An awareness of relevant government actors is crucial when seeking to implement a refugee rights program as they dictate the legal and political parameters within which you operate. In identifying relevant government actors, focus on agencies and individuals that are responsible for legislating on and regulating access to work permits as well as refugee rights generally.
Agencies of interest could be the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Commerce, Revenue Department, the Immigration Department, Homeland Security, the local police, local municipalities, and social security services.
In analyzing the role government actor may play in implementing your refugee rights program, consider the following questions:
- What are possible incentives for them to assist you in establishing and conducting your refugee work rights program?
- How do different government institutions work (or not work) together?
- How does the context influence public policy and the work of public institutions?
- In what way could you interact with government actors?
- What ways exist to create a pro refugee narrative?
- What are their concerns about refugees?
- What arguments exist in favor of refugee rights programming and against from their point of view?
- How can you connect these concerns with providing refugees with access to lawful employment or rights to organise and represent? e.g. diminution of shadow economy/ national security concerns/ giving leverage on international stage
- What data and information might be helpful for governments that you can offer?
- What resources can you offer to help build the relationship with the government?
- What is your reputation and what needs to change to create the relationship you need?
- What other partnerships will help you improve your relationship with your target government agencies/officers?