Increasing vulnerability for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon : what’s next?
Title: Increasing vulnerability for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon : what’s next?
Author: FAVIER, Agnès
Series/Number: Middle East Directions (MED); Policy Briefs; 2016/03
External link: http://middleeastdirections.eu
General Michel Aoun’s election to the presidency of the Republic of Lebanon at the end of October has fuelled fears among Syrian refugees in Lebanon that their situation may deteriorate further. Some of them even predict the implementation of a forced-return policy to their homeland. In fact, in very recent months, representatives of Aoun’s party (the Free Patriotic Movement) were at the forefront of an anti-refugee discourse. In his inaugural speech to parliament, Aoun reiterated that “there will be no solution in Syria without the return of the Syrian refugees to their country”. However, Lebanon’s new president will probably only have limited room for manoeuvre on this issue. In fact, the Lebanese government adopted a new policy in October 2014, whose primary aim is to preserve stability and security by maintaining Syrian refugees in illegality. This strategy reflects a broad consensus of the Lebanese political class and is therefore unlikely to change in the near future. The question is whether – and for how long – managing a quasi-status quo can guarantee Lebanon’s stability in the medium and long term.
Type of Access: openAccess