FAR, UNHCR collaborate to launch Refugee Employment Platform in Bulgaria

The Foundation for Access to Rights (FAR), in partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced on February 27 the launch of the Refugee Employment Platform in Bulgaria.

“This innovative platform aims to connect refugees with employers, fostering self-reliance and economic empowerment within refugee communities in the country,” a media statement said

In recent years, Bulgaria has become an important host to refugees, especially from Ukraine, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

As of December 2023, a total of 67 769 Ukrainian refugees were registered for temporary protection and more than 22 000 had applied for asylum last year, mostly Syrian and Afghan.

“The refugee population in Bulgaria presents an opportunity for both refugees and employers,” the statement said.

“Refugees possess a wealth of diverse skills, experiences, and talents that can significantly enrich local workforces and drive economic growth. By facilitating refugee access to employment opportunities, the Refugee Employment Platform strives to unlock their potential, promoting inclusive development and social cohesion across Bulgaria.”

Seda Kuzucu, UNHCR Representative in Bulgaria, said: “Economic empowerment through employment is vital for refugees, providing not only a source of income but also fostering empowerment and self-reliance.

“The Refugee Employment Platform will enable refugees to rebuild their lives with dignity while making positive contributions to their host communities,” Kuzucu said.

The statement said that refugee entrepreneurs and workers inject fresh perspectives, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit into local economies.

By supporting refugee entrepreneurship and employment, the platform is poised to stimulate innovation and creativity, contributing to economic growth and prosperity, according to the statement.

“The Refugee Employment Platform offers a vital resource for employers seeking to fill workforce gaps while providing refugees with meaningful employment opportunities,” Valeria Ilareva, Founder of FAR, said.

“By facilitating connections between employers and refugee workers, the platform fosters integration and bridges cultural divides, fostering a more inclusive society.”

With the employment platform, FAR and UNHCR will match hundreds of refugees with employers and provide valuable insights into the administrative and legal aspects of employment in Bulgaria, the statement said.

“The platform will serve as a bridge, facilitating the publication and promotion of job offers while enabling job seekers to access employment opportunities seamlessly.”

The statement said that employers and refugees alike are encouraged to explore the opportunities offered by the Refugee Employment Platform by visiting www.employment.refugeelight.bg.

(Photo: Gabrielle Henderson/ Unsplash)

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