OECD points to lack of integration of refugees

The conditions of integration of new immigrants are far from favorable. According to an OECD report published on Friday 11 January, entitled "Improving the resilience of the integration system for refugees and vulnerable migrants," developed countries have hosted more than six million refugees in the last five years. "The integration of refugees and vulnerable people is a crucial goal: By improving the employability of refugees, countries can help them to unlock their economic potential and generate a positive economic impact".

Faced with large arrivals of refugees sometimes fleeing countries at war, European countries have clearly divided in recent years on the issue of migration. In particular, the experts regret that these divisions hamper administrative procedures for applications for protection and ultimately their integration into working life. "By delaying their access to the labor market, some countries are preventing refugees from starting their integration process by speeding up the recognition of refugee status and their access to the labor market, especially for asylum seekers to whom we can grant protection, it could speed up their integration. "

Moreover, the report points out that since the peak of 2016, new asylum applications have fallen sharply in developed countries and the countries of the European Union (EU). "Although the flows of protection claims in European countries during the previous three years have reached historical standards, they have remained at lower levels both in absolute and relative terms than those recorded in neighboring countries. Syria", they add.

Refugee qualifications: very marked disparities

The results of the organization reveal contrasts particularly visible in terms of education and training. Refugees are overrepresented at both ends of the qualification scale for people aged 15 to 64 in 2017. In some countries, such as Canada, Israel, Australia, the United Kingdom or Switzerland, The share of foreign-born people in the most skilled is higher than that of the native-born. In France, this share is slightly lower. In total, out of 35 countries, the proportion of people born abroad is still higher among the most qualified.

Among the least qualified, the share of immigrants is higher on average. This is particularly noticeable in Italy, Spain, France or Germany. At the same time, the share of immigrants graduating from higher education over the last decade has accelerated between 2007 and 2017. Furthermore, the document emphasizes that "Refugees are often more overqualified than other migrants." In total, nearly 60 percent of tertiary-sector refugees are overqualified for the positions they occupy, two more than natives and well above other categories of migrants. . "

Beyond this polarization on the scale of qualifications, the authors of the report recommend supporting language courses to facilitate the employability of this population. "Lack of foreign language skills is a major barrier, help for language courses - and more specifically language courses for work, should be one of the first measures of integration", explain the experts of the institution based in Paris. They also regret that employers are not sufficiently involved in integration policies. "Employers have a key role to play in facilitating the integration of refugees and vulnerable people, but they have largely been excluded from policy responses in some countries."

An often lower employment rate

Despite an increase in the number of tertiary-educated refugees, they have lower employment rates than those born in the country. In the European Union, it reached 56% in 2016, nine points less than for people born in the EU. This phenomenon is even more marked among women.

It amounts to about 45% on average. "Progress in the labor market of migrant women is lower than that of women born in the country", underline the authors of the report. While the employment rate of French women increased by three points between 2007 and 2017, that of immigrant women in the territory tricolor declined over the same period. For women who have obtained refugee status, the results are even worse, without counting the discriminations regularly pointed out by the Defender of Rights.

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