Parliamentary Assembly Migration Committee: Reports on young migrants, IDP collective centres, the right of refugees to work and Europe’s resettlement commitment

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) approved on 13 March 2014 four reports entitled ‘Migrant children: what rights at 18?’, ‘Alternatives to Europe’s sub-standard IDP and refugee collective centres’, ‘Refugees and the right to work’,  ‘Resettlement of refugees, towards greater solidarity’. Each report will now be debated at the meeting of the PACE Standing Committee on 23 May 2014.

The report on ‘Refugees and the right to work’ recommends the removal of barriers against refugees attempting to enter the labour market, such as restrictions on work permits, onerous bureaucratic procedures and secondary access to the labour market after nationals. ‘Language classes, work experience, vocational training, classes to develop knowledge of the labour market and how to apply for jobs, and individualised employment “plans-of-action”’ are also called for to ease the transition of individuals from the asylum procedure to mainstream integration services. Also recommended by the report are simplified procedures for recognising foreign qualifications, more state interaction with employers’ associations and employers, and support for own-enterprise initiatives.

Despite a focus on refugees and other recipients of international protection, the report also states that asylum seekers must be allowed to work pending the outcome of their application, especially where there is any delay. Refugees are accorded the right to work under Article 17 of the Refugee Convention and asylum seekers, under Article 18 of the recast Reception Conditions Directive, must be allowed to work nine months after their asylum application is lodged, provided that they are not the cause of any delay.

In relation to the report on ‘Migrant children: what rights at 18?’, UNHCR and the Council of Europe have published a more comprehensive study entitled “Unaccompanied and separated asylum-seeking and refugee children turning eighteen: what to celebrate?”. The report presents data collected about practices in Council of Europe Member States concerning the situation of unaccompanied asylum seeking children when they reach the age of majority.

Read all four reports and press releases on the website of the PACE Migration Committee.

21 March 2014

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.

Access to the labour market
Child Specific Considerations
Unaccompanied minor
Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly