the situation facing Syrians refugees and support their access to information regarding their rights and to legal assistance when needed. As a result, Turkish law does not recognize people who have fled persecution from non-European countries as refugees. Video . As described by a UN Women official, “The statement that we frequently hear that ‘Syrian women don’t want to work,’ is a generalization that is not necessarily based [on] facts and is often a result of a lack of direct communication with the women and/or lack of information. The pressure was evident in interviews Refugees International conducted with Syrians in July 2019, several of whom had identity cards from other cities but had moved to Istanbul because of the greater chances of finding work, to join family members who were already registered there, or both. It’s been nine years since Syrians started taking refuge in Turkey, and there are now 3.6 million Syrian refugees registered as “foreigners under temporary protection” in the country. Also, work permits are valid for only one year, after which they must be renewed. For example, a wave of attacks against Syrian-owned businesses occurred in Istanbul in late July 2019. Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population. Until recently, non-Syrian refugees applying for international protection would register with the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM), an implementing partner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Ankara. However, in interviews with dozens of Syrian women in Turkey, Refugees International found that a number of other factors keep Syrian women out of the labor market; in reality, many of these women want to work. They, too, must benefit from efforts to integrate refugees into the workforce. Commit to continuing financial support for humanitarian and development programs benefiting Turkey’s refugee and host communities, including via the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) beyond the 2021 end date of the program. While less discussed in the media, Turkey is also a destination for refugees from many other countries. Publish the number of work permits (excluding renewals) issued for Syrian refugees under temporary protection—the status accorded to Syrian refugees in Turkey—disaggregated by gender, as well as the number of work permits (excluding renewals) issued to non-Syrian refugees under international protection, also disaggregated by gender. The overwhelming majority—96 percent—of Turkey’s Syrian refugee population lives outside of camps, in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas around the country. Organization. The remainder are from other countries around the world. Yet, Turkey is approaching a critical crossroads. Also, since a change in the registration system for non-Syrian refugees in 2018, many Afghans have been unable to register with the Turkish authorities at all, making them ineligible for work permits. Even for Turkish workers, informal work is widespread. As of October 2017, of the non-Syrian population of protection-seekers in Turkey: about 44% are from Afghanistan, 42% are from Iraq, and 10% are from Iran. The work permit system poses a series of hurdles for Syrian refugees in Turkey. In the first 10 months of 2016 the number of new applications in Turkey has remained in line with these yearly increases. On July 22, 2019, the office of the governor of Istanbul issued a press release ordering Syrians living in Istanbul who had registered in other Turkish provinces to relocate to those areas by August 20, 2019. I asked ‘Where is the work permit?’ [The employer said] ‘In Ankara.’ Again I asked ‘Where is the work permit?’ ‘In Ankara.’” As described by “Samer,” a Syrian man working in Gaziantep, “The employer doesn’t say ‘no,’ but he doesn’t do it.”, Others said their employer had outright refused. The Help Refugees team have made their first visit to Turkey in anticipation of an increased need of aid after the EU/Turkey deal to turn back refugees from Europe. “We had our homes; we didn’t pay rent.”. These factors make the experience of seeking asylum and awaiting an RSD decision in Turkey difficult and vulnerable. With international borders including Iraq and Syria, Turkey has had a greater influx ofpeople fleeing conflict than any other country in the world. Iraqis are the largest group of individual protection-seekers in Turkey. The assessment found that among the main challenges for Syrian women who want to work are the following: (1) a lack of childcare; (2) resistance by family members to women working outside the home; and (3) housework and the responsibility for caring for other dependents (such as elderly people or people with a disability) at home. “I don’t tell my family that I work,” she said. Many Syrians do not have family support in Turkey or other alternatives for childcare. When the refugee crisis ebbed in 2016, the EU could have used the time to fix its asylum system. However, the Turkish authorities have tolerated Syrian refugees working in the informal labor market and living in Istanbul without the appropriate registration for years. The Syrian women Refugees International interviewed in Gaziantep and Istanbul echoed these concerns. As of October 2017, of the non-Syrian population of protection-seekers in Turkey: about 44% are from Afghanistan, 42% are from Iraq, and 10% are from Iran. My brother alone can’t support the family,” she said. Thank God [the authorities] haven’t stopped him.”, Syrian refugees interviewed by Refugees International had found work in Istanbul and been settled there for years. According to information received by Refugees International in July 2019, these obstacles remain, especially for single men. This situation exists partly because the permit system requires employers to apply for work permits on behalf of the applicants. “Here in Istanbul I found a place [a daycare] for her. In times of economic hardship, employment is often a major concern. Kilis, which lies on the border with Syria, hosts more Syrian refugees than Turkish residents. Beneficiaries from 28 other countries also received