The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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October 21, 2014

The Daily Star - Salam meets ministerial committee over Syrian refugees, October 21, 2014

Prime Minister Tammam Salam Monday convened a ministerial committee to discuss the influx of Syrian refugees which has put a strain on Lebanon's resources and raised fears over security threats.

The meeting at the Grand Serail in downtown Beirut was attended by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas and Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi.

No statements were made following the meeting.

The number of Syrian refugees entering Lebanon has declined dramatically in recent weeks as the government inched closer toward drafting new policies for its borders.

According to Derbas, Lebanon is now denying access to Syrians unable to present an exigent “humanitarian” reason for entering the country.

“Lebanon has not totally closed its borders to refugees,” Derbas said in remarks Sunday. “We are still receiving humanitarian cases, but other reasons for refuge are not being accepted.”

The government, however, has not yet established formal guidelines for what constitutes a humanitarian case.

A governmental source, speaking to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity, has said that the criteria were not on the table at present.

“We do hope that sometime soon this will be clarified.” The source said that in the coming days the government would make “some concrete decisions and adopt some policies” regarding the entry of Syrian refugees.

Lebanon has been struggling to cope with more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees within its borders, who now comprise more than 20 percent of the population. The government contends that many refugees in Lebanon are so-called economic migrants who are not fleeing violence but rather looking for work. Spurred to action when the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon surpassed 1 million, the government said in May that it would only accept Syrians fleeing active fighting, and that those commuting between Lebanon and Syria would lose their refugee status.

Source & Link: The Daily Star

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