The Global Compact on Refugees recommends that high-income countries take in some refugees as labor migrants. Researcher Martin Ruhs explores how that might work.

MOST HIGH-INCOME COUNTRIES make a strict distinction in their immigration policies between refugees and those deemed to be labor migrants. While refugees are typically admitted on humanitarian grounds – albeit with debates in many countries about who qualifies and what degree of protection they are entitled to receive – labor migrants are usually admitted with the explicit aim of benefiting the economy and society. The Global Compact on Refugees, a new nonbinding United Nations framework for improved global governance and more equitable sharing of responsibility, recommends that high-income countries take in some refugees as labor migrants. Is this a good idea? Could it work?

In principle, there are three broad policy approaches for using labor immigration pathways to admit refugees to high-income countries. One aims to help refugees gain access to existing labor immigration programs without making any policy adjustments for “refugee-workers.” Another aims to create incentives for employers to recruit refugee-workers within the broad parameters of existing labor immigration policies. A third approach seeks to establish new labor immigration programs exclusively for refugee-workers. All of these approaches face significant obstacles and challenges in practice.

Most labor immigration programs enacted by high-income countries apply to migrants from any country. Employers are already able to recruit refugee-workers through these existing programs. In practice, they will do so only if refugees are the most skilled and suitable candidates for the job. Factors that weigh on this judgment, along with candidates’ skills and work experience, include the costs associated with recruitment and any training that may be necessary. Under almost all such programs, it is the employer rather than the migrant worker who applies for the work permit, so considering employers’ needs is of central importance.

Refugee-workers would be competing with migrant workers from around the world. In this competition, refugees who have escaped conflicts will be at a distinct disadvantage. They will lack information about the labor immigration programs of high-income countries, and employers and recruitment agencies are unlikely to be informed about potential refugee-workers. Forced migrants who have escaped from conflict zones are much less likely to be able to meet requirements for papers such as travel documents, proof of identity and skills certifications. Furthermore, for many (but not all) displaced people, the costs of legal migration may be prohibitive, yet they are still lower than the costs and risks associated with paying smugglers to guide them through illegal border crossings.

Even if some of these hurdles could be reduced or even eliminated, employers may still prefer to recruit migrant workers rather than refugees. The small number of refugees who would benefit are likely to be the most highly skilled and those with the most financial resources, since the current labor immigration policies of high-income countries are much more open to admitting higher-skilled migrants.

A second policy option is to go beyond the provision of better information and links between employers and refugees by taking measures that are explicitly aimed at generating employer demand for refugee-workers, within the broad parameters of existing labor immigration policies. Such policies could be modified to encourage the recruitment of refugee-workers in addition to migrant workers, which could increase the total intake of migrants. Alternatively, more refugee-workers could be admitted in lieu of some migrant workers, keeping overall numbers flat.

The labor-market test requirement, whereby employers must advertise a job locally before recruiting a migrant to fill it, is an example of a demand-side restriction that could be relaxed to encourage employer demand for refugee-workers. One option would be to waive the requirement for refugees. A second would be to reduce the mandatory advertising period. Either change would give employers faster access to refugee-workers. Another measure that might have a similar effect would be to lower the administrative fees employers must pay when applying for a work permit for a migrant worker. In many countries, these fees are considerable, making them one of the factors that discourage employers from recruiting migrants

Overall, this second policy option would likely result in larger numbers of refugees being admitted as workers to high-income countries. Its feasibility would depend on public acceptance of the humanitarian dimensions of the policy, to justify and maintain support for the relaxation of some restrictions specifically for refugee-workers. Policymakers would need to highlight the positive economic contribution that refugees can make to the host country, while emphasizing the special regulatory requirements of this type of “mixed motives migration.” Realistically, under any of the policies outlined above, the number of refugee-workers would need to be capped in order to address likely concerns about uncontrolled immigration of refugees allowed to enter under laxer regulations than those applied to other migrant workers.

The third and most ambitious option for creating a legal work-based pathway to high-income countries for refugees would be to establish new temporary labor migration programs (TMPs) specifically for displaced people who are currently in first countries of asylum in conflict regions. To be politically and economically acceptable, the numbers admitted through a new TMP for refugees would almost certainly need to be capped or at least tightly regulated.

