Single title

The Head Out of the Sand

Addressing the legal and practical options

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the Middle East Institute for Research and Strategic Studies (MEIRSS) published together a policy paper, entitled “The Head Out of the Sand – Addressing the legal and practical options”, authored by George Ghali. The study investigates the Syrian refugee situation in Lebanon, focusing on the legal framework regarding refugee identification, settlements, and labor restrictions.

Since March 2012, more than one million Syrians fled to neighboring Lebanon seeking safety and shelter away from the conflict raging their home country. This influx of refugees has caused the already shattered infrastructure, poor security, instability, and fragmented social fabric in Lebanon to further deteriorate. The events stress-tested the current refugee regime and models globally. In Lebanon, the legal framework governing the movement of Syrians to Lebanon since the early 1990s was replaced by a well-founded yet ineffective visa system. In face of an overwhelming situation, the government cannot “bury its head in the sand” but rather must face the challenge of finding solutions suitable for both refugees and the Lebanese society.

This paper attempts to analyze the current legal and practical developments in the situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. It is aimed at providing a policy oriented audience with valuable insight into refugee protection in Lebanon. While the refugee situation in Lebanon has inflicted a myriad of threats and challenges on both the Lebanese community and Syrian refugees in Lebanon, this paper will focus on those strictly relevant to the policy debates that have been unfolding between political parties and current council of ministers. It will, as well, suggest measures that may be applied in Lebanon, pending durable solutions.

The policy paper is available in English and Arabic.

For more information about this topic and a discussion of the paper visit our event on the 30rd of April: