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The Right to Work of Asylum-Seekers and Refugees in Bulgaria: Rethinking Integration

Gumnishka, Iva

This thesis discusses the right to work of refugees and asylum-seekers in the context of the current refugee crisis, using Bulgaria as an example of the less studied case of transit countries. Bulgaria legally recognizes the right to work of refugees and yet has no political will to effectively fulfill this right with appropriate integration policies. At the same, refugees are not interested in integration because they perceive Bulgaria as a pit stop, but still need income, so they engage in informal employment in precarious conditions. Through an analysis of the legal and policy framework, and the practical constraints for accessing adequate employment, this thesis proposes to rethink the paradigm of integration, which is not attractive to either the government or refugees, and offers an alternative human rights-based approach.

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Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Degree
B.A., Columbia University
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