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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March 8, 2017

The Daily Star- UNHCR clarifies work permit issue after ministry meeting, March 08 , 2017

BEIRUT: Syrian refugees in Lebanon who have work permits are not prioritized for humanitarian assistance, the United Nation’s refugee agency in Lebanon said Tuesday, adding that such individuals still remain eligible of other kinds of aid. UNHCR’s clarification came a day after Lebanon’s Labor Ministry reported that an agreement had been reached to withhold assistance from Syrian refugees in possession of a work permit.
“Since our assistance is based on needs and targets the most economically vulnerable, refugees who are working and getting steady incomes normally do not receive livelihood support as they already have a source of livelihood, contrary to others,” UNHCR’s Assistant Communications and Public Information Officer Lisa Abou Khaled told The Daily Star.
“That said, they still have access to legal aid, access to education for their children, like all other children in Lebanon, regardless of their nationality,” Abou Khaled added.
Labor Minister Mohammad Kabbara and UNHCR Representative for Lebanon Mireille Girard held a meeting Monday, during which it was agreed that work permits would be granted to Syrian refugees in Lebanon in the sectors of environment, agriculture and construction. The permits will be given based on certain applicable conditions and regulations, in order to protect the Lebanese labor force.
“The only thing we are asking them [Syrian workers] to do is to respect the law. The most important thing is to create jobs for the Lebanese,” Kabbara told The Daily Star. “We want an inspection team to monitor the situation, and this will create thousands of jobs.”
The discussion surrounding work permits for Syrian nationals comes as protests against Syrian labor – and rhetoric blaming the refugees for undercutting businesses – have flared up across the country.
“Because of limited resources, UNHCR and other agencies, including the World Food Programme, target only the most vulnerable with monthly assistance programs,” Abou Khaled said.
She acknowledged Lebanon’s troubling economic situation but underscored that the employment of Syrian nationals in certain work sectors has had little impact on the local labor force.
“Lebanon is going through a difficult period economically and we understand the sensitivities around the issue of job scarcity. That said, Syrians have traditionally worked in sectors where they don’t compete with Lebanese workers, in particular, daily labor in agriculture and construction,” she said.
“We have been advocating for Syrian refugees to be able to contribute to the economy while working in sectors open to them under Lebanese law, which are essentially agriculture, construction and the environment.”

Source & Link : The Daily Star

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