To avoid undercutting prevailing employment conditions in the host country, refugee-workers would need to be given the same employment rights as domestic workers, or at least very similar ones. An important exception is the right to free choice of employment. This would need to be restricted to enable host countries to use migrants to address shortages in specific occupations or sectors.

Most temporary labor migration programs, especially those for lower-skilled workers, restrict migrants’ rights to family reunion in one way or another. But it is difficult to see how admitting refugee-workers without granting them the right to bring at least some family members would provide the minimum degree of effective protection that most refugee families seek. In my view, at least some right to reunion (if only for core family members) would have to be an integral part of the policy. If this right does not already exist under an existing labor immigration program, a policy adjustment could be made for refugee-workers.

Two fundamentals – which apply to all of the three approaches – relate to the right to claim asylum and the return of refugee-workers whose temporary work permits have expired. Most advocates of alternative pathways for refugees emphasize the importance of retaining their right to protection. But it is clear that the prospect of refugees using these alternative pathways to claim asylum would, in all likelihood, be a major disincentive for high-income countries to offer such pathways in the first place. They would surely want to avoid a situation in which refugees use a temporary labor immigration route to enter legally and then immediately (or after a brief interval) invoke their right to asylum to stay.

If the goal of the labor migration pathway is to provide strictly temporary admission and protection, how will refugees be returned to countries of first asylum? Successfully negotiating readmission agreements with first countries of asylum would be a major challenge. Most first countries of asylum are low- and lower-middle-income countries themselves. It is likely that they will accept readmission agreements that involve the return of refugees only in exchange for greater opportunities for their own nationals to gain admission to higher-income countries as workers, students or family migrants.

In light of these constraints and obstacles, labor migration to high-income countries is unlikely to become a major alternative pathway for large numbers of refugees. This is not to say, however, that some of the obstacles cannot be overcome through innovative policy designs that might benefit a limited number of refugees. There are important initiatives that have been able to place small numbers of refugees from first countries of asylum in jobs in high-income countries. However, given the obstacles discussed above, it is difficult to see how such initiatives could be scaled up significantly, and how international labor migration could become a major option for large numbers of refugees.

There are also considerable dangers of instrumentalizing refugees, in the sense of creating new policies that make the admission of refugees to high-income countries dependent, at least partially, on their perceived economic usefulness. For most refugees in first countries of asylum, the main legal pathway to protection in high-income countries should be resettlement. The key political challenge remains how to convince rich countries to radically increase the resettlement of refugees from overburdened lower-income countries.

Source: NewsDeeply

Having an honest conversation about the issues we’re seeing today requires confronting the hard facts of privilege and how it works.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. As a parent it is also my wish for my 5-year-old son. I have faith that everything I hope for, everything that I do not currently see in this country, will be available to him. At the top of the list of things I hope for is a long life.

We are black, and what has been evident in the last 2 weeks, is that our blackness is a liability. It is a hazard to our lives, to our ability to freely draw breath, without being questioned or killed because of it.

While I am very aware of this fact, my son is not, and yet one day soon, rather than later, he will need to know. He will need to know the rules of his duality — of the double-consciousness W.E.B. DuBois first discussed in the late 19th century — he must keep in an effort to survive.

So, how do I have the conversation? How does any parent have this conversation with their child? How do we broach a subject that is evolving with every new death, for every benign and innocuous activity that would result in such desperately different outcomes if the melanin in the skin of the victims were turned down to barely have tint?

The right time is now

Both Jennifer Harvey, a professor of Christian social ethics at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and Dr. Joseph A. Jackson, a pediatrician at Duke University School of Medicine, believe this conversation about race, racism, freedom, and black liberation begins at birth.

“If my parents had started with me at birth, I could have been an ally so much sooner in my life and made far fewer mistakes and hurt fewer people in my learning journey,” Harvey said to me when we spoke on the phone.

