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From the editors

Four years ago we published an issue on ‘The Syria crisis, displacement and protection’. In the Foreword to the issue, the former UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Nigel Fisher, observed that “While the crisis may be prolonged, refugees and IDPs need support now for their protection, their recovery, and both their immediate and their long-term prospects.” As we mark the seventh anniversary of the Syrian conflict, Syrians are still displaced and still need that support.

This issue was originally intended to be about displacement in the Middle East more generally. However, the vast majority of the articles we received for the issue focused on displacement caused by the Syrian conflict. This issue therefore focuses – as did the 2014 issue – on displacement from and within Syria.

Authors present new insights and reflect on continuing challenges, covering topics which include: local and refugee-led initiatives; identification and understanding of displaced people’s vulnerabilities and capabilities; stereotyping on the basis of gender, age or disability; child marriage; the contribution of education to social cohesion; legal identity; preparation for return and the challenges around restitution and property rights; and the potential of economic and development approaches (a topic to be explored more fully in our June issue on Economies, work and displacement).

What we learn from responses to this large-scale, multi-faceted displacement is also clearly relevant to other situations of displacement beyond as well as within the Middle East.

We would like to thank Lina Abirafeh (Lebanese American University), Rebecca Carter and Karin Eriksen (Regional Development and Protection Programme for the Middle East) for their assistance as advisors to this issue.

Formats and languages: The full issue and all the individual articles in this issue are online in HTML, PDF and audio formats at This issue and its accompanying digest will be available free of charge online and in print in English, Arabic, Spanish and French. If you would like printed copies please email us at

Forthcoming issues (details at

  • FMR 58: Economies, work and displacement (June 2018)
  • FMR 59: Twentieth anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (October 2018)
  • FMR 60: Education (February 2019)


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Marion Couldrey and Jenny Peebles
Editors, Forced Migration Review

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