The refugee crisis is a global issue that continues to impact nations in their economic, social, political, and environmental spectrum. From developing to developed nations, refugees take a toll on their expenditures. Central to the refugee implication has been the need to examine social protection as an emergent problem that requires situational awareness. Accordingly, social protection needs to be more consistent in its availability to refugees. Enabling access for refugees is one of the functional expectations of the national legislation and policy mandate. The host communities to the governments exuding capacity to meet the social needs have become an area of assessment. Refugees being the focus of a polarized discussion on their social protection requirements has led to the need to examine their input in the policy or practice formulation and implementation. Firsthand experience of the refugees provides evidence-based information that can be the basis for substantial progress in forming social protection systems. Therefore, an in-depth assessment of social protection for refugees based on their inclusion in policy formulation and implementation should highlight the way forward.
Social protection has been an emergent area of analysis in recent years, especially in assessing the welfare of refugees. In a global setting that is grappling with an unprecedented refugee crisis, it is evident that social protection requires an in-depth analysis. From Rohingya to Syrian, North African, and Afghanistan refugees impacting the global setting, it is clear that developing and developed nations have been struggling to manage the rising refugee population. For example, across the EU, Turkey has been dealing with over 3.6 million refugees from Syria (Abdoul-Azize, 2022). The nation has been calling for EU and UN assistance to meet the social needs of the refugees with the need for a comprehensive assessment of the way forward. Therefore, refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers have increasingly become the focus of a differentiated discussion. Leaving an avenue for balanced and evidence-centric evaluation of the challenges and opportunities that the host countries face has influenced the discussions on social protection. Therefore, some nations have accomplished significant headway in reforming the social protection systems to enhance access and expand the service delivery for refugees.
Hence in the present setting, social protection is anchored within the international human rights guidelines and is an essential policy tool for hosting refugees. Arguably, the need to build resilience and improve economic and social outcomes for refugees as vulnerable individuals is within the scope of the rights principles. Therefore, investing in social protection systems has become a tool to safeguard the refugees from the life-cycle of contingencies and extrinsic shocks that may lead to detrimental outcomes on their well-being. Refugees are at a heightened risk of poverty, inaccessibility to basic needs, and avenues for personal growth and development. The risks inherent in the refugees require more effort for the nations to deploy social protection measures. Promoting a safe and productive avenue for the refugees is an avenue of concern for the refugees that centers on the countries recognizing their role in policy implementation.
Transforming the social protection process requires the participation of the refugees as individuals who have a firsthand account of their interactive process in host nations. Therefore, reflecting upon their input should be within the paradigm of developing welfare-centric policies and practices for positive outcomes. Godin (2020) recognizes that the rights-based principles are essential and generate an enabling platform to examine the broad societal effects of the social protection measures among refugees. International migration can lead to a positive or negative transformation of the societies and the well-being of the refugees (Longhurst & Slater, 2022). Accessibility to basic needs and promoting an enabling platform whereby the people are not marginalized is within the spectrum of deploying necessary measures to protect the welfare of the refugees. Evidence by Sebates (2019) reveals that the effects of refugee inflows on the community are extensive and can be overwhelming for the host nations. Therefore, assessing their contributory role in developing viable policies and practices should be the basis for decision-making.
Creating an effective and welfare-centric platform that centers on including refugees within the social protection process has become evident. Exploration of the particular vulnerabilities associated with refugee status has been the basis for their participation (Longhurst & Slater, 2022). Reviewing and synthesizing the lessons from various nations should generate the foundation for deploying the best techniques to promote social protection (Seyfert et al., 2019). Hence, exploring the measures to enhance social protection to support their well-being requires a rights-based approach that recognizes the welfare of the refugees as influential in the operational mandate (Longhurst & Slater, 2022). Harnessing approaches include multi-level engagement, extensive community outreach programs, and establishing links toward refugee integration and community development.
Rights Based Strategy
Barron et al. (2022) recognize that rights-based social protection is an essential topic that should be handled for positive outcomes. The protection of refugees should be within the scope of assessment and determination of the way forward to enhance their lives. Therefore, individuals of every age, nationality, and sex or refugee status have an inherent right to social protection as enshrined in the Declaration of Human Rights. Before a person departs during transit within international borders, recognition of personal rights is within the government’s obligation. Hence, the realization of the government’s responsibility should influence the decision-making. Sseviiri et al. (2022) contend that legal coverage denotes the recognition of rights set forth by the national legislation and focuses on adequate coverage. Social protection is within the paradigm of decision-making and should center on participative techniques for the welfare management of refugees.
