Identifying Barriers and Opportunities to Labor Mobility Pathways

Given the persistent lack of durable options for most of Syria’s displaced, complementary pathways to resettlement have become an increasingly core component of holistic policy and advocacy responses on behalf of Syrian refugees. One of the complementary pathways being explored for its potential to facilitate the achievement of durable solutions for refugees is that of labor mobility. Most skilled migration pathways were not designed with refugee circumstances in mind and as a result, block the majority of refugees from accessing them. This means countries are deprived of much needed human capital in growth sectors, while refugees are prevented from using their skills as a solution to their protracted displacement.

This study intends to help fill this research gap by evaluating the intersectional systemic barriers experienced by refugees in the context of labor migration and complementary pathways in Jordan and Lebanon. It outlines the challenges that Syrian refugees, in particular, face at different stages of the labor mobility process while based in Jordan and Lebanon. It then presents a case study that highlights some of the solutions developed to overcome identified barriers and outlines recommendations for overcoming host country barriers directed to NGOs in Jordan and Lebanon, UNHCR, Third Countries, the Governments of Jordan and Lebanon, and international donors.