April 25, 2022
Canada Chairs the New Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility
On April 6, the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility was launched and introduced Canada as its inaugural chair.
In 2018, in response to the global refugee crisis, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Global Compact on Refugees. One of the Compact’s key objectives is to expand refugee access to third-country solutions. To further this objective, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and a coalition of partners launched a three-year strategy on resettlement and complementary pathways, a recommendation from which was to create task forces for each complementary pathway, including one for refugee labour mobility.
Refugee labour mobility pathways offer alternatives for refugees to find durable solutions in third countries, outside of traditional resettlement programs. These pathways recognize refugees’ skills, abilities and talents as well as their need for protection and show how refugees contribute to their new countries, communities, and workplaces. For employers, these pathways can give them access to a new talent pool to fill job openings.
The new Task Force is guided by its mission to engage with stakeholders around the world to expand refugee access to third-country solutions through labour complementary pathways. The founding members of the Task Force include the Government of Canada, UNHCR, International Organization for Migration, Australian Government, Talent Beyond Boundaries, RefugeePoint, International Chamber of Commerce, and Fragomen.
An example of a refugee labour mobility pathway is Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), which combined refugee settlement and economic immigration and helped settle skilled refugees. For more information about EMPP, please refer to our previous blog post.
The new Task Force will engage in initiatives that build on programs like Canada’s EMPP to increase labour pathway initiatives. It is great to see Canada taking a leading role in advancing these initiatives and starting discussions among international stakeholders for durable solutions for skilled refugees. We will continue to monitor the activities of the Task Force and what changes they will bring to the landscape of Canada’s labour mobility pathways.