Extension of the legal and practical coverage of social protection for refugees is a guarantee for numerous nations. In line with the principle of equal treatment, it is vital to accept the refugee status as influential in the assessment dynamics (Hennebry & Petrozziello, 2019). Enacting laws that empower and safeguard the refugees is crucial and centers on principles and practices that narrow the welfare management process. Promoting effective strategies to hinder the mistreatment of refugees is an operational requirement of the host nations (Longhurst & Slater, 2022). However, oversight of their conduct needs to be made apparent, which may lead to violations. Disproportionate treatment of refugees entails strategic assessment and determining measures to protect their rights (Neef, 2020). Embedding the rights and fundamental principles of social protection in the national setting is a challenge that should conform to international standards. A fair indication of the national efforts to protect the refugees should center on the core principles that emanate from the rights-based approach.
Hence, navigating the rights-centric approach entails transparent measures to protect them and promoting an enabling platform for protection. Therefore, the inclusive dimension in the rights-based approach has centered on the focus on equal treatment and non-discriminatory policies (Yilmaz, 2018). As the basis for regulatory adoption, prejudice should not be adopted in the service delivery, emphasizing an open platform for the refugees to report emergent cases (Seyfert et al., 2019). Further, nations such as US and UK deploy the minimum standards within the regulatory framework to treat refugees. Moreover, investment in social security rights has been within the purview of most developed nations (Neef, 2020). Conformity to the International Convention on rights of Migrant workers and Their Families is a practical approach that highlights the efforts undertaken by nations to protect people.
Additionally, irrespective of the legal status, regulations within the nation of destination have been vital in determining the protective guidelines. Nonetheless, ratifying the universal standards and conventions for refugee protection, especially in the host nations, has been ineffective (Hennebry & Petrozziello, 2019). Focus on an all-inclusive platform for safeguarding the refugees has yet to be evident with the need for an elaborate and safe platform for refugee protection. Sseviiri et al. (2022) purport that numerous nations have been investing in Sustainable Development Agendas that focus on managing and protecting poor and vulnerable people within the social protection framework. Hence, nations such as Turkey, the US, Morocco, and Brazil are on the front step of refugee protection. Central to the strategic deployment has been investment into approaches that center on inclusion.
For example, in Turkey, as of 2020, the nation had 4 million refugees majority emanating from Syria (Abdoul-Azize, 2022). The nation has the Law on Foreigners and International Protection that is geared at safeguarding the rights and obligations of people who require protection in Turkey. Within the legal environment is the promotion of a comprehensive setting whereby the refugees have rights to access education, health insurance, and social assistance (Hennebry & Petrozziello, 2019). In policy description, the inclusion of refugees depends on the interplay of government and humanitarian initiatives supported by the European Union. On the other hand, the US has a comprehensive social protection law that borrows extensively from the UNHCR guidelines.
Support for the holistic efforts to expand access to asylum and regular stay agreements is within the scope of the refugee protection process. Thus, support for refugees has been the focal point of the operational dynamics of the US (Seyfert et al., 2019). For example, the nation assists refugees in securing urgent life-saving support, basic needs, improved sanitation, and emergency health services. With the refugee crisis spewing into the US, recent years have been shaped by global criticism of the treatment of refugees. From humanitarian assistance to providing a safe setting for their refugees, it has become paramount for the US to review the performance prospect (Yilmaz, 2018). Equally, Brazil, in 2020, was estimated to host over 260000 Venezuelan refugees (Lowe et al., 2022). Hence, Lowe et al. (2022) recognize that the nation adopts a social assistance program that promotes an enabling platform for welfare improvement. For example, the refugees across Brazil obtain cash transform. Through the Bolsa Familia initiative, conditional cash access targets households with children.
On the other hand, the BPC (Beneficio de Prestacao continuada) is unconditional cash access that targets older people with refugee status or people with disabilities (Koehler, 2021). The two initiatives focus on enhancing the refugees’ access to essential commodities. Initiatives to guarantee social assistance have been within the purview of operations to respond to the inflow of refugees. Equally, the humanitarian initiatives have centered on social efforts to improve their well-being and translate into a livable environment (Samborska, 2020).
However, the single-system approach based on financial allocation has led to criticism of the capability to meet basic needs. Further, morocco equally struggles with refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa and the MENA region, with the population estimated at over 700,000 (Abdoul-Azize, 2022). The nation focuses on the legal requirements of the UNHCR in the decision-making and strategy deployment. Accordingly, the deployment of the legislative framework has been within the purview of operations that centers on immigration policy to guarantee fundamental rights. In Article 30, the nations adopt a policy that is dependent on empowering refugees and deploying regular amendments (Hennebry & Petrozziello, 2019). Hence, the rights-based approach deployed in the nations highlights the significant steps undertaken to promote the welfare management of refugees (Yilmaz, 2018).
