On the occasion of the World Refugee Day 2022, the Council of Europe launched a new video to present the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR) and stories of refugees who obtained and used the EQPR.
The EQPR enables refugees to have their qualifications assessed even in the absence of a full documentation. The EQPR, as a document, can be used by refugees when they wish to enter further studies or when they seek employment.
The EQPR is a tool that was developed in 2017, to help Member States address the challenges brought by the refugee crisis, by building capacity for a sustainable response to possible crisis situations in the future.
The EQPR does not replace the standard procedures for the recognition of qualifications, but it acts as a complement in case of absence of full documentation.
“The EQPR is important because many refugees have to flee suddenly the outbreak of war and violence. They will simply have no time to take a proof of their secondary or academic qualifications along. Hence they will unfortunately not have access to the formal recognition procedures”, highlighted Jutta Seidel, Senior Legal Associate to the UNHCR Representation to the European Institutions in Strasbourg.
By giving them the opportunity to have their qualifications assessed even in cases with insufficient or lacking documentation, the EQPR enables refugees to rebuild their lives and contribute to their host societies, as emphasized by the first EQPR holder Ms Anwar Horani in the video: “I am happy, I am working now. I am not just Anwar Horani who has a bachelor degree. I am a working Anwar Horani who has a bachelor degree in physiotherapy, who could help another people, who could be effective in this community who has been taking her in with open arms.”
The EQPR supports the implementation of the Article VII of the Council of Europe/UNESCO Lisbon Recognition Convention facilitating the recognition of refugees’ qualifications even in the absence of full documentation. The EQPR is also part of the Council of Europe Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe (2021-2025).
Partners include the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, UNHCR, the Conference of University Rectors of Italy, and national recognition centres in Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and the UK.