Syrian Refugees In Lebanon: Confiscation Of Identity Documents, And Denial Of Rights

“My son was offered a job opportunity, but he ended up losing it for not having an identity document.” Here is the story of Syrians who live on the margins of life as their identity documents remain in the custody of the Lebanese authorities.

According to the UNHCR in Lebanon, refugees face increased protection-related risks, given their lack of legal residency. They are vulnerable to arrest; deportation; eviction; sexual violence; gender-based violence; and child abuse. Furthermore, there is an extreme shortage of basic assistance, particularly in the fields of healthcare; shelter; and sanitation.

The confiscation of documents’ biggest loss, however, was Hassan Ahmad’s, a 28-year-old Syria refugee, who also chose to go by a pseudonym. He failed to register his marriage, and his son’s birth, at the Civil Registry. Hassan’s toddler is now more than a year old, and is stateless.  In 2019, Hassan, who is a Syrian army defector, sought to legalize his status and renew his residence permit through the sponsorship system (Kafala). He also paid 900,000 LP ($600 at the time), but the General Security seized his documents, and instead gave him a deportation form, claiming he entered Lebanon illegally. Hassan so far could not recover his documents.

English | November 9, 2020



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