Dottore di ricerca

ciclo: XXXIII

Titolo della tesi: Socio-Economic Integration of Refugees through Education and Employment, A Case Study of Afghan Refugees in Iran

Facilitating the integration of refugees into local societies is one of the main concerns of many host states across the world. In this regard, the provision of various socio-economic integration policies and schemes can assist states in reaching this crucial goal. This thesis, through a qualitative method of research, concentrates on education and employment as the two key instruments that facilitate the socio-economic integration of refugees into the host society. This study employs a combination of descriptive and normative legal approaches to address the rights of refugees in regard to access to education and to employment, under the core international human rights instruments. In other words, these regulations are analysed to identify legal opportunities to address refugees’ difficulties in access to education and employment in the reception countries for the sake of enhancing their socio-economic integration. This paper demonstrates the close interconnection between education and employment of refugees. In fact, without a qualified educational background, it is hard for refugees to find a job sufficient to their needs in the host state’s labour market. In less-developed countries where there is neither a sufficient educational budget nor scholarships for refugees, workers must earn enough for their family’s basic needs of food and shelter, while trying to pay for education for themselves and/or their children. There are other problems in continuing their education in their new country. For instance, strict language requirements as well as lack of recognition and/or proof of their previous educational qualifications. This changing and unpredictable combination of obstacles makes it difficult to find a job that recognizes either their past educational achievements, or their human potential. The thesis illustrates that while the 1951 Refugee Convention regulates legal standards in respect of refugee’s right to employment, refugees can benefit from other provisions in other international human rights instruments and their more generous provisions. A case study on Afghan refugees in Iran presented in this thesis, proves that although there are still many shortfalls concerning integration of Afghan refugees in Iranian society, particularly in terms of their employment, since 2015 Iran has taken great steps towards providing free education and health insurance to Afghan refugees. However, as socio-economic integration of refugees has undeniable effects on all aspects of their lives in the host state, as well as the lives of its citizens, further research and efforts are required to effectively protect the quality of the lives of all effected by refugee movement.

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