The presence of displaced Syrian refugees in Lebanon is becoming a political issue in Beirut. Racist campaigns against their presence have been countered by demonstrations of solidarity. The government has made the decision to repatriate all those who are not legal or who are undocumented.

Last week 50 people who entered Lebanese territory via smugglers, following illegal passages, were repatriated. As soon as they returned, they were picked up by Syrian security and ended up in detention. Acnur (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR) and Amnesty International objected to the coercive repatriation measures. Right-wing parties exploit the economic crisis, which has reduced Lebanese families to misery, to blame the presence of Syrian refugee camps.

In Lebanon, with a population of 6 million, there are more than 2 million displaced Syrians, most of whom are not registered with the UNHCR, and as a result, these Syrians are forced into black labor to survive. This gives rise to the xenophobic campaign that fuels the war between the poor. Added to this social aspect is the confessional dimension. Almost all Syrian refugees are Sunnis and their presence upsets the Lebanese confessional balance.

(Translator’s note: It is estimated that in Lebanon, 31.9% are Sunni, 31% are Shia)


Generated by Feedzy