U.N.: Palestinian Youths in Lebanon Marginalized

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Palestinian youths in Lebanon suffer from marginalization from an early age, and nearly half of these refugee children drop out of secondary school, a survey published on Wednesday showed.

"It is striking that only 53 percent of Palestinian children in Lebanon attend secondary school," Soha Bsat Boustani, spokeswoman for the U.N. children's fund (UNICEF) in Lebanon, told AFP.

"This means that nearly half of Palestinian youths become marginalized from an early age. Dropping out of school creates major obstacles for children's futures," she added.

More than 450,000 Palestinians are registered in Lebanon with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, though the actual number is estimated at between 260,000 and 280,000, according to an international NGO.

Some 43 percent of Palestinian refugees are aged under 19, according to a survey of camps and other communities where refugees live, conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF.

Living conditions in Lebanon's 12 official refugee camps are squalid, with poor sanitation, infrastructure and inadequate access to basic services such as health and education.

"The way that Palestinian children are growing up in Lebanon, it is a time-bomb," PCBS President Ola Awad told AFP.

"The drop-out rate from secondary school is so high it is dangerous. Long term, we are looking at a generation bound to live with psychosocial and health problems," Awad added.

"It is very upsetting that these youths have such potential, but no opportunities."

Conditions of life for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon's camps were described in June by international NGO ANERA as "the worst of the region's camps."

While poverty drives many boys to seek informal work from a young age, disillusionment also plays a role in the decision by Palestinian teenagers to drop out of school.

According to a UNICEF child protection expert, part of the problem is Palestinians face stiff work restrictions that effectively bar them from employment in more than two dozen professions.

"Palestinians in Lebanon face major barriers, including problems related to the right to work," said Isabella Castrogiovanni.

"So children feel frustrated, and a disenchantment with the system, knowing that however well they do in school, they are bound to face serious limits in future," Castrogiovanni added.

Meanwhile, the UNICEF-PCBS also found Palestinian refugee children also suffer from rates of malnutrition so high that they qualify as chronic.

"The results showed that 13 percent of children are severely or moderately stunted (or too short for their age) and five percent are severely stunted," according to the survey.

"These indicators reflect chronic malnutrition," it added.

"It's clear to the eyes when you walk into any camp that sanitation, environmental and social conditions are not apt for children," said the PCBS' Awad.

"In such conditions, it should be no surprise to anyone that social violence exists," she added.

Comments 10
Thumb benzona 05 December 2012, 21:06

Very very true. Most people blame them for the civil war... But this generation has nothing to do with it. Even I have apprehensions when I meet some... But then, last month when I was in Lebanon, I met one and didn't know he was Palestinian till he told me he was. Walla 7araam to marginalize them.

Default-user-icon JS (Guest) 05 December 2012, 22:36

very person has the right to live with dignity and human rights as a human No one been asked what nationality would you like before born, it is sad to hear these stories where people who was born and raised in Lebanon still living with no basic rights I would like to ask all of you if you were born to these palestenians refugees parents HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT IT

Default-user-icon FT faaaaaan (Guest) 05 December 2012, 23:13

Mr. Flamethrower, you are just amazing. I think there are two things you hate the most. One is al 3onsereyee and the other is anything that is not you. Keep doing your best on this site and amusing me at the end of each day with your comments.

Default-user-icon Arsenal (Guest) 06 December 2012, 01:05

So the article highlights the terrible conditions that Palestinian children face and the reaction of this idiot flame thrower is to make fun of them. Classy.

Default-user-icon FEDUP... (Guest) 06 December 2012, 01:23

Sorry No offence, but what about the thousands of poor Lebanese children who cannot afford schoolling or the poor Lebanese Students who spents thousands of dollars at college with no Jobs, sorry I mean nothing against the Palestinians but our priority should always be to support and progress the Lebanese youth, Li Fina Be 2adina as the saying goes, all these Palestinians now get grants from Qatar and Saudi Arabia amongst others ye helo 3an rabna ba2a honestly, As a Lebanese I must look after other Lebanese regardless of religion or political affiliation am fed up with people saying lebanon needs to do more to support Refugees for godness sakes we are now becoming a Minority in our own country regardless of the Political rhetoric between M8 and M14 and M16 and god knows what else. wake up people and help your country so your country can help you.

Missing arturo 06 December 2012, 14:28

You dont regard someone who was born is Lebanon and lived therre all his life, and whos father and grandfather were born in Lebanon and lived there all their lives as Lebonese?

Thumb lebfrcan 06 December 2012, 04:19

:)))))))) very funny one FT

Missing arturo 06 December 2012, 05:51

One would think that the Resistance would not allow this. Many countries have absorbed refugees and immigrants. Lebanon treats 3rd and 4th generation decendants of immigrants and refugees as outsiders. You dont see this in any other country.

Default-user-icon Arsenal (Guest) 06 December 2012, 06:37

So the article highlights the terrible conditions that Palestinian children face and the reaction of this flame thrower is to make fun of them. Nice. Sadly, there are too many people like this guy in Lebanon.

Default-user-icon Adam Nassar (Guest) 06 December 2012, 06:38

Lebanese: racist, delusional and uncivilized. Think they're god's gift to humanity.