Legal Framework Analysis

Purpose: An analysis of the existing legal framework in the host community is essential in designing a refugee work rights program. The applicable international and domestic legal protections are crucial to the provision of legal services, community empowerment as well as targeted policy advocacy. Specifically, it can be used to assess:

  • What laws and policies refugees can use to advocate for their right to work?
  • Where are the gaps in the current legal framework? This can help identify where you can advocate for policy improvements to enable refugees to access work.

Tool:

Country
What international instruments is the host country signatory to? Consider:

  • 1951 UN Refugee Convention
  • 1967 Protocol
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
What regional legal instruments is the host country signatory to? Consider:

Latin America

  • 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees
  • Inter-American Convention of Human Rights
  • 1994 San José Declaration on Refugees and Displaced People
  • 2004 Mexico Plan of Action for the protection of refugees in Latin America
  • 2014 Brazil Declaration and Plan of Action

Africa

  • African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“Banjul Charter”)
  • OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa
  • African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention)

Asia

  • ASEAN Human Rights Declaration
  • Bali Declaration on People Smuggling and Trafficking on 23 March 2016
  • ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
What domestic legislation protects the right to work? Consider:

  • Constitutional Protections
  • Migration Law
  • Asylum Law
  • Labour Laws
  • Anti-Discrimination Law
  • Women’s Rights
  • Rights for People with Disabilities
  • Children’s Rights
  • Local legislation

Country example

Country Ecuador
What international instruments is the host country signatory to?
  • 1951 UN Refugee Convention
  • 1967 Protocol
  • International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Palermo Protocol 2000
What regional legal instruments is the host country signatory to?
  • 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees
  • Inter-American Convention of Human Rights
  • 2004 Mexico Plan of Action for the protection of refugees in Latin America
  • 2014 Brazil Plan of Action
What domestic legislation protects the right to work?
  • 2008 Constitution stipulates right to apply for asylum, and that refugees will have their rights protected in the country. (Art 41). Accordingly, all foreigners in Ecuador have the same rights and duties as Ecuadorians, including the right to work. (art 9, 11)
  • Ministry of Education Agreements for refugee children access to education.
  • Human Mobility Organic Law and its Regulation (Ley Orgánica de Movilidad Humana y su Reglamento)
  • National Well Being Plan (2017-2021)
  • Ecuadorian National Equality Agenda (Human Mobility)
  • Organic Code of Territorial Organization, Autonomy and Decentralization (COOTAD Código Orgánico de Ordenamiento Territorial,  Autonomía y Descentralización)
  • Labor Code (Código del Trabajo)
  • Local Ordinances regarding refugee rights and access to work in formal and informal sectors.

Tool:

In addition to understanding existing laws, the Refugee Work Rights Scorecard is a useful tool to analyze the extent to which laws and policies are realized in practice. Use the “Respect”, “Protection” and “Promotion” metrics of the Scorecard to identify other barriers in accessing work.

For Scorecard, see page 23 of Global Refugee Work Rights Report.

Note: The scorecard can be used as a complementary tool to your stakeholder analysis and needs assessment.