From Education to Employment to Sport and Beyond: Seven Pledges to Expand Complementary Pathways, Champion Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement and Promote Refugee-led Solutions
Fuelled by new and protracted crises, forced displacement continues to be a challenge and requires urgent and collective action.
At the Global Refugee Forum, the world will unite to tackle challenges facing refugees and host communities.
The Global Refugee Forum is the world’s largest gathering on refugees and will provide an opportunity to build on the significant commitments made by governments and other stakeholders towards the implementation of pledges and initiatives from the last Global Refugee Forum.
WUSC is renewing our commitment to supporting refugees through seven pledges.
From supporting refugee economic inclusion to expanding refugee access to postsecondary education through new pathways, learn more about how WUSC is partnering with new actors to grow our networks and create new opportunities to support refugees and displaced people.
Pledge 1: Expand education pathways and develop welcoming communities in Canada
WUSC and WUSC Local Committees at Canadian post-secondary institutions across the country commit to continue to expand education pathways and access to higher education, and to create welcoming communities for refugees, by:
- Increasing the number of additional refugee students that WUSC Local Committees sponsor annually through the Student Refugee Program by 20%.
- Establishing strong social, psychosocial, and academic support structures for refugees sponsored by WUSC.
- Building welcoming communities and campuses for newcomers by organizing public awareness events in the community and on campus.
- Raising awareness among admission officers and other service providers on the role they can play in helping diverse refugee populations overcome educational barriers.
- Improving the data and evidence base by ensuring regular monitoring and evaluation of the Student Refugee Program and getting regular feedback from students and alumni.
In addition, WUSC is committing to support the campus-wide Local Committee network to achieve these commitments and to ensure that the Student Refugee Program is inclusive and gender-responsive and integrates refugee voices. We will continue to advocate for policies that promote inclusivity, non-discrimination, and equal opportunities for refugees to access tertiary education in Canada.
Pledge 2: Expand economic mobility pathways to Canada
WUSC will support the expansion of labour pathways to Canada, by contributing to employer mobilization and securing additional employment opportunities for refugee youth. We commit the economic empowerment of refugees through the facilitation of refugee employment by providing comprehensive information about recruitment processes, connecting qualified refugees with employment opportunities and ensuring sustainable employment. We will do so by:
- Mobilizing employers to secure an additional 100 employment opportunities in Canada.
- Identifying and referring a minimum of 400 refugees to economic mobility pathways.
- Supporting the development of infrastructure in first countries by promoting and sharing information about protection-sensitive labour mobility pathways and advocating for greater refugee inclusion in postsecondary education and employment.
- Investing in initiatives that support the expansion of labour mobility pathways and refugee self-reliance.
Pledge 3: Champion education pathways to third countries and improve global practices: solutions-focused technical expertise and capacity-building
WUSC will champion and offer demand-driven, technical, and capacity building support. We will provide support to establish, expand, and sustain education pathways to third countries by leveraging our networks and technical expertise to:
- Mobilize, build capacity, and support non-traditional networks and actors, including youth, to take action.
- Identify, prepare, and match refugee students with education pathways and opportunities.
- Create or leverage innovative funding models that allow for sustainable, predictable commitments.
- Accelerate the integration of refugees through the creation of welcoming communities and peer-to-peer support models.
- Convene or co-convene four meetings of education pathway stakeholders to share expertise, lessons learned, and advocate for policy and operational changes that enable greater access to postsecondary education and complementary education pathways to third countries.
- Provide tailored technical support and advisory services to states and stakeholders prior to the next Global Refugee Forum.
Pledge 4: Expand refugee access to postsecondary education and self-reliance
WUSC will commit to support and facilitate access to postsecondary education opportunities for refugee and displaced youth. Specifically, WUSC will:
- Provide technical support to the Mastercard Foundation and its Scholars Program network.
- Convene national or regional meetings between hosting states, postsecondary institutions, and refugees to exchange insights and jointly craft strategies that uplift refugee educational endeavors and transitions to meaningful and dignified work.
- Advocate for and provide technical assistance to national governments, postsecondary institutions, and relevant entities to enable the inclusion of forcibly displaced people in higher education institutions and community colleges.
- Develop tools, resources, and peer-exchange mechanisms and provide individualized support that assists institutions and other stakeholders to support refugee access to higher education and transition professionally.
- Document and generate evidence that encompasses refugee participation in higher education, self-reliance, and employment, along with consequential social cohesion outcomes. We will ensure that research and evaluations correspond with the priorities set forth by policymakers, institutions of higher learning, experts on refugees, and vital stakeholders and demonstrate the impact, gaps, challenges, and opportunities.
- Facilitate linkages to relevant bridging programs to meet admission requirements and address gaps in education and training.
Pledge 5: Support the economic inclusion and self-reliance of refugees
WUSC is committing to dismantle the structural and practical obstacles to employment and employability of forcibly displaced and stateless persons by:
- Promoting market-oriented livelihood opportunities and training.
- Implementing initiatives that reduce community tensions, enhance social cohesion, and encourage peaceful coexistence.
- Advocating for policies that promote inclusivity, non-discrimination, and equal opportunities for refugees, both at the national and international levels.
- Developing tools, resources and peer-exchange mechanisms and providing individualized support to employers, workplaces and stakeholders to support refugee access to employment and transition professionally.
Pledge 6: Promote refugee-led solutions and participation
WUSC is committing to ensuring that people with refugee lived experience and host communities play a key role in informing the design and implementation of all of the work we do with and for refugee youth. We will promote refugee-led solutions and participation, and amplify refugee voices in WUSC’s programming, public engagement, communications, research, and policy dialogue activities related to refugee and forced migration issues. We will do so by:
- Joining the joint pledge on refugee participation.
- Strengthening leadership, advocacy, public speaking, and the storytelling capacity of refugee youth and assisting refugees to represent their communities at local, national and international forums and coordination bodies.
- Leveraging the expertise of persons with lived experience to provide advice, technical expertise, and support to policy bodies relevant to refugee policy and student action.
- Increasing equitable, collaborative partnerships with refugee-led organizations.
Pledge 7: Champion sports-linked pathways to third countries and share technical expertise
WUSC will champion and offer technical and capacity-building support to states, postsecondary networks and institutions as well as public and private sector actors to establish sports-linked pathways to third countries by:
- Providing tailored technical support and advisory services.
- Convening or co-convening meetings of relevant stakeholders to promote sports-linked complementary and policy or operational changes that enable greater access to sports-linked complementary pathways to Canada and third countries.
- Developing and contributing to policy briefs and learning materials.
Join our growing network of partners as we continue to create new opportunities for refugees and displaced youth across the globe to access education and employment and secure better futures for themselves and their families. Take action today and join us!
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