UMAM D&R expresses its serious concerns regarding the recent government actions against Syrian refugees in Lebanon. In April, there have been reports of Lebanese authorities raiding the homes of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and forcibly deporting them back to Syria.
Since April 2011, the Lebanese authorities have not sought to create a system that accounts for the reality of the refugee and migration flows into Lebanon nor that complements Lebanon’s economy or development. Instead, Syrian refugees have been used as political scapegoats for various objectives and aims, much as previous refugee populations in Lebanon have been utilized.
UMAM D&R calls on Lebanese authorities to apply the Lebanese laws in a way that abides by the spirit of human rights and respect for international law regarding the rights of refugees, especially Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Lebanon is obligated under the principle of non-refoulement in international law to not force anyone to return to a country where they would be at risk of torture or persecution, and anyone facing deportation must have access to legal advice and be able to challenge their deportation.
UMAM D&R is a research, documentation, and archival organization that has been tracking various dynamics in Lebanon, including migration and refugees in the country, historically and in recent years. It focused on these dynamics notably through its project “Most Welcome: Lebanon Through Its Refugees” (2017-2019), which analyzed how issues of migration and refugees have been used to stoke fear, resentment, and scapegoating for political problems and objectives inside and outside of Lebanon.
Please see the Arabic press release here.