Refugees and People of Concern to the United Nations in general have the right to access formal employment opportunities, however applications for working rights are not always readily available due to technical and policy level obstacles hindering access. Refugees also enjoy certain political rights, however, unemployment benefits have been abolished with a view to replacing these with labor market access. According to UNHCR statistics, the largest industries employing refugees are the cooking industry at 18% and the beauty industry at 16%.

In regards to the freedom of movement, refugees are free to move within the country, however if they decide to travel outside of the country it is up to the destination country to grant them permits for entry. UNHCR country operations have reported that there are POCs who were apprehended at the borders for illegal border crossings and are usually kept in penitentiary institutions. As of December 2017, 89% of persons adjudicated in the Government’s asylum procedure were granted refugee status. 

Armenia has a 48% unemployment rate (Armstat), paired with a 19% informal employment rate in Yerevan alone (Armstat). The main industries in Armenia include mining, agriculture, tourism, IT, textile and apparel as well as jewelry. According to the UNHCR'’s market assessment of Armenia, manual urban activities are over represented (craftsmen, mechanic, blacksmith, beautifier, hairdresser…) due to the specific professional experience of Syrian refugees of Armenian ethnicity in Syria.  Farming (pig’s brewer) and medical (dentist) activities are exceptional. Shop and sellers are also not common and the support is actually linked to activity of production (butchery, tailoring…). 

According to the World Food Program, 16% of the population in Armenia is food insecure. Additionally, 6% of Armenians are malnourished while 9% of Children are stunted (WFP).

Country Response