Istanbul hosts refugee economic inclusion conference

A two-day on economic inclusion and livelihood development of young refugees in their host communities kicked off Thursday in Istanbul.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Yannick Du Pont, director of Dutch non-profit organization Spark, stressed the importance of creating a platform to discuss the issues face in their host countries.

Du Pont said Spark had provided 9,000 refugees with scholarships and praised Turkey for hosting 3.5 million Syrian refugees.

Sadettin Akyıl, director general of international labor force at the Turkish Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services, said they are working to help migrants gain access to employment.

Akyıl said that brochures are distributed in Arabic and Turkish to refugees to inform them about their labor rights.

The conference has gathered 150 participants from the Middle East and North Africa regions including policymakers, aid group representatives and academics.

The program is being held in partnership between Spark and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) with the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as sponsors.

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