The Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee yesterday called on the Ministry of Labour to respect the special status enjoyed by Palestinian refugees in Lebanon which is guaranteed by law, the Anadolu Agency reported.
The committee said in a statement that the ministry’s strategy to tackle illegal foreign labour focuses on the Palestinian and Syrian refugees more than others without taking into consideration the legal status enjoyed by Palestinian refugees and protected by two amendments of the Labour and Social Security Law which treats the Palestinian refugee as a special category of foreign labour and has having a legal status that differs from other nationalities.
The committee pointed out that “the Palestinian refugees can not return to their country, and everything they produce in Lebanon benefits the country and strengthens its economy.”
“Lebanon benefits from the funds provided by UNRWA’s $80 million budget as well as the assistance offered by international organizations to the Palestinians in the refugee camps and gatherings, and remittances sent by the Palestinian migrants to their families in Lebanon,” it added.
The committee warned that Lebanon’s failure to respect international conventions on the protection of refugee rights and lack of adherence to labour and security laws would harm Lebanese-Palestinian relations as well as Lebanon’s status before international institutions and organisations.
Last month, the Ministry of Labour launched a plan to combat illegal foreign labour in the country to curb the rise in unemployment rates. To do this, the ministry stipulated that the 75 per cent of the staff working in companies owned by foreigners should be Lebanese citizens.
Palestinians have held protests against the new ruling calling it “discrimination”.