Syrians in displacement

FMR 57

With 2018 marking the 7th anniversary of the Syrian conflict, this issue of FMR explores new insights and continuing challenges relating to the displacement of millions of Syrians both internally and in neighbouring countries. What we learn from responses to this large-scale, multi-faceted displacement is also relevant to other situations of displacement beyond as well as within the Middle East. FMR 57 contains 27 articles on ‘Syrians in displacement’, plus six ‘general’ articles on other topics.

Kholoud Mansour

What does dignity mean to Syrian refugees and practitioners? And what can humanitarian organisations do – or abstain from doing – to help Syrians preserve and protect their dignity?

Olfat Mahmoud and Rebecca Roberts

Local non-governmental organisations in Lebanon’s Bourj al-Barajneh camp face challenges in responding to the complex needs of three different refugee groups.

Hind Sharif

Refugee-led humanitarian initiatives by ‘established’ Palestinian refugees in response to the arrival of ‘new’ displaced Syrians to Shatila camp raise key questions about the limitations of the humanitarian system and representations of refugees as passive victims.

Josep Zapater

Responses to crises in Lebanon’s Beka’a region in 2017 show that refugee-hosting municipalities can be a pillar of peaceful coexistence and must be supported.

Charles Simpson

Approximately 60,000 Syrians are trapped in ‘the Berm’, a desolate area on the Syria-Jordan border. When security concerns are prioritised over humanitarian needs, and aid agencies turn to militant groups to deliver aid, the consequences can be deplorable.

Maja Janmyr and Lama Mourad

Vulnerability assessments are used by humanitarian actors to identify those at greater risk of harm but their use in the response to displaced Syrians in Lebanon is problematic.

Melissa N Gatter

Humanitarian efforts to build a model refugee camp when constructing Azraq camp in Jordan – drawing on what was supposed to have been learned in Za’atari camp – missed crucial aspects of Za’atari’s governance.

Sigrid Lupieri

Older refugees are often a neglected population, particularly when it comes to health. In Jordan, the specific health needs of older Syrian refugees tend to be overlooked, due in part to a lack of data, institutional biases and the nature of the humanitarian response.

Ana Uzelac, Jos Meester, Markus Goransson and Willem van den Berg

By understanding the role that social capital plays in the lives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon – how it is created, sustained, converted and what happens when it breaks down – we hope to generate discussion about ways to further tailor assessments, targeting and programming in this and other situations of protracted displacement.

Emma Pearce and Boram Lee

Lessons from responses to the Syrian displacement crisis can inform broader discussions on how to build responses that better address vulnerability, support resilience and include displaced women, children and young people in all their diversity.

Michelle Lokot

The dominant gender narratives among NGOs responding to Syrian refugees, and their subsequent interventions, are based on sometimes simplistic understandings of the ‘traditional’ Syrian household and power dynamics.

Megan Passey

Families are frequently separated as a result of migration and displacement from the Middle East to Europe, yet humanitarian aid is often difficult to access and insufficient to meet the needs of those left behind.

Ruth Simpson

Evidence from psychosocial support-based peace education work with young displaced Syrians shows that addressing trauma is critical in overcoming psychological barriers to social cohesion.

Zeena Zakharia and Francine Menashy

The involvement of the private sector in providing education for Syrian refugees has much to commend it but greater consideration needs to be paid to the ethical and practical concerns that may arise.

Sarah Chynoweth

Local organisations responding to the Syrian humanitarian crisis are at the forefront of providing care for both male and LGBTI survivors of sexual violence.

Georgia Swan

In seeking to combat the growing phenomenon of child marriage among Syrian refugees, it is vital to engage the whole range of actors involved, and to recognise that girls and boys have the capacity to address this issue in their own communities.

Miki Takahashi, Michael Moroz, Jonathan Peters, Jason Pronyk and Richard Barltrop

Welcome progress has been made towards realising commitments made by international donors and host country governments to expand economic opportunities for Syrian refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries. However targets and commitments also bring new challenges, and evidence must underpin new policies.

Katharina Lenner and Lewis Turner

Analysis of the implementation of the Jordan Compact offers three key lessons: governmental approval is important but not sufficient, the incorporation of critical voices is crucial, and meeting numeric targets is not the same as achieving underlying goals.

Cindy Huang, Nazanin Ash, Katelyn Gough and Lauren Post

Analysis of progress to date under the Jordan Compact highlights a number of shortcomings that need to be addressed if the model is to be used effectively elsewhere.

Margarite Helena Zoeteweij-Turhan

Recent political developments and changes in Turkey’s asylum law have had a significantly injurious impact on the safety and legal certainty of refugees in Turkey.

Drew Mikhael and Julie Norman

Refugee youth unemployment has been linked to increased risk of extremism and/or exploitation. Research indicates, however, that unemployment is just one of many factors triggering frustration among young refugees.

Martin Clutterbuck, Laura Cunial, Paola Barsanti and Tina Gewis

Seven years of conflict have had a serious detrimental effect on many Syrians’ ability to prove their legal identity.

Amy Keith and Nour Shawaf

The decision of Syrian refugees in Lebanon to return to Syria must not be based on a deteriorating quality of asylum that creates physical, social and material pressures on decisions to return.

Nadia Siddiqui

The return of some 3.1 million IDPs in Iraq to their places of origin is seen as a benchmark of success in the aftermath of the recent civil war. However, the situation is complex, with critical questions related to mitigating competing rights and protection needs.

Martin Clutterbuck

Although restitution of property should underpin any post-conflict agreement, in Syria this will be a complex exercise. Adherence to the UN’s Pinheiro Principles will be critical.

Leïla Vignal

There are many reasons why discussions about the imminent return of large numbers of Syrian refugees are premature.

General Articles
José Arraiza and Scott Leckie

People displaced in Myanmar during decades of civil conflict, as well as more recently displaced persons, need accessible legal pathways and assistance to regain access to their land and properties. Myanmar needs a clear vision on restitution to end its civil wars and displacement.

Franzisca Zanker

Although not usually thought of as a haven of refugee protection, the Gambia has a fairly sizeable refugee population and some sophisticated legal frameworks and protection mechanisms. However, the political context of its refugee protection should not be underestimated. 

Eileen Pittaway and Linda Bartolomei

The consultative process involved in drafting the Global Compact on Refugees presents an ideal opportunity to ensure that gender equality is integral to this new international policy framework.

Joseph Lelliott

Italy has enacted comprehensive legislation to protect the rights of unaccompanied children arriving in Italy. While flaws remain in Italy’s treatment of these particularly vulnerable migrants, the country’s protection-focused approach sets an example to other countries.

Carol Farbotko

In recent years, the international community has been paying increasing attention to the movement and planned relocation of people affected by climate change. In the Pacific region, however, many indigenous people are saying they intend to remain on their ancestral lands.

Roy Njuabe

Local organisations can significantly assist with service provision, integration and advocacy.


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