services. Turkey also maintains a significant non-Syrian population. Video. Refugee Solidarity Network © All Rights Reserved 2018. Many said their employers were unwilling to pay them a legal wage and contribute to their social security, instead preferring to employ them illegally at a lower cost. Funding under the second tranche includes projects to increase socioeconomic support for refugees and host communities. A total of 70 per cent of them are children and women. Zeytinburnu, a district of the city, hosts more than 50,000 of them.Municipalities have been particularly innovative in their efforts to ac… Provide vocational trainings for women outside gender-stereotypical areas, which would provide more job opportunities. AFGHANISTAN Large numbers of Syrians also live in southeast Turkey in provinces bordering Syria—in particular, Hatay, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, and Kilis. Refugees International advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. Book now for March 2021 onwards and we'll work with you every step of the way and provide complete flexibility with dates!. We are Roni and Mimi, two American college students who moved to Turkey to work for TIAFI, an organization supporting the Syrian refugee community in Izmir.  A note on terminology: although under Turkish law, the status of refugee is reserved for people who have fled persecution in a European country, in this report, unless otherwise specified, the term “refugee” is used to describe a person who has fled his or her country because of a well-founded fear of persecution, regardless of the region from which they fled, in line with the definition of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. Turkey’s employment agency and International Labor Organization, International Organization for Migration, UNHCR, World Bank, U.N. Development Programme, and the European Union are cooperating closely to prepare the legal and administrative basis for extending access to labor markets for Syrian refugees, and to develop vocational training programs to improve their employability. Eleni Diker is the research fellow of Vehbi Koc Foundation working as a project manager at the Migration Research Center at Koç University, Istanbul. However, Turkey will continue to need the support of donors to shoulder this responsibility. The Government of Turkey (GoT) ... ety organizations have made donations and extended help to their new Syrian neighbors. Refugees International is committed to saving the lives and protecting the rights, dignity, and security of refugees and displaced people worldwide. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, Syrian women generally bear most of the responsibility for childcare and household duties, and in some cases their husbands or other family members are opposed to their work outside the home.  Law No 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection of April 11, 2013. I work here, my husband, too.” Regarding the wave of identity checks in Istanbul, she said she knew she was easily identifiable as Syrian because of the type of headscarf she wears. ORGANIZATIONS THAT HELP REFUGEES Sunrise USA The first one of organizations that help refugees is founded in 2011 by a group of Syrian-American professionals, Sunrise-USA is now one of the leading NGO's in the United States focused on providing humanitarian assistance to Syrians both inside Syria and in neighboring countries. Hold specialized trainings and Turkish language courses for higher-skilled Syrian refugees to facilitate their access to suitable jobs in Turkey. But with an economic downturn and a rising unemployment rate, refugees who once found safe harbor in Turkey are now facing an increasingly hostile climate—from increasing deportations, to shrinking access to the labor market, to growing As a result, interviewees who receive the ESSN told Refugees International they rely on the cash assistance to cover essential costs, such as rent. Interviewees often said the media had played a role in portraying Syrians in a negative light. For all public branding and communication purposes, the organization adopts the “Mülteci Hakları Merkezi” name in Turkish and “Refugee Rights Turkey” name in English. The new applicants, combined with other pre-existing populations and new-comers who have not been able to register yet, come to a total of approximately 328,000 individuals as of mid-2016. If eligible for resettlement, the process takes even longer. It also includes work permits for Syrians with residence permits in Turkey; these permits grant them a different status from those under Temporary Protection. “Even employers say that with young children you can’t work,” she said.  As of August 6, the exchange rate was USD 1 = TRY 5.53, Tagged: Turkey, Syria, Middle East, Izza Leghtas, Labor Market Access, Mailing Address:Refugees InternationalPO Box 33036Washington, DC 20033, Street Address:1800 M Street, NWSuite 405N Washington, DC email@example.com. An increasing number of Turks believe that Syrian refugees are taking their jobs and that their government is spending excessive resources on services for Syrians. To protect their identity, Refugees International has used pseudonyms for all the displaced persons cited in the report. Approximately 3 million Syrian refugees currently live in Turkey. Read Manhal's family's story.  