High-level event on UNESCO qualifications passport for refugees and vulnerable migrants

When :

from Friday 15 November, 2019
to Friday 15 November, 2019

Type of event :

Category 8-Symposium

Where :

UNESCO HQ - Room/Salle IV, 7 place Fontenoy, 75007, Paris, France

Contact :


This high-level event will comprise of a panel discussion, refugee testimonies and an engaging art activity that will draw attention to the critical plight of refugees and migrants seeking higher education as well as the role that education institutions must play in this regard. Through an open dialogue between policy-makers and experts, the event expects to raise awareness of the importance of the new Qualifications Passport as part of the international community’s global efforts to facilitate the recognition of refugees’ qualifications.

As of 2018, there were 70.8 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, most of whom have few means to access education. Access to higher education is particularly precarious with only one per cent of eligible refugees having equitable access to higher education level studies. More urgent attention is needed to address the waste of talent that this represents not only for individual refugees, but also for the receiving societies and economies.

One of the main obstacles refugees face when applying for further higher education studies or for seeking meaningful work opportunities, is the lack of recognition of their prior studies and qualifications. Often refugees find themselves in their new home countries without any official documentation of their qualifications. For this reason, UNESCO is launching a Qualifications Passport for Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants to recognize refugees’ and migrants’ prior qualifications. This project will contribute to several targets such as ensuring “equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for vulnerable persons” (SDG 4.5) and to ensure “equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university” (SDG 4.3), as well as the implementation of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration.