NRV Member Haqqi Braham delivered the second collective NGO intervention at the Third Formal Consultation on the Global Compact on Refugees.
This intervention has been drafted through wide consultations with NGOs. First, we commend progress made, including the new focus on food security and statelessness. We also appreciate the emphasis on harnessing refugees’ potential while moving beyond encampment policies. In short, this section may allow better fulfillment of refugees’ rights, including their social and cultural rights. In this perspective, supporting national systems is crucial but it must lead to comprehensive inclusion of refugees.
Related measures should also be accompanied by stronger references to freedom of movement for refugees and we repeat that investing in refugees’ skills better prepares them for all durable solutions, not just returns. In addition, although stronger complementarities between emergency response and development cooperation may yield positive results, we recall that humanitarian assistance must remain needs-based, accountable to refugees and principled in line with international humanitarian law.
On education, we stress the need for inclusive approaches and welcome the reference to ‘safe schools’, which could also mention removing safety-related or practical obstacles to attendance. Moreover, expanding access for refugees will require supporting inclusive national education systems and long-term planning through predictable funding. Emphasis must be put on universally recognised quality education, which facilitates complementary pathways. Access to education for children and youth living with disabilities must also receive special attention.
We welcome the emphasis on access to jobs and livelihoods and encourage support for professional development, entrepreneurship, and skills retention, which contribute to durable solutions. Access to productive, safe and equitable work opportunities must be accompanied with strong and enforceable protection safeguards to prevent exploitation.
The Compact should include explicit references to both States’ ‘duty to protect’ and business’ ‘responsibility to respect’ labour and human rights. Refugees must be made aware of their rights and have access to social protection.
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