Home > Press Articles > Sudanese Protest – UNHCR Press release

Sudanese Protest – UNHCR Press release

UNHCR Press release

June 20 2012

A group of 20-34 individuals have been protesting outside the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Beirut and presented a list of concerns to UNHCR staff. Senior UNHCR staff have met with each protestor individually and extensively discussed his or her concerns and case status.

The protesters have made a number of demands. Those who UNHCR determined were not refugees have demanded that their cases be reconsidered. Those who have been accepted for resettlement have demanded that UNHCR hasten the clearance process resettlement countries are using.

Lebanon is home to over 11,000 Iraqi and Sudanese refugees and over 27,000 displaced Syrians.

Lebanon does not have a legal or administrative asylum framework. Although the right to asylum is recognized in the Lebanese constitution, there is no legal protection afforded to recognized refugees.

They are treated like all other foreigners. If they come without a visa or stay beyond the length of their visa, they can be detained, and prosecuted.

This makes the lives of many refugees very difficult in Lebanon. UNHCR and partners assist as much as possible. UNHCR lobbies for legal recognition, intervenes on refugees’ behalf, provides assistance to the most vulnerable and seeks solutions for them outside Lebanon. But the hard reality remains that relatively few refugees will be resettled to a third country because of the limited number of resettlement places made available by resettlement countries. Even those who have been accepted for resettlement often have to wait many months and even years before the resettlement processes are complete and

they can depart. Moreover, without major changes in Lebanese law and practice, refugees will remain at risk of arrest and detention in Lebanon.

The UNHCR Office in Beirut receives more than one hundred refugees daily who are counselled face-to face on a confidential basis by UNHCR staff. UNHCR also meets regularly with refugee representatives and committees through outreach community workers and organized dialogues. Each year UNHCR spends over 4 million dollars on protection and assistance for refugees and asylum-seekers in the Beirut area alone.

This year, its programme has expanded further to north Lebanon and the Bekaa valley to

assist thousands of Syrians displaced into Lebanon.

For more information, please contact UNHCR’s Public Information Officer Dana Sleiman on 01-849201 ext. 1421 or 03-827323.


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