Nonetheless, additional efforts have been sensitized as the basis for transforming the refugee experience and promoting practical, participative approaches. Progressive change towards an increasingly inclusive framework has been the basis for a positive-centric approach to welfare management. Reforms to the national immigration policies and practices have been called upon to adopt a humanitarian approach. Thus, critics such as Lowe et al. (2022) emphasized that an upgraded rights-based approach requires the inclusion of refugees in decision-making. Despite the progress made to promote the welfare of the refugees, changes based on collaboration and participation should focus on the following processes.
Strategies for Refugee Inclusion
Engagement is crucial to develop first-hand information on refugees’ issues or challenges. Sseviiri et al. (2022) emphasize that investing strategically in partnership programs responsible for involving refugees in decision-making is advisable. Working towards a mutually beneficial platform centers on working together with local leaders and refugees can be transformative in service delivery. Shared information, database assessment, and biometric tools are advisable resources that can promote information intelligence on the refugees and their requirements (Yilmaz, 2018). Multi-level and holistic engagement denotes the participation of government actors and refugee representatives for mutually beneficial outcomes (Neef, 2020). The development of a social capital geared to first-hand information on the expectations of the refugees should translate into a positive platform to develop real-time information on service delivery.
Consequently, the refugee community is a viable setting for information acquisition and resource access on the ways to enhance their experience. Immediate environments and promoting refugee-centric initiatives to promote viable change should entail engagement geared toward the regular assessment of their misgivings and determining the pathway to successful management (Seyfert et al., 2019). Continued expansion of advocacy and capacity building is through the inclusion of the refugees in policy formulation and implementation.
Emphasis on creating teams responsible for first-hand research into the refugee experience should set the foundation for improving the essential service. From health to education, social welfare, and product or service accessibility, at the national and local levels, participation can lead to successful changes. Barron et al. (2022) recognize that national, sub-national, county, and local levels are areas of concern that can play an integral role in determining the best measures to enhance the welfare of the refugees. Situational evaluation of the plight of the refugees should determine the standards of change and welfare improvement (Hennebry & Petrozziello, 2019). A multi-dimensional approach to evaluating the welfare of the refugees can lead to congruence in decision-making and determining the professional approach to service delivery. The diverse levels provide unique information influencing comprehensive welfare management (Samborska, 2020). Information emanating from the various settings is viable to promote best practices.
Extensive Community Outreach Programs
Professionalizing outreach programs are essential in the welfare assessment of refugees. Social protection measures require focusing on ways the government and policymakers can play an integral role in involving refugees in policy formulation (Samborska, 2020). Direct interaction should center on the outreach programs that emanate from the national and professional levels. Sseviiri et al. (2022) advocate for a dynamic social work setting that entails expanding their responsibility and promoting community inclusion in assessing the well-being of the refugees. Further, the involvement of the local legal clinics and societies will be prudent in assisting the refugees in obtaining documentation for businesses, bank accounts, transactional competence, and renting properties (Pincock et al., 2021). Outreach initiatives entail the acceptance of refugees as essential stakeholders in the community. A shift in decision-making and participatory measures should be geared toward the socio-economic transformation of the plight of the individuals. The positions of the refugees should be empowered as the basis for improving their position (Sabates, 2019).
Developing creative techniques that comprise an expanded field in outreach should adopt a non-traditional approach. From social media to physical interaction, a setting for communication and establishing connections with the refugees should be transformative and real-time information access (Seyfert et al., 2019). For example, the use of religious groups should present a dynamic and radical approach whereby their participation will develop avenues for open dialogue (Samborska, 2020). The refugees engaging in extensive debates can be an information source on the areas of change that should be implemented. Moreover, adopting a contemporary communications technology should be within the framework of operations that can lead to rapid response to the concerns of the refugees (Yilmaz, 2018). In a technology-centric society, leveraging service efficiency can lead to information accessibility and management of the welfare of individuals. Social and financial support for the refugee communities is through outreach initiatives that adopt technological competence as the basis for information relay and improvement of the immediate livelihood.
Establishing Links towards Refugee Integration and Community Development
The development of new models of community integration calls for a direct link between the refugees, the immediate setting, and the government. Emphasis on enhancing effective partnerships should denote the re-evaluation of the expectations of diverse stakeholders (Collyer et al., 2022). Accountability in the operational paradigm denotes the appreciation of the immediate community and the avenues of change that should be deployed. Therefore, Barron et al. (2022) affirm that the development of strong linkages between resource assistance, self-reliance, and local integration is within the parameter of welfare improvement.
