Lebanon + 1 more

UNHCR Lebanon Protection Update March 2014


March developments

Access to territory and timely registration

  • While the border remained calm, refugees still report some obstacles to entry, including from armed elements in Syria and difficulties re-entering Lebanon after returning to Syria to renew residency permits, resulting at times in family separation.
  • Approximately 48,700 Syrian refugees were registered in March, a minor 2% decrease from February. A mobile registration mission was conducted in Wadi Khalid to reach refugees in remote locations. The average waiting time for registration decreased to 20 days from 22 days at the end of February.
  • Over 51,000 refugees approached UNHCR for verification and renewal of their registration certificate. 34% of refugees surveyed were found to lack or have expired residency permits.

Protection violations prevented, monitored and addressed

  • Protection monitoring partners IRC, Mercy Corps and Intersos monitored 986 individuals in 184 different locations. Protection monitors noticed a high number of refugees relocating within Lebanon in search for better and affordable access to services and livelihoods. Eviction threats and related refugee fears continued, with notable incidents in the Bekaa and Tripoli areas. Information campaigns, counseling and follow up actions were undertaken.
  • A UNHCR survey found that only 10% of Syrian refugees had a written rent agreement in Lebanon. 56% of refugees reported their homes damaged or not inhabitable in Syria.

Access to legal services and civil status documentation enhanced

  • In March, 60 Syrians arrested solely for their illegal entry/stay in Lebanon were reported to UNHCR for intervention, as compared to only 22 in February.
  • 193 individuals were counselled during 27 detention monitoring visits conducted by UNHCR and partners.
  • 982 persons were provided legal counselling by UNHCR and partners and 44 persons with legal representation before the courts on matters of personal status, including custody documents.

Durable and humanitarian solutions made available

  • 655 refugees were submitted to resettlement countries for resettlement and humanitarian admission in March, the highest numbers since resettlement of Syrians began last year. Meanwhile, 502 refugees departed for Germany with the ninth and tenth HAP departure flights.
  • Since flights from Damascus airport ceased in February 2013, a resettlement transit operation has assisted more than 6,000 refugees from Damascus to transit through Beirut on their way to resettlement countries.
  • Four refugee status determination missions were conducted in Qobayat, Tripoli, Tyre and Zahle to conduct interviews with 21 cases and 100 individuals in addition to 71 cases and 140 individuals in the Mt. Lebanon area.