The Labour Market Impacts of Forced Migration (LAMFOR)

June 2013 – December 2015
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This research project, conducted in partnership with Maastricht University, provides unique statistical evidence on the labour market implications of forced migration situations. The project explores two different case studies in the African Great Lakes Region: forced migration in and from Burundi (main component of the project) and forced migration to Tanzania. Burundi experienced a major conflict during 1993-2005. The conflict resulted in an over 1 million forcibly displaced, mainly to neighbouring Tanzania. Over 700,000 refugees have returned to Burundi from Tanzania during the last decade.

Labour markets have important implications for long-term development after an episode of forced migration in low-income countries. Adequate work opportunities provide individuals with income, self-worth and reduce social isolation. As such, labour market impacts should be one of the main considerations of international organisations and national governments when dealing with a forced migration crisis and developing policies to respond to such crises. There has, however, been little analysis of the implications of forced migration on labour markets. Providing statistical evidence on the labour market implications of forced migration situations not only helps correct this discrepancy, but also has important consequences for humanitarian and developmental policy and programme design.

Principal Investigator

Carlos Vargas-Silva


Sonja Fransen (Maastricht University/UNU-Merit), Isabel Ruiz (Harris Manchester College, Oxford), Melissa Siegel (Maastricht University/UNU-Merit)


UK Department for International Development (DIFD), Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA), Germany