ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Syrian conflict has ravaged the country since 2011, creating millions of internally
displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees displaced beyond borders. Ten years on, and
the conflict is far from over. 

 

This report also aims to better prepare UN agencies, civil society organisations and European asylum authorities to protect this latest Palestinian diaspora.

For the Syrian Government
  • Allow for the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced PRS and PRS currently outside Syria, who wish to return to their original camps/communities in Syria, without restrictions or security interference;
  • Establish a back-dated waiver on civil documentation procedures so that PRS residing in areas previously outside Syrian government control, or those displaced to the opposition-held northwest since 2011, can register necessary civil status documentation for themselves and their relatives;
  • End arbitrary, political arrests and enforced disappearances, and immediately provide information about the whereabouts of detained or missing Palestinian detainees;
  • Allow UNRWA, as well as other agencies and NGOs, unrestricted access to areas of the country where PRS are residing.
For non-state armed groups operating in Syria
  • Allow for PRS to obtain civil status documentation in opposition-held territory that matches with civil status documentation issued in government-held territory;
  • Ensure that PRS have access to the same rights and privileges as internally displaced Syrians.
For Lebanon
  • Refrain from forcibly deporting or coercing any PRS to Syria and ensure that all returns are safe and voluntary;
  • Give PRS access to legal residency regardless of how they first entered the country;
  • Waive fines for irregular entry and overstaying residency for PRS regularising their status before departure from Lebanon;
  • Refrain from issuing re-entry bans against PRS leaving Lebanon when they cross back into Syria in order to facilitate “go-and-see” visits that enable PRS to assess conditions for safe and voluntary returns to Syria.
For countries outside UNRWA’s areas of operation
  • Allow UNHCR to exercise its mandate under the authoritative interpretation of Article 1D of the Refugee Convention so that Palestinian refugees have access to protection and assistance;
  • End the criminalisation of PRS attempting to enter, stay or exit irregularly;
  • End the practice of refoulement (deportation to Syria) of PRS by seeking durable solutions case-by-case with UN agencies, local civil society groups and potential host countries.
For European countries
  • Ensure that PRS are aware of their rights as stateless refugees upon arrival and particularly during interviews with asylum authorities;
  • Improve training of asylum officers so that PRS statelessness is identified and protection improved;
  • Provide PRS with the same legal avenues for resettlement as Syrian refugees;
  • Improve coordination with embassies and consulates in neighbouring countries so that PRS travelling for consular interviews from Syria are not refused entry;
  • Open up legal avenues for resettlement of PRS, including private sponsorship programmes that utilise existing PRS diaspora networks in Europe, so that they are not subject to discriminatory practices on account of their lack of documentation in neighbouring countries, Palestinian refugee status and statelessness.
For UNRWA
  • Open up legal avenues for resettlement of PRS so that they are not subject to discriminatory practices on account of their lack of documentation in neighbouring countries, Palestinian refugee status and statelessness;
  • Advocate with governments in countries outside of UNRWA areas of operation (e.g. Egypt and Turkey) to fully implement UNHCR’s rightful mandate under the authoritative interpretation of Article 1D of the Refugee Convention so that Palestinian refugees have access to protection and assistance in countries outside of UNRWA’s areas of operation;
  • Using UNHCR’s stronger protection mandate, work with the UN refugee agency to intervene in cases of detention and/or possible deportations of PRS, or other protection cases.
For UNHCR
  • Provide clear guidance on identification of statelessness in asylum procedures, including how states should assess cessation of refugee status and facilitate access to citizenship;
  • Open up legal avenues for resettlement of PRS so that they are not subject to discriminatory practices on account of their lack of documentation in neighbouring countries, Palestinian refugee status and statelessness;
  • Advocate with governments in countries outside of UNRWA areas of operation to implement UNHCR’s rightful mandate under the authoritative interpretation of Article 1D of the Refugee Convention so that Palestinian refugees have access to protection and assistance in countries outside of UNRWA’s areas of operation;
  • Using UNHCR’s stronger protection mandate, work with UNRWA to intervene in cases of detention and/or possible deportations of PRS, or other protection cases.