An article on PBS Newshour website this week titled ‘Should refugees be allowed to work?’ highlights the research carried out by the Humanitarian Innovation Project (HIP) on refugee economies, particularly in Uganda. Uganda is currently host to over 500,000 refugees, and here refugees are given the right to work. In the article, Professor Alexander Betts, Director of both the Refugee Studies Centre and HIP, states that Uganda “quickly recognized that, with large amounts of unoccupied arable land, it could benefit from allowing refugees the right to work in under-populated rural areas.” Now refugees work as farmers, taxi drivers and run Internet cafes and community radio stations.
“From Kenya to Uganda to Tanzania to Thailand, in all of these contexts, we see refugees helping themselves and their communities when they’re given opportunities,” Betts says. “If we empower people, they will help themselves, and they will help their host societies and communities.”
Read the article here >>
Humanitarian Innovation Project
Refugee Economies: Rethinking Popular Assumptions
RSC Research in Brief 2: Refugee Economies
Refugee Innovation: Humanitarian Innovation that Starts with Communities