The parameters of an interconnected setting between the refugees, the community, and the government require regular integration of resources. Therefore, the sensitization on the use of technology such as ATMs, PayPal and internet banking solutions can be the framework for supporting the livelihood of the refugees (Sabates, 2019). Accessibility to financial capital is an enabling approach that can lead to positive outcomes in enhancing the lives of refugees (Longhurst & Slater, 2022). Durable solutions for refugees’ social protection call for accepting their roles in the community framework. Hence, as individuals are exposed to a new environment, the development of viable links can translate into solutions that emanate from the refugees and first-hand experiences.
Promoting integration techniques such as economic self-reliance, formal education, and participative language initiatives can improve the information relay (Godin, 2020). From rural to urban contexts, the acknowledgment of the input of the refugees in transforming their well-being should be within the linkage initiative (Longhurst & Slater, 2022). Further, from resettlement to the determination of the avenues of change, it is advisable for regular assessment and coordination of efforts to change their experience (Koehler, 2021). Thus, through consultative measures, the development of a comprehensive and inclusive measure in refugee management is bound to prevail.
Social protection of refugees is essential to promote a welfare-centric approach that recognizes their plight and translates into their humane treatment. In a setting whereby the refugee crisis continues to impact the host nations, a review of the social protection techniques has become apparent. The above analysis highlights that nations have been on the front step to deploying best practices in social protection. However, deviation from inclusive approaches is a concern in developing the best social protection initiatives. Emphasis on a participative framework entails multi-level engagement, outreach programs, and linkages across various actors in the inclusion measures. Focusing on a holistic measure that denotes participation and collaboration can lead to transformation in service delivery. Upholding the principles of inclusivity can establish a welfare-centric approach to social protection geared toward recognizing their plight. Refugees who provide real-time information on their challenges, experiences, and impediments to societal inclusion can lead to successful engagement in welfare management.
Abdoul-Azize, H. T. (2022). Turkish Local NGOs Social Protection Programs for the Refugees during the Covid-19 Crisis: A SWOT Analysis. Webology (ISSN: 1735-188X), 19(1).
Barron, G. C., Laryea-Adjei, G., Vike-Freiberga, V., Abubakar, I., Dakkak, H., Devakumar, D., … & Karadag, O. (2022). Safeguarding people living in vulnerable conditions in the COVID-19 era through universal health coverage and social protection. The Lancet Public Health, 7(1), e86-e92.
Collyer, M., Te Lintelo, D., Mutambasere, T., & Zaman, T. (2022). Moving targets: social protection as a link between humanitarianism, development, and displacement.
Godin, M. (2020). Far from a burden: EU migrants as pioneers of a European social protection system from below. International Migration, 58(1), 136-150.
Hennebry, J. L., & Petrozziello, A. J. (2019). Closing the gap? Gender and the global compacts for migration and refugees. International Migration, 57(6), 115-138.
Koehler, G. (2021). Effects of social protection on social inclusion, social cohesion, and nation building. In Handbook on social protection systems (pp. 636-646). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Longhurst, D., & Slater, R. (2022). Shock-responsive social protection: what is known about what works in fragile and conflict-affected situations?
Lowe, C., Salomon, H., Hagen-Zanker, J., & Meral, A. G. (2022). Humanitarian assistance and social protection in contexts of forced displacement.
Neef, A. (2020). Legal and social protection for migrant farm workers: lessons from COVID-19. Agriculture and Human Values, 37, 641-642.
Pincock, K., Betts, A., & Easton-Calabria, E. (2020). The global governed?: refugees as providers of protection and assistance. Cambridge University Press.
Pincock, K., Betts, A., & Easton-Calabria, E. (2021). The rhetoric and reality of localization: refugee-led organizations in humanitarian governance. The Journal of Development Studies, 57(5), 719-734.
Sabates-Wheeler, R. (2019). Mapping differential vulnerabilities and rights:‘opening’access to social protection for forcibly displaced populations. Comparative Migration Studies, 7(1), 1-18.
Samborska, O. (2020). The efficiency of social protection of the rural population in the united territorial community. European Journal of Sustainable Development, 9(3), 333-333.
Seyfert, K., Barca, V., Gentilini, U., Luthria, M., & Abbady, S. (2019). Unbundled: A framework for connecting safety nets and humanitarian assistance in refugee settings.
Sseviiri, H., Alencar, A., & Kisira, Y. (2022). Urban Refugees’ Digital Experiences and Social Connections During Covid-19 Response in Kampala, Uganda. Media and Communication, 10(2), 276-286.
Tramountanis, A., Linardis, A., Mouriki, A., Gerakopoulou, P., Kondyli, D., Papaliou, O., … & Levine, S. (2022). Humanitarian assistance and social protection responses to the forcibly displaced in Greece.
Yilmaz, V. (2019). The emerging welfare mix for Syrian refugees in Turkey: The interplay between humanitarian assistance programs and the Turkish welfare system. Journal of Social Policy, 48(4), 721-739.