UNHCR statistics for 2015 “Resettlement is the transfer of refugees from an asylum country to another State that has agreed to admit them and ultimately grant them permanent settlement.” -why is the resettlement number so low?
In order to become self-reliant, refugees need access to the local economy; in order to have access to the local economy, refugees need legal status, as well as marketable skills
2015 – White House claimed there to be 545,000 unfilled IT jobs Employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The main reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software. – Bureau of Labor Statistics (December 2015)
Obstacle to refugees gaining legal status and therefore employment/self-sufficiency in second/third countries: perception of refugees as a burden on the local economy. Possessing an in-demand skill subverts that burden so that refugees can be seen as a benefit and a resource.
Some programs partner with online coding resources who offer their courses free of charge to refugees -Refugees on Rails: The Firehose Project -RE:CODED: The Flatiron School
Each program, remote and in-person, follows the same model for teaching: Instruction is volunteer-based – tech professionals donate their time as mentors Refugees must complete certain free courses independently to prove their commitment to learning
New York Times overview of immigration reform: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/us/trump-refugee-ban-muslim-executive-order.html?_r=0
Tech talk refugees and coding
<Refugees> and </Coding>
Junior Full-Stack Web Developer | Human Rights
16 March 2017 | Q-Centrix San Diego
Who am I?
What’s the situation?
What’s the solution?
How does it work?
How can you get involved?
Who Am I?
Full-stack web developer:
Background in refugee and
MA in Human Rights
survivors of trauma
The Situation: Refugees
21.3 million refugees worldwide
Need for ‘durable solutions’
“Access to durable solutions for
refugees will be easier if they have
been able to become self-reliant
pending the identification and
establishment of this solution”
~UNHCR, ‘Solutions for Refugees’
The Situation, continued
Self reliance =
Access to the local economy – jobs, education,
accommodation, social services
Marketable, transferable skills to generate a
Increase in demand for
skills in tech
Need for adaptable
workers who learn new
"For every software developer, there's five jobs”
– Alexandra Clare, founder of RE:CODED
The Solution: Teach
Benefits to refugees, host countries, & employers
Refugees: stability, income, and sense of
Host countries: subverts the common perception of
refugees as a burden on the local economy and public
Employers: gain employees who are adaptable,
dedicated, and committed to learn
Code Your Future – London, UK
Hack Your Future – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Refugees on Rails – Germany (multiple cities)
Refugee Coding Project – Salt Lake City, UT
RE:CODED – Iraq-based students, US-based
Code Door – worldwide, based in Germany
Tech professionals volunteer their time
Refugees complete prep courses independently
Volunteer instructors mentor refugee students
Refugees finish course with marketable tech
Basic model can be duplicated worldwide
Refugees + skills-based volunteers = coding program!
Can be scaled to different needs
Small- or large-scale
Short- to long-term
Computer basics to advanced
What about YOU?
Stay up-to-date on immigration legislation
Get to know your local refugee community
Volunteer your time/talent
San Diego Refugee Tutoring: sdrefugeetutoring.com/
IRC San Diego: www.rescue.org/united-states/san-diego-ca
Spread your coding knowledge!