Barriers to legal residency
Abed, 15, together with his uncle Nabil.
“How will all the young refugees manage their lives?”, Nabil asks. “We are adults and we will find a way to survive but all the children are actually the ones paying the price. They are losing their education, and without that their future is gone,” says Nabil. According to him, education is the true weapon for the younger generation and he wishes that his daughters could continue their studies. His wife used to be an English teacher in Syria. Now, she is not working because of the fear of being exploited or abused. “People are taking advantage of refugees from Syria on a daily basis. The majority do not have their legal papers so they cannot report abuse if it happens and I do not want my wife to go through that”, says Nabil.
Abed and Nabil are Palestine refugees from Syria who was forced to flee the war in Syria in 2012. Today, theylive in a small town in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Both of them have not able to move freely since they lacks a legal residency permits in the country.
In Lebanon, hundreds of thousands of refugees struggle to make their stay in the country legal, as 80% of Syrian refugees do not have residency permits. This is made even more complicated by government procedures stating that Syrian refugees aged 15 and above must obtain valid residency permits, even though legal and procedural barriers make obtaining this residency almost impossible.
“To be honest, Lebanon does not have enough capacity to take care of millions of refugees. I hope that all countries could take their responsibilities and respect the declaration of human rights. I do not want luxury and I am willing to work if I am offered any opportunity but I just want to live the life we had in Syria,” says Nabil. “I wish I could continue my education. I want the situation in Syria to get better so we do not have to live and experience all the hardships our parents are going through today in the future,” Abed concludes.
Photo: Racha El Daoi/NRC
Palestine refugeesSyrian conflictLebanonrefugee youthbarriers to legal residencychallengesSyrian refugees