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15 September 2016

Refugees at a metal processing workshop organized by German industrial group Siemens in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch

Merkel Wants Germany to Get Refugees into Workforce Faster

Germany - Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany needed "viable solutions" to integrate refugees into the workforce faster after she met with blue-chip companies, which have hired fewer than 100 refugees since around a million arrived in the country last year, writes Georgina Prodhan for Reuters.

Merkel, fighting for her political life over her open-door policy, summoned the bosses of some of Germany's biggest companies to Berlin on Wednesday to account for their lack of action and exchange ideas about how they can do better.

Many of the companies contend that a lack of German-language skills, the inability of most refugees to prove any qualifications and uncertainty about their permission to stay in the country mean there is little they can do in the short term.

Merkel told rbb-inforadio that if needed, special provisions could be developed to speed up the integration of refugees into the workforce, but she acknowledged this would still take time.

"Many are in integration courses or waiting to get on them. So I think we will need to show some patience, but must be ready at any time to develop viable solutions," she said.

A survey by Reuters of the 30 companies in Germany's DAX stock index found they could point to just 63 refugee hires in total. Several of the 26 firms who responded said they considered it discriminatory to ask about applicants' migration history, so they did not know whether they employed refugees or how many.

Of the 63 hires, 50 are employed by Deutsche Post DHL, which said it applied a "pragmatic approach" and deployed the refugees to sort and deliver letters and parcels.

Read on

In Challenge Lies Opportunity: How the World Must Respond to Refugees and Mass Migration

United Kingdom - The Elders have launched a new report on refugees and mass migration, calling for political will to ensure that responsibility is truly shared between countries, and that the vulnerable are protected.

"We must seize this moment to reaffirm our humanity and come together in our protection of the vulnerable," note the group, composed of independent world leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela, who work together for peace and human rights.

There are more people on the move today than ever before. A quarter of a billion have left their homes for new lives abroad. Sixty-five million have been displaced by war or persecution. So far the world has appeared ill-prepared to respond to this increased mobility and ill at ease with its consequences.

In the absence of safe and regular alternatives, millions of people facing danger or destitution are attempting perilous and clandestine journeys, abetted by people-smuggling networks.

Lacking properly coordinated response mechanisms, countries of arrival are isolated and overstretched. Scenes of disorder stoke fears and drive up anti-migrant sentiment, leading to policies of containment and closed borders over those of compassion and cooperation.

Read on  |   Download the Report: English | German


Boys drawing nets under the supervision of a "slave master" in Tonka, a small fishing community on the shores of Lake Volta, Ghana. IOM has helped the Ghanaian government to eliminate cross-border and internal human trafficking since 2002. Follow us.

Migration in the News
  • UN News reported that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that refugees and migrants, climate change, and the war in Syria will figure prominently at the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York. He also cited IOM’s entry to the UN.

  • Thomson Reuters reported how a smartphone and a local non-profit’s Facebook post led to a landmark lawsuit pitting migrant workers in Thailand against a major corporation at the top of the food chain.

  • Huffington Post ran a blog by IOM West Africa Operations Officer Cecilia Mann telling the harrowing story of a Senegalese migrant who tried to make it to Europe via Niger and Libya, but was eventually forced to return home.

  • Huffington Post Canada reported that cities are demanding a greater role in managing migration and are asserting their independence from national migration policies that disenfranchise a large percentage of their residents.

Trending on the Internet

  • A News Deeply op-ed warned that a quick-fix strategy to solve the migration crisis that focuses on Syrian refugees may not bode well for migrants who fall outside the 1951 Refugee Convention. Few States have signed binding agreements to provide international protection for migrant workers.

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