How workers' cooperatives can help tackle the refugee crisis

Cooperatives have been put to good use by refugees and host communities at different stages of intervention from the start of the crisis to integration in their host country. They step in providing direct assistance for refugees and delivering basic goods and services. Cooperatives can be set up specifically for refugees or the latter may join existing cooperatives in growth oriented sectors of the host country’s economy.

We have seen for instance refugee women establish financial and artisanal cooperatives in host countries with support from local and international agencies. In a number of host countries cooperatives moved to support refugees. At a recent event here in the ILO , it was reported that Italian social cooperatives provide 18,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants with services and projects in 220 welcome centres and 170 dedicated housing structures.

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