Volunteering to Foster Refugee Integration: The Example of Turkey
Volunteering can play a valuable role in strengthening refugees’ integration. With this idea in mind, the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) and the Human Resource Development Foundation (HRDF) partnered in a Refugee Protection and Service Delivery Dialogue project.
The project supported Turkish civil society organizations setting up volunteering programs for Syrian and other refugee groups; promoted the exchange of best practices to strengthen refugee protection and integration in Turkey; and provided a platform for participants to network and build relationships to support durable solutions for refugees in Turkey and the European Union.
The project’s final publication, Paving the way for refugees in Turkey: from reception to durable solutions, was published in April 2018.
The report provides an overview of the refugee context in Turkey, including the civil society’s response to the large numbers of vulnerable refugees residing in the country. It also offers a brief assessment of recent policy developments towards Syrians, summarizing changes in Turkey’s asylum and protection regime before looking at the role of local authorities and their ongoing challenge to build welcoming and inclusive local communities.
Finally, the report provides an overview of the volunteering culture, tools and best practices – from both Turkey and the EU – to receive and integrate refugees and gives practical recommendations for engaging volunteers in refugee service delivery in Turkey.
As of April 2018, there are around 3.5 million registered refugees in Turkey.
The project is part of the EU-Turkey Civil Society Dialogue program which brings together civil society organizations to exchange knowledge and experience and to facilitate their ongoing dialogue.