By Emily Lighezzolo
Emily represented QUT Business School at the 2016 OECD Forum in Paris.
The refugee crisis has gained media attention on a global scale as forced migration has reached unprecedented levels following ongoing armed conflict and human rights abuses worldwide. Policy responses have been splintered across the international community, with both inclusive and exclusive agendas adopted as governments attempt to manage the consequences. While the refugee crisis is usually analysed through a humanitarian framework, an economic perspective is rarely examined. This paper looks to address the macro-economic implications of supportive refugee integration schemes in host countries, with particular focus on Australia. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) encourages early and supportive intervention policies by host countries to ensure successful integration of refugees and asylum seekers into labour markets. This paper will suggest policy recommendations to reconceptualise refugees as economic opportunities for OECD nations. Australia’s current refugee policies will be examined and compared to other OECD nations (Germany and Sweden) which have exemplary early labour force intervention programs. This is principally relevant with the current focus of the OECD on ‘productive economies and inclusive societies’, which provides a foundation for policy change and a coordinated scheme to alleviate the refugee crisis among OECD nations.Read More