For Jackson, he will have to have the talk with each of his six children. For his 4-year-old daughter, his focus is affirming her in her blackness, in her beauty, in her ability to see beauty in difference. For his five sons the conversation takes a different shape with each child.

“I actually have a set of triplets, one of them I think is unaware of what’s happening all around, and then I’ve got another who is completely broken over the problems in the world,” Jackson said. “So, with those conversations I try to go in, in an age appropriate way to ask a lot of open-ended questions to draw them out.”

But there is nothing truly age appropriate about black death, and the willful killings of black people by those in power who are protected by a white supremacist world order — a racist power structure that has been active and enforced since 1619.

“I think one of the things that’s most weighty about this season is that there are things in the news that honestly don’t surprise me,” Jackson said.

Being new to the conversation doesn’t mean the conversation is new

As difficult and triggering as it is to see the final moments of life evaporate from someone’s body after they’ve pleaded for breath, it is not new. America has a history of watching black people suffer and/or die for sport.

One hundred and one years after Red Summer it seems our country is there again. Instead of black people being dragged from their homes and hung from large trees in public squares in a lynching party, we are now shot dead in our own homes, in our churches, in our cars, in front of our children, and much, much more.

For black families having the talk about race and racism with their children there is a precarious balance we must strike between instilling reality and trying not to raise a generation who live in fear.

For white families having the talk, you must first understand history and the social structures you were born into and benefit from because of the privilege of your skin color. Then work lies in reconciling these things without being dismissive, defensive, or so laden with guilt you become apathetic — or worse, so distraught you can’t focus outside yourself.

Harvey said, “White defensiveness is huge, sometimes it’s because we don’t care and that’s a problem, and sometimes it’s because we don’t know what to do with our guilt . . . [We] don’t always have to feel guilty. We can actually join in and take action as allies in anti-racist struggles.”

For help knowing what to say…

Healthline has compiled a list of anti-racism resources for parents and kids. We update it regularly, and we encourage parents to further their own education on how to raise inclusive, just, and anti-racist children.

After the talk comes the work

Still, there needs to be more than lip-service about allyship and standing in solidarity. It all sounds good, but will you show up?

Privilege serves a purpose. It’s been used to prop up the majority in this country for so long, it’s easy to understand how white people to turn a blind eye to black people’s pain. It’s a pain Dr. Jackson feels as his own.

“In this moment, we’ve all seen the video, and we know that life has been lost, mostly because of the color of [George Floyd’s] skin. There was a privilege that other people standing around had in that moment and they didn’t lay it down.”

Having an honest conversation about the issues we’re seeing today requires confronting the hard facts of privilege and how it works. It requires having the uncomfortable conversations around race, racism, bias, and oppression, and all of us striving to do better than the generation before us.

The onus is not on black people to teach white people how not to be racist. Every white person — man, woman, and child — will have to do the hard heart work throughout their life to effect lasting change.

Harvey said, “I really do think if we can get more white folks to stay off the sidelines, change will have to come. White folks are listened to in a different way, which isn’t right, but it’s part of how white supremacy functions.”

While we as black people continue to bear the burden our people’s suffering, forbearance and patience with white America are not the only lessons we have to offer our children. As much as our history is rooted in pain and trauma it is equally rooted in joy, love, and resilience.

So, while the scope and breadth of the talk will be different from home to home, family to family, and race to race, it is necessary.

It will be necessary for black families to strike a balance between pain, fear, pride, and joy.

It will be necessary for white families to strike a balance between empathetic understanding, shame, guilt, and knee-jerk defense mechanisms.

But in all this talking, in all of this conversing, we must not forget to put to work the lessons we are taught.

“I want for folks to not just be able to have the conversations but to actually live them,” Jackson said.

“The work of white America right now is to look around and see where we are being asked to help and in what ways, and do that,” Harvey said.

I couldn’t agree with them more.

Source: HealthLine 

The Nottingham City Council offers help for those who are struggling financially and/or mentally due to the lockdown. Below the available support is summarised:

Way2Work is for people aged 16 to 50 plus anywhere in Nottingham city and Nottinghamshire and is free to access. Way2Work also supports people who are facing personal and economic barriers to finding a job people such as lack of basic maths and language skills, single adult families, people from BAME communities, over 50s, and people with disabilities or health conditions which have a long-term and significant impact on their daily lives.

