Report: UNHCR Slams Lebanese Ban Imposed on Syrian Refugees

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) slammed a decision by the Lebanese authorities to ban Syrian refugees from heading to their country or lose their status, rejecting to hand over to the state the complete data of the refugees.

According to As Safir newspaper, the UNHCR complained in a meeting with Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas that the decision is “negative.”

Sources close to UNHCR told the daily that the U.N. agency also refuses to grant the Lebanese state the full access to the Syrian refugees data, fearing that it might be used wrongfully.

The agency, according to the sources, only hands over to the state the number of Syrians registered with it and their locations,

The sources wondered if it was normal to lose the refugee status “for jeopardizing your own life to check on a relative or your property.”

The daily reported that the UNHCR had warned that the “decision taken by the Lebanese state will have a negative impact on it as it is considered to be an open invitation for the refugees to remain on its territories.”

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq announced on Saturday that Syrian refugees in Lebanon will lose their status as such if they return home for a visit.

More than a million Syrians have fled their war-torn country for Lebanon in the past three years, according to the United Nations.

"Syrian displaced people who are registered with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees are requested to refrain from entering into Syria starting June 1, 2014, or be penalized by losing their status as refugees in Lebanon," said the interior ministry.

The statement, published by the National News Agency, said the measure is grounded "in a concern for security in Lebanon and the relationship between Syrian displaced and Lebanese nationals... and in a bid to prevent any friction between them."

The decision, which took effect Sunday, was issued two days after tens of thousands of Syrians flocked to their Beirut embassy to vote in the election.

The refugee influx into Lebanon has burdened the country's weak economy, with politicians on all sides calling for measures to limit the flow.

Lebanon has not signed the Convention on Refugees, and refers to Syrians forced out of their country by war as "displaced."

The authorities say the actual number of Syrians in Lebanon is far higher than the nearly 1.1 million accounted for by UNHCR.

Lebanon has frequently complained it lacks the necessary resources to cope with them, and that the labor market is struggling to accommodate them.

Comments 10
Thumb Machia 03 June 2014, 08:38

The Syrian refugee situation will become very dangerous very soon in Lebanon. Desperate refugees will start stealing, killing and squatting in people's houses and lands.
The Lebanese government has to set up camps on its borders, the way Jordan and Turkey did, to contain the flood. And the UN, instead of blaming the victim, should cough up money and lots of it, (billions of dollars).

Thumb .mowaten. 03 June 2014, 17:33

The US okayed this war and is keeping it going with weapons and political cover, yet they have only taken in 121 refugees. I dont hear the UNHCR "slamming" them.
Funny how much the US "loves" syrians when it's about giving weapons to destroy their country, but not so much when it is about welcoming them.

Missing karim. 03 June 2014, 09:19

Go to hell UNHCR, all you're good for doing is complaining and criticizing.

Thumb Chupachups 03 June 2014, 13:07

Karim, another + 1

Btw I never agree with u usually

Missing sanctify 03 June 2014, 10:03

Some of the "refugees" are here only to get benefits. They have a refugee status here in Lebanon but at the same time, they live in areas unaffected by the war. They go back and forth between their refugee homes and their real homes in Syria. This is our state's concern. They are taking advantage of a situation.
If a Syrian can go back to his home in Syria, why he is still a refugee here?

I also heard that some Lebanese are also benefiting with fake Syrian IDs. Now I don't know how reliable that claim is but I hear more than a few people talking about it as well.

Default-user-icon Alex (Guest) 03 June 2014, 11:05

It's easy for UNHCR to criticize when many of their employees are getting rental apartments for 3000$ individually with nobfamily, salaries worth 20x the minimum wage in Lebanon. Well yeah why would they feel the pressure!? For them they are are neighbors and we should help. They just don't realize we did beyond our capacity and that this should be considered a global crisis and not just blame Leb. The local authorities should accept refugees status if UNHCR accepts a change of its humanitarian status to leisure club.

Default-user-icon Edy (Guest) 03 June 2014, 12:05

They don't pay taxes, they don't pay Income Taxes, they don't pay for electricity,they don't pay for water, they don't pay for property taxes, they don't pay for car mecanics, they dont pay for parking tickets , they flood the streets with their cars, they work and never pay taxes. They enjoy all the benefit of lebanese citizens without any obligations to inject $$$ back into the economy. This is costing the Lebanese economy close to $7 Billions. And guess who is going to pay the price, the Lebanese citizens where as the Lebanese citizens by paying more taxes to fund services used by the Syrians. I say anyone who go outside Lebanon to vote in Syria should stay their becasue they automaticaly break the conditions of being refugees.

Thumb Marc 03 June 2014, 13:52

UNHCR you are welcome to take 'em away!

Thumb cedre 03 June 2014, 16:06

the only way to handle this is to build huge camp in beqaa and akkar, managed by LAF then we can get GCC/EU/UN to finance it...
Turks and Jordanians did it and it works well...

Missing pitythenation 03 June 2014, 19:38

We have over a million refugees and aren't receiving sufficient support from the UN. The EU is always encouraging us to let them in, but I hardly see any of them taking in a great number. Germany took in a few thousand, what is that to a great power like them of 82 million? A quarter of our population isn't Lebanese, so how about the UNHCR aids us in helping the Syrians instead of bashing us. What a load of drivel.