Nevertheless, Syrian refugees under temporary protection in Turkey still face significant barriers to accessing the formal labor market, as do refugees from other countries. There is no official number of active work permits available. Several higher-skilled Syrians told Refugees International that the barriers to entry in their traditional professions forced them to pursue work in the informal labor market. This page has been archived and is now provided for reference purposes only. Of the 3.6 million Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey, more than 500,000 are known to live in Istanbul; thousands more are estimated to live there despite being registered in different provinces or not registered at all. “Amina,” who works in an NGO without a work permit, and “Arwa,” a math teacher who has worked and continued her studies in Turkey, said they had experienced sexual harassment. However, it has never lifted a limitation of the geographic scope of the 1951 Convention only to people fleeing persecution in a European country. COVID-19 response. © 2020 Refugees InternationalAll rights reserved. At 3.6 million, Syrians make up the vast majority of Turkey’s refugee population. As they try to rebuild their lives, IOM continues to provide multi-sector assistance to refugees throughout the country to meet their various needs. In fact, my husband couldn’t find work, and when he did the salary was low,” she said. Although funding for humanitarian support continues, the second tranche is more focused on support that is more sustainable in the long term and helps with refugees’ inclusion and self-reliance. SYRIAN REFUGEES IN TURKEY September 2019 rof. Wages are low and the cost of living is high. “Of course, my father isn’t happy we’re working, but we have to. Turkey’s experience on the key issues such as jobs and employment should be examined as lessons for both refugee hosting countries and donor countries alike. Only around 500 Afghans per year are resettled from Turkey, almost entirely to the US. Donate Now . Provide unregistered refugees with the opportunity to regularize their status. Turkey is home to one of the largest refugee populations in the world with over 2.5 million. Even in this difficult climate, the Turkish government, donor countries, and international and nongovernmental organizations in Turkey are putting more efforts into improving refugees’ livelihood opportunities. This often-repeated statement also fails to specify whether Syrian women’s alleged unwillingness to work is really an unwillingness or rather an inability to work in the jobs available to them as Syrian women in Turkey. ant role Turkey plays was demonstrated at the first Global Refugee Forum, where the best practices, pledges, and lessons learned from the response to the Syria crisis stood out as practical solutions to putting the Global Compact on Refugees into practice. I get the bus to work, same thing for my husband and my daughter. While refugees wait, they are entitled to limited access to services, including medical care at state hospitals and education for primary school-age children. of both organizations, this report aims to outline pragmatic and innovative options at policy and programmatic levels to facilitate refugee access to decent employment as the key to their socioeconomic inclusion in Turkey. A considerable proportion of support services targeting refugees have been delivered through non-profit organizations in Turkey. The Turkish Ministry of Health has already hired over half of them to provide health services to Syrian refugees. Turkey had granted millions of refugees temporary protection status and nobody seemed to have a problem with us. This program is for compassionate volunteers who wish to provide valuable assistance in the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey. “And my husband, we’re obligated [for me to work], so he lets me work. The resulting dearth of permits means that higher-skilled refugees are often forced to work in lower-skilled and lower-paying jobs in the informal labor market. The research is a follow-up to Refugees International’s 2017 report “’I am only looking for my rights,’ Legal employment still inaccessible to refugees in Turkey.” The consultant traveled to Gaziantep, Istanbul, and Ankara, and met with representatives of the Turkish government and of international organizations as well as international donors and nongovernmental organizations. “There are professions I used to refuse for her to work in,” he said. Syrians have suffered greatly as the result o In exchange for stricter control of refugee migration into Europe, the EU pledged €6 billion for refugee support programs in Turkey, with €300 million to fund the Turkish government’s SIHHAT project to improve Syrian refugee access to health care. As of December 2019, Turkey hosted over 3.6 … Syrian women often want and need to work but are unable to do so because the types of jobs available to them are often in factories or workshops in the informal labor market, entailing long working hours and low pay. Refugees International is committed to saving the lives and protecting the rights, dignity, and security of refugees and displaced people worldwide. However, the employer claimed that the process was being delayed at the Ministry of Labor in Ankara. I asked for a work permit in the factory but they said no.”, Refugees International also spoke with several Syrians who said they had sent one of their children to work to cover the high cost of living in Turkey. Intense turmoil in Iraq over the last few years has brought many recent arrivals to the already steady figures seen in Turkey, going back to the aftermath of the invasion and overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. The governor also indicated that unregistered Syrians in Istanbul would be referred to other provinces by the Ministry of the Interior. The organization had developed alternative learning spaces and an educational curriculum for Turkish girls, focusing on girls’ empowerment, body health, mental health, nutrition, practicing sports, and protection from violence and sexual abuse. Lying at the heart of Turkey’s economy, Istanbul is attractive to many refugees because it provides more job opportunities in both the formal and informal sectors. Enhancing refugees’ self-reliance by improving their access to livelihood opportunities is also one of the key objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees. It was ranked as a Silver-level participant on Guidestar's Exchange, and its 2013 annual report states that only one one cent of every dollar went to administrative costs. Women represent about half of Turkey’s Syrian refugee population, yet their participation in the labor market is low. Several of the Syrians that Refugees International interviewed who were receiving ESSN assistance said one or more family members in