Find out more on the Way2Work webpage.

Nottingham Works aims to support young people aged 16 to 29 who are out of work and who live in the city of Nottingham. It is free to access and offers a range of activities to support young people who are NEET (not in education, employment or training) and young, unemployed city residents to help them into education, training and employment.

Find out more on the Nottingham Works webpage.

Welfare Rights Service 

Nottingham City Council’s Welfare Rights Service offers free, confidential and impartial advice including checks to make sure you’re claiming the benefits you’re entitled to, help with benefit claim forms plus support with Tax Credits and Debts.

Visit the Welfare Rights Service webpage for more information and how to contact the team or call 0115 915 1355 (lines are open Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:50 pm). You can also email us at welfarerights@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Source: Nottingham City Council 

Kutambua launches online accredited programs to support learners and job-seekers through Covid-19 challenges

Kutambua online and tutor supported training platform is launching multiple accredited courses which will be listed on the website but provided on secure Google Classroom platform.

Kutambua, which means discovery in Swahili, is the Mojatu Foundation’s training, mentoring and employment support flagship project. You can see more about the current courses at https://lnkd.in/dTJ7TVe

Mojatu Foundation got Open Awards accreditation for multiple qualifications in 2019, which have now been integrated into Kutambua.org.  These are ran in partnership with Fearless Youth Association and Farmeco Community Care Farm, Futures and National Career Services

Our CEO, Valentine Nkoyo said, “We are so proud to develop our training and support more people from our communities. We want to expand these support, volunteering and training opportunities to ensure that BME communities are able to contribute and compete and access available opportunities.”

These courses include Health & Social Care, Agriculture, Horticulture, and Animal Care, Creative and Digital Media and Preparation for Life & Work. We offer job placements and CV writing services.

As the pandemic makes it impossible to organise events, including Summer Schools, The Information is now launching an online summer opportunity for those interested in journalism. This Summer School is free for anyone who gets admitted as the aim is to support young people to navigate in this tricky industry especially now during these unprecedented times.

Jessica Lessin the CEO of The Information pulled together her colleagues in this field to work together and provide an online training as these summer schools can give the needed learning support for young people who wish to work in the news sector.

Among the colleagues we will see:

— The editor of Politico Carrie Budoff Brown on covering the White House and the 2020 Election
— New York Times media columnist and former Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith on “reporting in public” in the digital age
— Fast Company editor-in-chief Stephanie Mehta and creative director Mike Schnaidt on digital design, creativity and the future of magazines
Nicholas Carlson, global editor-in-chief of Insider, on getting a journalism job and finding your beat
Peter Kafka, the host of Recode Media, and Lydia Polgreen, head of content from Gimlet, on the media business, and how to master podcasting
Kevin Delaney, Quartz founder and New York Times Senior Editor, on how to innovate at the intersection of news and product
— The Information founder Jessica Lessin and Evan Smith, founder of the Texas Tribune on news entrepreneurship

And many more…

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays July 7, 2020 through July 30, 2020

Time: 5 pm ET / 2 pm PT

Format: Zoom conference calls and breakout rooms

Cost: None

If you are interested in taking part in the outstanding and unique opportunity register here. 

The NonprofitReady has created a short online course which shows and teaches the basics of non-profit fundraising. You will be able to learn about fundraising areas, methods and roles to create the most adequate fundraising strategy for your non-profit organisation. Then you will learn to understand the cycle of fundraising development to identify possible donors and the process of cultivation.

The last course will introduce you how to conduct solicitation meeting, overcome possible resistance and determine the amount to ask for. It is essential to understand these steps in order to run a successful fundraising campaign to support your cause or community.

Click here to get to know more.

The Anti-Tribalism Movement conducted a research focusing on how the pandemic impacted the remittances from the United Kingdom to Somalia. Based on the findings the Movement urged the British Government for immediate actions, due to the high concerns.

