Global governance

Private Sector for Refugees Initiative showcased at UNHCR Global Refugee Forum

  • 17 December 2019

A comprehensive set of principles on how business can facilitate the economic integration of refugees into the global economy was presented by ICC Secretary General John WH Denton AO during the Global Refugee Forum, taking place this week in Geneva from 16-18 December.

The Charter seeks to contribute to the shift from ad hoc humanitarianism to long-term development and employment opportunities that benefit refugees and their host communities alike.

The Charter of Good Practice on the Role of The Private Sector in Economic Integration of Refugees  was elaborated collectively by experts from the private sector, governments and inter-governmental organisations at a June 2019 conference co-sponsored by the World Bank Group, the Confederation of Danish Industry, the European Investment Bank, and, with participation from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and the World Economic Forum among others.

During a pre-event reception gathering over 100 high-level private sector representatives and refugees, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce John W.H. Denton AO announced the commitment of ICC to work with its partners to operationalize the Charter, and called for wider adoption and stronger prioritisation of its principles within the private sector, development agencies, governments and intergovernmental institutions.

Addressing delegates, Mr Denton said: “ICC pledges to leverage our unparalleled global network in order to support the economic integration of refugees and to raise awareness of the benefits this creates for their host communities… The Charter will ensure that policymakers have practical guidance on how best to incorporate private sector insight into the economic integration of refugees.”

Mr Denton speaking at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.

Mr Denton also highlighted ICC’s other initiatives in this area, including a global platform to support business organisations in initiatives to facilitate the economic integration of migrants and refugees, and a pilot project with UNHCR to provide solar powered electricity to a refugee camp in Bangladesh.

The Charter of Good Practice outlines principles to be adopted and applied within business, public institutions and development projects. It is divided into four sections, each featuring five corresponding principles relating to entrepreneurship, investment, employment, and services and products.

Download Charter here.