UN Authority Figures

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Executive Committee: Lebanon

Regulations being imposed in Lebanon effectively bar many Syrian refugees from renewing their residency permits and were making life impossible for refugees. Women refugees said that sponsors and employers had attempted to sexually exploit them, and that they did not dare approach the authorities to complain. Source: BBC News January 12, 2016

Mission of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees: "The High Commissioner for Refugees is mandated by the United Nations to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. UNHCR's primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. In its efforts to achieve this objective, UNHCR strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, and to return home voluntarily." (UNHCR Website, "Mission Statement")

Lebanon's Term of office: 1963-

Lebanon's Record on Refugees:
"The most significant human rights abuses during the year were ... limitations on freedom of movement for Palestinian and Syrian refugees... The law does not provide for the granting of asylum or refugee status. As a result observers estimated 37 percent of Syrian refugees registered with the UNHCR lacked any legal status and could be arrested... The law considers UNRWA-registered Palestinian refugees to be foreigners, and in several instances they received poorer treatment than other foreign nationals. This discrimination was particularly true for women. ... most Palestinian refugees lived in overpopulated camps, some of which were heavily damaged during multiple conflicts... A 2001 amendment to a 1969 decree barring persons who are explicitly excluded from resettling in the country from owning land and property is designed to exclude Palestinians from purchasing or inheriting property. Palestinians who owned property prior to the law entering into force were unable to bequeath it to their heirs, and individuals who were in the process of purchasing property in installments were unable to register the property. Palestinian refugees residing in the country could not obtain citizenship and were not citizens of any other country. Palestinian refugee women married to Lebanese citizens were able to obtain citizenship and transmit citizenship to their children. Palestinian refugees, including children, had limited social and civil rights and no access to public health, education, or other social services. Children of Palestinian refugees faced discrimination in birth registration, and many had to leave school at an early age to earn an income."
(U.S. State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2014, Lebanon)