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Report places Portugal at the top of European countries in terms of labor rights for refugees

Refugees' right to work is continually recognized as a factor of inclusion, enabling and increasing the autonomy and independence of refugees, as well as bringing proven benefits to the host society. However, the reality is that most refugees continue to face severe limitations in being able to work and contribute to the hosting country.

The most recent report on the labor rights of refugees worldwide and their access to the labor market concludes that the majority of refugees (55%) face significant legal and practical barriers to their labor inclusion in host countries and 19% live in countries which severely restricts their labor rights. The study also concluded that there is a wide difference between labor rights enshrined in the law and those that are actually put into practice.

The report reveals Portugal as the only European country to receive the best rating in terms of its performance in the access to the labor market by refugees. The strongest practical points correlate with documentation, rights of movement, access to primary and secondary education, as well as recourse for violations at work. The biggest challenges are the equivalence and validation of competences, the difficulties in establishing their own businesses, as well as access to university and tertiary education.

Other countries that are at the top of this ranking are: Uganda, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and Rwanda.

Refugees work in a bookbinding and printing company in Germany. Picture-alliance/dpa/S.Willnow

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