Update: Durable Solutions for Syrian Refugees
The security situation in the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) remains fluid, and complex patterns of conflict and displacement continue in many areas.
An estimated 1.1 million displacements were recorded in the first half of 2017, at an average of 7,300 displacements per day, notably in the context of the Ar- Raqqa offensive. Between January and May 2017, some 450,000 IDPs were estimated to have returned to their community of origin, 303,500 of whom in Aleppo Governorate. The estimated total number of IDPs remained at 6.3 million as of 31 March 2017, and some 13.5 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance within Syria according to OCHA statistics.
At the same time, there are more than five million Syrian refugees in the region, some of whom have now been in exile for over five years. Some 22,200 Syrian refugees are estimated to have undertaken self-organized return to Syria in 2017.
Despite the support provided by host governments and humanitarian actors, refugees in the region are growing increasingly vulnerable. The vast majority live below the poverty line and face difficulties accessing services and providing food, housing, healthcare and other basic needs for their families.
Refugees continue to need access to territory and international protection, as well as ongoing humanitarian support in countries of asylum. Refugees also need access to durable solutions, in line with the core principles of international refugee law, so that they can look to the future with hope and with dignity.
The Durable Solutions Context
The key durable solutions for refugees from Syria are resettlement to a third country, voluntary return to Syria in safety and dignity, and protection and assistance in countries of asylum. Policy, programmatic and strategic directions being pursued across the region in order to facilitate access to durable solutions and informed decision-making while maintaining asylum space include:
Expanding opportunities for resettlement and other admission pathways to third countries, such as family reunification, labor mobility and academic scholarships;
Advocating for readmission to host countries of Syrian refugees who are, for instance, studying or working, visiting family, or have other legitimate reasons for travel to a third country;
Advocating for regularization of temporary visits of limited duration to Syria coupled with readmission to host countries;
Working with the Government of Syria and other agencies on issues relating to Housing, Land and Property (HLP), civil registration and documentation as well as other protection issues inside Syria that could have a positive impact on Syrian returnees, displaced and affected communities;
Supporting vulnerable self-organized returnees on a case-by-case basis, including by assisting individuals and through community-based interventions;
Advocating for international support to refugee hosting countries to enable them to maintain a dignified protection environment.