Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Syria’s crisis may force Lebanon to look at its foreign labor regime

In an attempt to limit the repercussions of Syrian migration to Lebanon, the Lebanese government drafted a policy paper in late 2014 covering key issues relating both to the entry of Syrian refugees and their residency status in the country.

The actions and practical measures taken over recent months by various agencies and ministries to implement this policy have demonstrated that Syrian refugees in Lebanon endure a number of hardships. These stem from deficiencies in the provision of rigorous, comprehensive and legal methods to handle the refugee crisis at several levels.

First, refugees have no hope of benefiting from the principle of legal protection that refugees normally enjoy because a policy of asylum does not exist in Lebanon and because the international community is unable (or unwilling) to offer it. Second, refugees have become prisoners of the sponsorship regime which serves the interests first and foremost of employers without guaranteeing even the minimal rights of migrant labor.

Nayla Geagea on the DailyStar

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