Hisham Marwa, a member of the General Assembly of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), presented a report to the Political Committee on Wednesday outlining the major violations taking place against Syrian refugees in Lebanon. He also proposed solutions and recommendations aimed at reducing the perpetration of such violations.
Marwa’s report highlighted the lack of legal protection for Syrian refugees, which he argues facilitates hate crimes, discrimination, gender-based violence, and attacks against them. He notes that the challenges faced by Syrian refugees in Lebanon increase when they face discrimination and violence related to displacement, restrictions on freedom of movement and work, and limited access to necessary medical care.
Moreover, more than 90% of refugees live below the extreme poverty line, making access to basic services such as water, sanitation, and electricity difficult. Female refugees face additional difficulties, including domestic violence, sexual abuse, and other forms of gender-based violence.
Marwa recommended that countries hosting Syrian refugees, particularly Lebanon, undertake necessary institutional reforms to ensure effective implementation of laws prohibiting torture, regulating law enforcement operations, and providing reparations, including compensation and redress.
He also stressed the need to implement national laws and international treaties related to the prohibition of violence, torture, and other forms of inhumane treatment. In addition, he called for an end to the harassment and intimidation of refugee families, as well as unnecessary force by security forces during searches and raids of refugee camps and places of residence.
Marwa suggested that the Lebanese authorities, international organizations, and civil society organizations work together to mobilize efforts for local and international advocacy in order to improve the human rights situation in the region by putting pressure on the authorities concerned with refugee affairs in Lebanon.
Finally, Marwa proposed a set of practical solutions to reduce violations against Syrian refugees, including the establishment of an international committee to investigate all violations against refugees, a complaints office at the UNHCR headquarters, legal protection for refugees exposed to violence, and the provision of cash aid, and emergency response to violations received from the Office of Refugee Affairs. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)