Official and Diplomatic Visits from Geneva to Beirut

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“Refugees’ Rights Defenders Initiative”: Syrians’ Forced deportation is a risky violation

Beirut – Geneva

As a result of discriminatory speeches escalation against Syrian refugees in Lebanon, especially after Supreme Defense Council resolution regarding deportation of refugees who entered Lebanon illegally after April 2019, and Ministry of Labor strict plan to control Syrian workers, Access Center for Human Rights (ACHR) in partnership with the Syrian American Council (SAC), is organizing a series of official and diplomatic visits in Geneva and Lebanon with Lebanese officials, European embassies, United Nations Agencies and the European Union Mission in Beirut, to adhere United Nations charters, declarations and resolutions that guarantee refugees’ rights in a safe and dignified life.

Mentioned visits will be held under the framework of “Refugees’ Rights Defenders Initiative”, which is a group of ACHR and SAC that includes human rights activists working with refugees in Lebanon and civil society organizations in Lebanon and abroad, in order to highlight Syrian refugees conditions in Lebanon, and to reduce systematic pressure policy which force them to ‘voluntarily’ return back to their homeland, leaving them at risk of forced disappearance, torture, murder or persecution and kidnapping.

Thus, the Initiative will start its first stage at Geneva, in which Access Center for Human Rights (ACHR) will participate today (Monday, September 16) in several high-end meetings to the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council, with special rapporteurs, states representatives and UN Agencies, in partnership with the Syrian Center of Media and Freedom of Expression (responsible for organizing meetings in Geneva). Moreover, “ACHR” will be also involved in a meeting at UN office, Geneva, on Tuesday September 17, with activists and non-governmental organizations focusing on Syrian refugees, to highlight their situation in neighboring countries, especially in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, as well as monitoring violations, exchanging opinions and setting up urgent recommendations to break the deadlock.

It is scheduled to proceed the next stage, with official meetings in Lebanon starting on the 26th of September till September 30, to discuss Syrian refugees’ circumstances and violations against them, which have been increasing since mid- last year after Syrian authorities’ statement of creating shelter zones with Russia to host Syrian refugees from neighboring countries in July 2018. That statement which pushed Lebanon to take arbitrary decisions against Syrian refugees.

Meetings will focus on joining efforts and collaborating to secure Syrian refugees their basic human rights, in which Syrian authorities are pretending that Syria is totally safe to return back, wherever the war in Syria still exists. Over one-thousand Syrian civilians have been murdered, including over 100 children, in the last two months in Idlib. Furthermore, hundreds of Syrian civilians have been arrested and disappeared by Syrian government, including those forced to return back from neighboring countries. 

In addition, the multi-national delegation will discuss the international community’s stance towards political situation in Syria, threats facing refugees in case of being back home, role of civil society in supporting Lebanon, and the impact of ongoing Lebanese political tensions on refugees issue. On the other hand, it will present recent recorded violations by local and international Syrian and Lebanese human rights organizations which will be also submitted in a joint meeting to be held before the official visits.

“Refugees’ Rights Defenders Initiative” delegation will conclude its visits within a press conference at Beirut on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, in which there will be a summary about whole meetings, and a declaration including the recommendations and fundamental solutions that will serve in improving refugees’ conditions and in providing them with their basic human rights.

About Syrian American Council (SAC):

Non-governmental organization devoted to promoting educational, civic, economic, and human development, as well as advancing civil liberties and human dignity in Syria and building bridges of understanding and cooperation between the American and Syrian people and institutions.

About Access Center for Human Rights (ACHR):

A local non-governmental organization working to ensure human dignity for refugees and arbitrarily detained in several countries, starting with Lebanon. “ACHR” aims to target refugees’ issues abroad, to guarantee the principle of safety and the right of safe living, decent housing, and freedom of movement. Ensuring justice in decent work and respecting freedom of opinion and expression are among the priorities of “ACHR” through providing legal support and representation to defend refugees’ issues, through monitoring and documenting violations against them, as well as advocating local and international public opinion, and also raising these violations through legal means to international human rights authorities, to promote a culture of protecting and respecting refugees’ rights, ensuring their freedom and securing their needs.

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