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Lebanon Parliament recommends deportation of illegal Syrian refugees

May 15, 2024 at 6:52 pm

Syrian children walk between tents at a refugee camp in Saadnayel in eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley on 13 June, 2023 [ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images]

Lebanon’s Parliament, on Wednesday, recommended the deportation of Syrian refugees who entered the country “illegally”, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a session held to discuss the issue of Syrian refugees, the assembly called for forming a ministerial committee, led by the Prime Minister, to communicate with various parties, especially with the Syrian government, to facilitate the return of the refugees to their country.

It called for a “detailed and timed program” for deporting illegal refugees, except for “special cases protected by Lebanese laws as determined by the committee”.

The assembly underlined the need to apply laws that regulate the process of entry into Lebanon, labour laws, fees and taxes.

It called on the UN agencies and European donors to “approve the payment of incentives and financial and humanitarian assistance to encourage the return of refugees to their country through the Lebanese state and its institutions, or with its approval.”

On 2 May, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, announced a $1 billion aid package for Lebanon during her visit to the country.

This aid package is expected to be available from this year until 2027 and aims to contribute to economic and social stability and support the army and security forces.

Lebanon is home to more than 800,000 Syrian refugees registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while Lebanese authorities estimate their number to be over two million.

The issue of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has seen unprecedented escalation recently, with the government seeking their deportation by all possible means, despite warnings from human rights organisations about the dangers of forced return to Syria, which is considered an “unsafe” country.

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