Among the concerns it is presented that for quarter of the respondents the remittances have dropped to zero, while the average remittances per person dropped from £320,19 (before pandemic) to £144,58 (since pandemic). This is a shocking result as this has resulted in that 68% of the dependents say that they no longer able to afford the healthcare, nor their children’s’ education.

Regarding the support offered by the UK Government, only 44% of the Somalis are aware of the income support schemes for employed and self-employed people. This is why only 1 in 5 self-employed Somalis  are planning to apply for the government’s coronavirus support scheme.

It shows therefore, that it is extremely important currently to use the media for spreading the useful information, so those groups who are more isolated can still be informed about the support that is available for them.

To read more click here. 

Ever wondered how you could explain explain Coronavirus to children?

Here is a great book that helps you do so.

This book was made by Nosy Crow to meet the needs of children and their families. was edited by by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson & Nia Roberts and illustrated by Axel Scheffler

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The pressure to homeschool

Like so many parents around the country, I was dreading homeschooling my daughter when it first became clear schools would not be opening back up. This is not a role I ever would have chosen, nor is it how I ever imagined her education going.

To be honest, I’m not the most patient person when it comes to teaching anyone anything, and even helping her with her homework has been a struggle for us in the past.

How was I supposed to spend several hours a day teaching her while also managing my work schedule and keeping a roof over our heads?

Of course I was tempted to latch onto the memes and Facebook posts about eschewing homeschooling altogether and allowing us both to just relax into this moment. After all, how much could she possibly miss over the next 6 weeks of school? She’s only in first grade. Couldn’t all the kids just catch up together when school resumes?

I knew the answer was “yes.” But deep down, I also knew that homeschooling under these circumstances wasn’t necessarily meant to be about academics alone.

More than education

“One of the main points of continuing to learn, in my view, is to give kids a sense of normalcy and growth,” said Kathryn Haydon, a former second grade teacher and education consultant who spends her days now as the innovation strategist behind Sparkitivity.

Haydon explained that while many parents may be feeling as though kids “deserve a break” right now, allowing them to spend their days playing video games and watching movies without any kind of structure is something most kids will grow tired of very quickly. Especially when children are otherwise being deprived of social interaction as well.

“A specific benefit to distance learning programs is to provide connection with outside teachers, mentors, and kids when most people are not able to even visit neighbors,” Haydon said.

Psychologist and author Wendy Walsh, PhD, specializes in attachment. And she agrees. “We hope this will be temporary, but none of us really knows for sure,” she said. “The point of homeschooling in the meantime is structure. Not rigid structure, but enough structure to get things done during the day.”

Walsh explained that a lack of structure can cause cognitive impairment for both kids and adults, leading to a likely rise in depression as a result.

“Having schoolwork to focus on, and the structure and normalcy that provides, can help keep kids from succumbing to that depression too,” she said.

Haydon further explained that the goal of distance learning should be to engage kids in learning, to provide connection, and to provide a sense of continuity and normalcy.

“The goal should not be to cram a ton of concepts down kids’ throats out of fear that they will ‘be behind.’ This is an opportunity to find different ways of learning in a new context,” she said.

The Virtual College has developed a resource pack for businesses to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of their staff working from home or in furlough.

This free resource pack is suitable for everyone and includes everything from e-learning courses, online puzzles to downloadable resources and much more. This free course has been designed as a resource pack full of tips and advice to help an individual’s mental and well-being.

The resource pack includes information on a wide range of different topics, from stress management to work-related mental health to tracking indicators of mental health such as sleep. You will find the following in this pack:

Mental Health and Wellbeing Downloadable Guide:

Mental health is something we care deeply about, therefore we wanted to create a mental health guide that has weight, meaning and helps provide a new or different perspective – one that is different to the usual ‘top tips’ lists out there.

Mental Health Awareness Course

This online course covers the different aspects of your life and how you can improve your mental health and wellbeing in those areas. Aimed at anyone who wishes to improve their mental health.

FREE Work Life Balance Assessment

Work life balance is important in any industry. This 2-in-1 questionnaire and activity planner helps you understand how to improve your work-life balance.

Download the Guide Here