No Longer Just a Humanitarian Crisis: The Politicization of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

No Longer Just a Humanitarian Crisis: The Politicization of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

November 08, 2019 by Leo Hochberg
Heinrivh Boell Stiftung - Beirut - Middle East
pdf
Place of Publication: Beirut
Date of Publication: November 2019
Number of Pages: 23
License: CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0
Language of Publication: English

Section 1 chronicles Lebanon's response to the Syrian refugee crisis from 2011 to April 2019. While the Lebanese government originally approached the crisis with a degree of openness to those fleeing violence in Syria, increasing domestic pressure led the Lebanese government to impose residency restrictions which have made it extremely difficult for Syrians to maintain residency and comfortable living standards. Section 2 breaks down the securitization of Syrian refugees, arguing that while they have been implicated in different existential and security threats during their time in Lebanon, Syrian refugees are actually only passive actors on Lebanon's security situation. Finally, section 3 expounds a decision passed by Lebanon's Higher Security Council in April 2019 which launched a major crackdown against Syrian refugees and authorized active deportations of some Syrians back to Syria. Such crackdowns only serve to increase the vulnerability of refugees in order to encourage them to return home, even though such policies are illegal according to international and Lebanese law.

This brief maintains Lebanon must change course in its policies towards Syrian refugees in order to manifest more stable and comfortable standards of living for both Syrians and Lebanese. While it is too early to tell how the Lebanese uprising will affect Syrian refugees, it is also critical that the plight of Syrians is not forgotten amid the ongoing unrest.

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