The Committee of the Convention on the Recognition of qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon Recognition Convention) is holding an Extraordinary Session on 14 November in Strasbourg. After several months of work, the Committee will examine a draft Recommendation on Recognition of Qualifications held by Refugees, Displaced Persons and Persons in a Refugee-like Situation. This Recommendation will help States implement Article VII of the Convention, by which parties commit to facilitating the recognition of such qualifications even when they cannot be fully documented.
The Council of Europe and UNESCO are encouraging states parties, through this new policy document, to take effective measures ensuring that refugees receive fair recognition of their qualifications.
Enabling refugees to make use of the qualifications they already have, whether for work of for further study is important to reducing the pain of the refugee experience. Refugees who are given the opportunity to use and develop their competences can find motivation in spite of their very difficult situation. They will maintain and further develop their competences, which is of advantage to their host countries, as it will be of great importance to rebuilding their home countries if and when they are able to return home.
The Lisbon Recognition Convention was adopted as a joint Council of Europe/UNESCO convention in April 1997 and entered into force in February 1999.