Government urged to address employment needs of refugees

Accra- An appeal has been made to the government to address the employment needs of refugees in its policies.

This is because people become refugees not because they did anything wrong, but because of unfavourable circumstances which they had no control over.

Mr Diogo Cabral, Regional Livelihoods and Local Integration Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said this on Tuesday at a day’s Employment and Entrepreneurship forum for refugees, which was held in Accra.

He said it was worth noting that every one, no matter how secure they might feel, was a potential refugee, considering the unpredictable and easily changing nature of the world.

Mr Cabral said refugees were thus mostly people who sought to be productive as members of the society, but faced serious challenges in that quest because of their circumstances.

He said apart from government, other stakeholders including the private sector, needed to also ensure that the environment supported the entrepreneurial growth needs of refugees, and also enhanced their chances of being employed.

Mr Eugene Narh Korletey, Acting Chief Labour Officer, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, said the government had put in place a lot of initiatives to ensure that refugees led comfortably and productive lives.

He observed that there was the need for collaboration between UNHCR, the government, the private sector and all other stakeholders, to ensure that the entrepreneurial potential of refugees was enhanced, and also to address their employment needs.

Organised by UNHCR in collaboration with the Ghana Refugee Board, the forum was organised in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) one, which seeks to end poverty in any form everywhere.

The SDG one also seeks to ensure that all men and women have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, especially the poor and vulnerable.

A report by the UNHCR says 13,359 refugees and asylum seekers were recorded in Ghana as at June 2019.

It said refugees in Ghana mostly lived in camps and semi-rural areas, which presented a challenge to their survival and empowerment.

Source: Ghana News Agency