Syrian refugee crisis: Limitations to protection in the region

Debate - 

Will 2018 be the year of return for Syrian refugees? At the beginning of this year many aid organisations sounded the alarm bell. Policy makers in Europe and in neighboring countries Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are increasingly discussing the return of refugees to Syria. In some cases, this even led to deportation. We will discuss these developments with a panel of experts, among others from Lebanon and Syria. What are the future prospects for Syrian refugees in the region?

Neighbouring countries Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have together taken care of more than 5 million Syrian refugees since the outbreak of the war in Syria, compared to around 1 million having found asylum in Europe. While Syrian refugees were welcomed hospitably in the beginning of the war, we are now starting to see the limitations of providing protection in the region. Turkey and Jordan closed their borders for Syrians and measures were also taken in Lebanon to limit the arrival of refugees. And although the war continues unabated in Syria, the return of refugees to Syria is being discussed more and more openly.

We will discuss the future prospects for Syrians in the region and in their own country. How do Syrians themselves see their future? What is the perspective of policy makers in the region? And what position does Europe take when it comes to the future prospect for Syrians? Will Europe do more to share the responsibility to support Syrian refugees in the region?

About the speakers

  • Shant Kerbabian is from Syria and works for The Day After: a Syrian organisation that works on a democratic transition in Syria. Shant guides local Syrian activists who document human rights violations and organize campaigns and workshops in Syria on transitional justice.
  • Dima Mahdi is a researcher at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies in Beirut. She conducts research into the Syrian refugee policy of Lebanon and the return policy. She is the author of a report on the Law and Politics of ‘Safe Zones’ and Forced Return to Syria: Refugee Politics in Lebanon.
  • Lidia Giglio is policy and advocacy advisor for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Brussels. She is advocating with the EU institutions in the field of humanitarian issues and large-scale disasters, mainly for Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Rohingya crisis.
  • Moderators are Saskia Baas (Head of the Durable Solutions Platform) and Amjad Yamin (Regional Head of Policy and Communications at the Danish Refguee Council).

Personal stories from the region

Would you like to know more about the situation of Syrian refugees in the region? Check the website of the International Rescue Committee for the stories of four refugees.

About this program

This program is organized by Durable Solutions Platform in collaboration with Humanity House, Stichting Vluchteling and International Rescue Committee. The Durable Solutions Platform is a research initiative that aims to generate knowledge and encourages a dialogue on sustainable solutions for Syrian refugees.

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