What Queen Rania Said About Refugees And How They May Be Able To Work For The First Time
An issue long debated in the United Nations, the status of asylum seekers and refugees are now undergoing major ideas of reform. Although this may not be straightforward yet it seems that the evolution of our UN conventions is being tested.
At the Davos Economic Forum earlier this month, Queen Rania of Jordan brought forth the idea of creating an economic zone where refugees can seek employment and gain valuable skills while speaking. This comes as no surprise as Jordan is currently hosting one of the largest refugees populations from all over the Middle East.
What would an economic zone look like? Why does Jordan need this? And will other countries follow suit?
An economic zone as such better known as a Special Economic Zone (SEZs) are located within a country’s national borders. The aims of the zones include: increased trade, increased investment, job creation and effective administration. To encourage businesses to set up in the zone, financially libertarian policies are introduced. These policies typically regard investing, taxation, trading, quotas, customs and labor regulations. Additionally, companies may be offered tax holidays.
For Jordan to consider this is no surprise at all, considering a weak employment rate within the country. A new economic zone will also spur Foreign Direct investment to the region. In retrospect this seems like a win-win: refugees can finally find work in hopes of finding a normal life, and Jordan benefits economically.
If these SEZs are created with a proven track record, will countries have something better to offer asylum seekers?
As it turns out, European companies have already begun hiring refugees, a move that has faced some local opposition. It has also spurred ideas of social enterprise in Britain to help women gain valuable work within the textile industry.
The reason why countries are so often hesitant to allow anyone to work is because we have been looking at a grey issue with a black and white filter. Governments are now worried between the distinction between economic migration and asylum.
It’s interesting to look at the power of business and what it can do for you in regards to a visa. Is the power of business for good enough to help change the lives of many refugees and asylum seekers? I think only time will tell and we may have Jordan as a future example to research and analyze.