REFWORK: Comprehensive Approach to Working with Refugees

Within the framework of the project which is carried out in cooperation with the British Embassy in Ankara, it is aimed to provide better access to rights and services by Syrian refugees in Turkey and improved services provided by the NGOs, as well as more accurate coverage by major media outlets resulting in better integration and improved perceptions by avoiding negative impacts created by the printed-visual press and media outlets, consequently improving capacity of NGOs in Turkey to cope with the hardships of refugees.

Improving knowledge and awareness of refugees on their rights and national mechanisms for accessing rights and services, strengthening capacity of NGOs who are working with refugees and providing media with a knowledgebase enabling accurate reporting were identified as effective measures. To achieve its purpose, the project has 3 components:

1.Self-Counselling: The self-counselling tools,including guidelines and online tools which will be kept up-to-date will be developed and utilised by refugees to facilitate their access to fundamental rights and services and strengthen integration process through self-counselling.

2. Field Work with Refugees in Turkey: Guidelines on working with refugees will be prepared based on the field experiences of ASAM in order to augment capacity of all the stakeholders (psychologists, social workers, interpreters field-workers, NGOs, Directorate the General Migration Administration and other related organisations) that conduct collaborative works with ASAM.

3. Monitoring Media for Refugees: As media is mostly the only information source about refugees for host population, its effect on perception about refugees is strong. Hence, at first, perception about refugees created by media will be determined with this project. It is assumed that Turkey is going to be refugees’ new permanent residence, thus,to prevent news that can cause negative perception, xenophobia and discrimination, and in turn, to promote coverage that promotes peace building, lowers social tensions and reveals the refugees’ contribution to society, national and local press members will be given trainings. In addition, principles for reporting on refugee issues will be developed as a Media Guidebook.