their household were working in the informal labor market. Watch the video. I gave them Turkish names, so they wouldn’t have problems,” a Syrian factory-owner told Refugees International in Gaziantep. Some are even questioning the government’s decision to welcome Syrians in the first place. I realized that all the places are the same. Nine years into the Syria crisis, with Turkey’s economy in decline and unemployment on the rise, the climate for Syrians in Turkey has reached a critical juncture. In Gaziantep and Istanbul, the consultant interviewed dozens of displaced persons from Syria, including men and women who were working – mostly in the informal labor market – and others who were unemployed. In addition, the non-Syrian work permit beneficiary’s salary must be equivalent to at least 150 percent of the minimum wage—a significant obstacle for lower-skilled refugees seeking work in lower-paying jobs. In 2006, there were a total of 4,550 individual applications made for asylum in Turkey. “But here, you take any opportunity.”. “I have two daughters. Although they have the right to apply for a work permit, very few refugees receive full employment authorization. Turkey was one of the original signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention. “He’s working,” the mother told Refugees International. Municipalities are at the forefront of managing the Syrian refugee situation in Turkey. The main problem is that work permits must be requested by employers, many of whom are reluctant to cover the costs of hiring a refugee or are uninformed about the process for doing so. Turkey introduced a work permit system for Syrian refugees in 2016, but permits must be requested by employers, who are often reluctant to cover the costs and face the administrative hurdles of hiring a refugee, or are uninformed about how the process works. Significantly increase resettlement places for refugees from Turkey, including Syrians and non-Syrians. 9 8 There are many arguments suggesting that informality has been seriously increased since 10 September 2018 among non-Syrian According to official statistics, the Turkish Republic hosts nearly 3.5 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country.A number of studies show that a vast majority of these refugees will remain in Turkey permanently, even if the situation in Syria becomes stable and return becomes a possibility. Between March 2016 and March 2019, the 18 EU countries participating in the resettlement scheme under the EU-Turkey Statement had resettled 22,292 Syrians from Turkey. However, since September 2018, UNHCR and ASAM no longer register international protection applicants. Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world. As a result, most refugees are confined to low-paying jobs, many of them in small textile workshops and construction. He is hoping to obtain Turkish citizenship but, he said, “because of the racism here, I want to go to another country once I get a passport.”. The Government of Turkey (GoT) estimates the total number of registered Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTPs) at 2,225,147 according to a new Policy Note prepared by the World Bank, Turkey’s Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Road Ahead. Turkey's borders have reopened and we are taking a cautious approach to resuming programs. Ensure that non-Syrian refugees also have access to livelihood programs. Since passage of the Law on Foreigners and Protection in Turkey in 2014, RSN and its partners have been engaging with the Afghan community and with the Turkish government, as well as INGO’s and local organizations, to try and explore possibilities for this community. The geographical limitation remains in place under the new law, leaving most refugees with no long-term solution in Turkey. ORAM’s essential work enables the international community to protect exceptionally vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers and safeguards the integrity of the international refugee protection system. This process is lengthy. In these communities, refugees rent apartments and send their children to Turkish schools. Another challenge is that vocational trainings in which Syrian women participate are often in gender-stereotyped fields that offer few job prospects. July 30, 2020. Some women mentioned that sexual harassment was common in the workplace, and they had left jobs because of it. Faced with an urgent need, Mavi Kalem quickly adapted its existing programs to serve the Syrian children and families who had joined its community. To lower cultural barriers to the employment of women outside the home, conduct educational sessions on the participation of women in the labor market for Syrian refugee communities, including male family members and community leaders. In recent months, hosting Syrian refugees increasingly has become a politically contentious issue. In 2016, the majority of clients (89%) served by RSN-RRT came from 5 countries: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Somalia. On August 20, the government extended the deadline to October 30, 2019. As of July 2019, the fee for a work permit for a Syrian under Temporary Protection was TRY 372 (USD 67). On August 20, 2019, the Minister of the Interior announced that the deadline for unregistered Syrians to leave Istanbul would be extended until October 30, 2019. The Turkish authorities should provide refugees with opportunities to regularize their situation and facilitate the work permit process for both employers and employees. As of 2016, Turkey hosted approximately 125K displaced Iraqis. Projects under the second tranche are to be contracted by the end of 2020 but, at the time of writing, EU countries have not committed to further funding. For information about our work in Turkey:. The primary responsibility for protecting the rights of refugees in Turkey falls on the Turkish authorities. A 2018 UN needs assessment found that Syrian women consider lack of employment, access to housing, and the inability to speak Turkish to be their greatest challenges in Turkey.
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