Publication: Jobs Interventions for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons

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Schuettler, Kirsten
Caron, Laura
Refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) often struggle to integrate the labor market. Even where they have the unrestricted right to work their labor market outcomes lack behind those of other groups, at least in the short- to medium-term. This literature review brings together two strands of research to inform the design of successful job interventions in this context: the evidence on how forced displacement impacts those forcibly displaced in their economic lives and the existing knowledge on jobs interventions for refugees and IDPs. The specific challenges that those forcibly displaced face on the labor market are linked to the loss of assets and separation from family members; the lack of skills required on the host labor market; the impacts of forced displacement on their physical and mental health and their economic behavior (in terms of prospects and aspirations, risk-aversion and time horizon); their legal situation; a lack of social networks and discrimination as well as a high likelihood of excess supply on the labor market at destination. Rigorous quasi-experimental or experimental evidence on jobs interventions for this target group is scarce and mainly focused on high-income countries. A review of the existing literature points to the importance of conducting thorough assessments of the demand and supply side of the labor market, including the legal situation of those forcibly displaced and their perceptions and aspirations, before designing intervention
Schuettler, Kirsten; Caron, Laura. 2020. Jobs Interventions for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons. Jobs Working Paper;No. 47. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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