Double Burden: Palestinian Refugees from Syria, 23rd May 2017, Lebanon

24 May 2017

The five years of the Syrian conflict continues with no end. As the armed conflict intensifies across multiple front lines, the widespread disregard for civilian lives continues to result in deepening humanitarian and protection needs with over 4.2 million people who registered as refugees in neighbouring countries and an estimation of 6.5 million are displaced within Syria. 

The Palestinian refugees remain vulnerable and have been disproportionately affected by the conflict, due to the conflict areas inside Syria, high rates of poverty and the tenuous legal status of those forced to flee to Lebanon and Jordan. An estimated 450,000 of the 560,000 refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria remain inside the country

The vast majority of the Palestinian refugees from Syria – PRS – in Lebanon are living a precarious, marginalized existence, unable to regularize their legal status or access civil registration procedures and basic social services. They have no access to human rights with their statelessness and the double refugee status. With no legal rights PRS are banned from most human rights including employability and are confronted with multitude of discrimination based on their nationality and legal status. 

The “Double Burden: Palestinian Refugees from Syria” conference took place on May 23, 2017 in The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. The conference discussed the challenges that the Palestinian refugees are facing and recommended policies that ensure favourable conditions for a common work in order to take an effective step towards supporting and making a comprehensive refugee equality policy. 

Ms. Lilian Halls French, co-president of the Euromed Feminist Initiative was part of the session on human security procedures within the frame of international laws and conventions. She reminded that peace and security was one of the major issues of work of Euromed Feminist Initiative and the solidarity of IFE-EFI with the Palestinian people. She insisted on the fact that human security truly deserves its name only if it includes the two components of humanity and is connected with the interlinked notions of real equality, full citizenship and universality of rights. She reminded that Euromed Feminist Initiative is advocating for a comprehensive approach of the refugee crisis, inclusive and framed by a gender perspective and the implementation of 1325 resolution. She also underlined the obstacles women face to be part of the decision-making processes in the field of security and the tragic consequences of this exclusion.