Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer, launches the “Taking Back the Narrative” campaign for World Refugee Day, which aims to contribute to greater acceptance and inclusion of refugees.
The campaign features powerful storytelling in documentary style showing the world how our misconceptions impact people with refugee backgrounds. Six co-workers with a refugee background were interviewed about their personal experiences, what matters to them, happy memories, their dreams and aspirations, as well as challenges. “The narrative about refugees, in media, social media and throughout society is unfortunately often negative and dehumanising, and we at IKEA want to contribute to changing that,” says Tolga Öncu, Head of IKEA Retail, Ingka Group.
UNHCR says the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide has risen dramatically to 110 million people, of which 40% are children, and that the number will continue to rise.
"It’s never been as important as it is today to give a voice to refugees and open doors to jobs, like we did recently in our newly opened store in Romania, and showcase the value that refugees bring in their new host country. As a humanistic company and retailer, we feel we have responsibility to stand with those in need and enable them to show their skills and knowledge."
– Tolga Öncu, Head of IKEA Retail, Ingka Group
Ingka Group has a long-term commitment with UNHCR to help change the narrative around refugees and challenge people’s biases. This includes building a framework for hiring forcibly displaced talent and its Skills for Employment initiative.
“Our Skills for Employment initiative has so far supported more than 2,400 refugees and asylum seekers in 22 countries to improve their employability and local language skills and provide work experience to get access to work either at Ingka or other companies,” says Ulrika Biesèrt, Ingka Group People & Culture manager.
Based on FY21 and FY22 results, 70% of participants got a job at IKEA or elsewhere. The goal is to reach 2,500 participants by the end of 2023.
"We are providing opportunities for refugees to decent work because we strongly believe that everyone is a talent, and we are committed to creating a workplace that is as diverse as the world is, and as inclusive as the world should be."
– Ulrika Biesèrt, Ingka Group People & Culture manager
Ingka Group has also approached 500 businesses in the run–up to the Global Refugee Forum at the end of 2023 with the aim to inspire the private sector to accelerate the labour integration of refugees and asylum seekers.
For this year’s campaign, Ingka Group interviewed 6 co-workers (five videos) with a refugee background, about their personal experiences, what matters to them, happy memories, their dreams and aspirations, as well as challenges.
Ingka Group hopes to show the world the other side of personal loss and of rebuilding life again as a contributing member in their new host country.
Meet Zahra and Tarek, Edgar, Nataliia, Yevheniia, and Hassan.
About Ingka Group
With IKEA retail operations in 31 markets, Ingka Group is the largest IKEA retailer and represents about 90% of IKEA retail sales. It is a strategic partner to develop and innovate the IKEA business and help define common IKEA strategies. Ingka Group owns and operates IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. It has three business areas: IKEA Retail, Ingka Investments and Ingka Centres. Read more on ingka.com.