Initiatives to relieve pressure on Syrian refugees in Lebanon

(Zaman Al Wası)-

Activists and human rights activists on Thursday began touring government agencies and foreign embassies in Lebanon to discuss Syrian refugee issues in Lebanon, in the hope of alleviating the pressures and challenges faced by the official decision-making and security centers in Lebanon.
On Wednesday, Access Center for Human Rights, in cooperation with the Syrian American Council, announced the launch of a committee of human rights defenders on the situation of Syrians in Lebanon.
The center will visit government agencies and foreign embassies in order to discuss the issues of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
The report pointed to the role of the Lebanese media in creating an adverse public opinion concerning the Syrian presence in Lebanon with news on the return of security and stability in Syria, and based on the analyses described as “illogical.”
The Mediterranean country of around 4.5 million people says it hosts some 1.5 million Syrians, of which nearly a million are UN-registered refugees.
Lebanese politicians routinely blame the country’s economic and other woes on Syrian refugees and the government has ratcheted up the pressure to send them back.
Rights groups have decried measures to make the lives of refugees increasingly difficult.
Since June, more than 3,600 Syrian families have seen their shelters demolished in the eastern region of Arsal, according to local authorities.
Homes made of anything other than timber and plastic sheeting are not allowed.
In August, the Lebanese army destroyed a further 350 structures in the north of the country and arrested dozens of people for lacking residency documents, humanitarian groups said.
The labour ministry, meanwhile, is cracking down on foreign workers without a permit, a move activists say largely targets Syrians.
Eight years of war in Syria have killed 560,000 people and driven half the pre-war population of 22 million from their homes, including more than 6 million as refugees to neighboring countries.