MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Employment is traditionally viewed as an integral component of refugee integration. Previous research suggests that for refugees, employment benefits psychological well-being, provides economic security, and develops social networks. The current research explores the dynamic between integration and employment for asylum-seekers and refugees in Serbia. It seeks to understand the difficulties these displaced populations face finding employment and why they remain in a country which is traditionally viewed as a transit country into the European Union. Data collection was conducted through semi-structured, qualitative interviews with asylum-seekers, refugees, and Key Informants in Serbian CSOs (Civil Society Organizations). The data shows that employment is a top priority for refugees and asylum-seekers in Serbia. It is an immediate need upon arrival, providing an income, cultural exchange opportunities, and overall stability. Due to waiting periods imposed by the Serbian government, and a general institutional lag, asylum-seekers are unable to fully participate in the Serbian labor market when it would benefit them most. Those who do find stable employment are most likely to remain in Serbia and build a life. The current research discovered that the reciprocal relationship between integration and employment in Serbia is currently fractured. Only by shifting public policy and investing in refugee integration can this relationship be mended.
Eastern European Studies | Economic Policy | Migration Studies | Social Justice
Block, Jona, "No Integration Without Employment: Asylum-Seekers in Serbia and their Search for Employment" (2023). Capstone Collection. 3288.