Conflict and Fragility

Refugees in Lebanon: despair or perspective?
06 Sep 2018 14:00 - 16:30
Bron: Forced to grow up too soon in Lebanon: Mahmoud © UNHCR/S. Baldwin

According to the European Union, Syrian refugees should be hosted by the neighbouring countries Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. In return, the European Union offers (financial) support. Also the Netherlands is a strong proponent of this ‘protection in the region’ policy. The Clingendael Institute has done extensive research into the refugee protection in Lebanon. Together with (regional) experts we discussed the results of the report. Has the EU policy delivered on its commitment to Syrian refugees?

Since 2016, ‘Protection in the region’ has become the main European policy response to the mass displacement of Syrians in the Middle East. With support of the Nationale Postcode Loterij, the Clingendael Institute has done extensive research into the refugee protection in Lebanon. According to this research, the quality of asylum for Syrian refugees is highly problematic. They face structural poverty, exploitation, abuse and discrimination. In addition, they are increasingly faced with forced returns.

Together with (regional) experts we discussed the outcomes of the report and analysed the ‘protection in the region’ policy of the European Union. What are the pros and cons of this policy? Has the European Union delivered on its commitment to Syrian refugees? And what can donors do to improve the protection of Syrian refugees in the region?

About the speakers
Ana Uzelac
and Jos Meester are researchers at the Conflict Research Unit of the Clingendael Institute and co-authors of the report ‘Is there protection in the region? Leveraging funds and political capital in Lebanon’s refugee crisis’. With the assistance of moderator Saskia Baas, Ana and Jos will discuss the main findings of the report and the lessons for the broader protection agenda in the region.

The registration of the two panel discussions can be viewed here: NPL Panel 1 and NPL Panel 2.

About the panellists 

  • Dr. Imad Salamey. Dr. Imad Salamey is professor and director of the Institute for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Dr. Salamey is a widely published researcher and scholar, specialising on the intricacies of the Lebanese political system. He is also a contributing editor to the Arab Weekly.
  • Daniel Howden. Daniel is a senior editor at Refugees Deeply, a unique independent digital media project dedicated to covering refugee and migration issues around the globe. Since its inception in 2015, Refugees Deeply has become an influential platform that has informed public and policy debates on these salient issues of our times. A contributor to the Economist and the Guardian, Daniel was previously the Africa correspondent and deputy foreign editor at the Independent.
  • Dr. Doğuş Şimşek. Dr Doğuş Şimşek is an academic specialising on issues of protracted displacement in Turkey. She is the author of numerous publications on the sociology of Syrian displacement and Turkey’s migration policies, including an analysis of the impact of EU-Turkey statement on the lived experiences of Syrian refugees in the country. Dr. Şimşek received her PhD in Sociology from City University London and currently teaches at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Koç University in Istanbul

About the moderator

Saskia Baas is heading the Durable Solutions Platform. DSP is an Amman-based research platform designed to provide recommendations and promote dialogue about long-term solutions to displacement in Syria and neighbouring countries. It is a joint inititive by the Danish Refugee Council, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).